It’s Off to Work I Go!

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I did nothing but work today. I’m still getting over my cold/infection that I had over the weekend. I like the work. No one is looking over my shoulder. I have to be very careful to use my time wisely now. No losing track of time. GOD. It stands for Good, Orderly, Direction. (I stole that from somewhere).

I am entering the realm where results are everything. No results, no paycheck. That’s how I want it.

I want to help produce big results for the non-profit. Then I will ask for a big raise. :)

I stayed at a hotel Sunday at 11am thru Monday at 11am. I slept most of the time trying to get rid of this infection thingy. I take honey to kill the stuff in my throat. I took 1000 mg of Vitamin C today. Lots of water and lots of rest tonight. Oh yeah and Advil. I honestly don’t like taking anything that’s not especially natural but Advil works so well, I make an exception.

Haha…I also talked to this woman today who makes $150/hour tapping people (AKA Emotional Freedom Technique). Unbelievable. 16192140280_6253bee7e5_m

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Hiding

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shine bright
hichako / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Some people think I’m this brave van-dweller with lots of freedom. In some ways it has been true. After raising a couple of children in expensive Southern California with a little child support and two to three jobs at a time, I needed a little breathing room where I didn’t have to worry about rent for a while. Living in my van seemed like a good way to get some space to think and heal from overwork.

BUT van living has also contributed to my desire to hide from people. I have always felt very different from the people around me. I did not want to conform (and often wouldn’t) but I felt the disapproval of those around me so I would hide the things I was or wasn’t doing so no one would “judge” me.

This tactic served me well for a time but as time went on I came to fear people a little too much and I didn’t share myself with the world very much. And I felt lonely.

So, I’m trying to get out more and allow myself to shine a little and receive the good things that I don’t get when I’m holed up in my cave.

And I am conforming a little. Mostly just in the way I look. Humans are the way they are. They feel unsafe around “different” people. I want people to feel comfortable with me and because of the kind of business I am in, I want them to feel they can trust me.

So, I’m going to wear makeup again… little things like that. I am also moderating what I talk about a little when am with people. I want to learn how to “small talk”. Most people don’t want to delve into sensitive topics with someone they just met. There’s time for that after you get to know and trust someone.

Maybe one day, I will brave working out at the gym again. THAT would really be someing.

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California Flowers

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imageThe Jacarandas are gorgeous and plentiful this year.

I took this photo with my Samsung Gusto flip phone.  Not too shabby huh?

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Just Work

I sat down with the lady that is running the non-profit I will be working for yesterday.  She actually took me for a nice lunch on the water!  She is very generous and seems like she will be easy to work with.  I even committed a faux pas on some work I was doing for her recently but she didn’t make a big deal about it (like I did in MY mind).  I am definitely my own worst critic.

It seems I will be working for her for 18 hours a week.  Wow.  My life is really going to change.  I won’t be taking on anymore of “my” work.  I will have enough.

I’m a little nervous.  I am easily offended by anything that smacks of employment (I know, I’m horrible!!!) .  Frankly, and excuse my language but I don’t want to be anyone’s bitch.  You guys know what I mean.  I also don’t want my future decided for me.  This lady has certain future positions in mind for me such as manager of this or that, but that may or may not work for me.

STILL, it’s amazing that this lady recruited me and trusts me to help her with her vision.  She truly has a unique vision and if she’s successful she will radically change things for the better in the area she is going in to.  I can stand behind that.

I am going to be working on a vision board in the coming weeks.  I’m kind of excited about it.  I am ready to dream big for myself.  I am tired of living small.

Weser December Sunset 6
blavandmaster / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA
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Scary Night in The Van

Crime Scene
Alan Cleaver / Foter / CC BY

Well it finally happened.  2 guys were circling my van in the wee hours of the morning (still dark).  I woke up to it.  I was kind of confused (it takes me a little time to figure things out when I first wake up) but I believe they had targeted my bike which is attached to the back of the van.  I kept my head down, hoping they would go away.  Then I heard one of them say, “I’ll keep watch” (or something along those lines).  Since it was obvious they were about to do something illegal, I figured, (since I didn’t know WHAT they were after) I’d better get ready to defend myself.  I grabbed my weapon of choice and popped my head up ready to do battle.

And with that, they were gone.  I guess they DIDN’T know I was in there and when they saw me the got scared and ran off.

Ryu said a while back that it takes a lot of guts to rob someone and I guess he is right.  I’m glad they didn’t stick around long enough to know I’m a woman.  That could have gotten ugly.  But probably not.  I think they just wanted my bike.  Petty thieves—better than the other kind right?

I couldn’t sleep after that so I went to the coffee shop and hung around.  I guess it’s true.  Sometimes living in a van can be dangerous.  I am going to take the bike off the back rack soon, I guess.  Tweakers love stealing bikes, and we have lots of tweakers around here.

Comment if you can.  If you are still having trouble commenting here, please email me at maureenmartin07@yahoo.com so I can figure something out.  Thanks

PS.  No I didn’t call the cops.  What could they have done?

 

 

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Church Food

Sometimes, the free church food is pretty darn good.

oatmeal

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Onward and Upward!

I feel a little weird wanting to be in a “real” home again.

A house or apartment will not make me happy, nor does it, in of itself make anyone happy.

So why am I trying to get housed again?

Off the top of my head, I guess it’s because I have met the challenge of homelessness without falling apart.  I know that at any given time, I could live in my vehicle again if I had to and not die, go crazy or use drugs.  Most people just get sad THINKING about the word homeless.

Now I am ready to try to get OUT of van dwelling which will be much more challenging than getting into it was.  It is the mental challenge that is the most difficult.  I have to be open to idea, not always deflecting them immediately.  I need to think about things before rejecting them.

My boss/client and I discussed my fears of being employed again a few weeks ago.  I told her I had felt taken advantage of in the past and I never wanted to feel that way again.  She understood.

And frankly, right now she needs (cheap) help.  She can’t afford to hire pros right away.  So it may take me longer to do things sometimes…because I have to figure them out, but she doesn’t have to pay me fifty dollars an hour either.  I’m pretty resourceful and I think she will be amazed at the solutions I come up with to common problems.

Living poor or even in a van can help one evolve, if one tries to develop ones thinking skills rather than numbing out in front of the tv, computer or whatever.  I’m so glad I didn’t sit in the park doing drugs when I went homeless.  I like life.  It’s a struggle but it is boring without the struggle.  Think of Europeans like the Swiss who spent so much time indoors during Switzerland’s long, long winters.  Years of tinkering and they are famous today  for their clocks and other great inventions.  Hardship makes us better people.

Swiss imagery
Miradortigre / Foter / CC BY-NC
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Progress

I’m doing pretty good working for the non-profit, so far.  The lady I work with isn’t very good with computer things so it is nice to be needed that way.  I had a little struggle with something right off the bat with her and I wanted to quit!

I have communication problems sometimes so in this situation I had to be patient, and explain again and use smiley faces in the emails I was sending my boss/friend so that I didn’t sound rude.  I also called her to take the edge off the emails.  I get tense in these situations because I feel like the other person thinks I’m stupid etc.  Relationships are complicated.  Handle with care!  One cross word can ruin or severely damage the rapport you have with a person.

My boss/friend is finalizing the renting of the building for the office.  It is in my “hometown” where I sleep and work!  Yay!  She lives about 20 minutes away.  The building situation should be resolved in the next month or so, I think.  She told me she has already bought some sort of “bed” that one might keep in an office in case I have to stay overnight for some reason.  This leads me to believe that she knows I live in a van.  But who knows?  Maybe she is just planning on us working a lot of late nights and wants to have that for me so I don’t have to drive home.  Either way, it’s good.

In roughly two and a half weeks, I should have a voucher for housing.  If I can find a decent place in the next four months, I will move in.  If not, I will lose the voucher.  I will only have to pay 1/3 of the rent.

Not many people accept the voucher.  It seems to me that it would be a good deal for a landlord but perhaps there’s a lot of paperwork or they just don’t like the idea of an underearner living in their apartment or room.  It’s hard to tell.  I’m told that it is difficult to find anything in my COUNTY, never mind my city.  Since my city is highly sought after, there’s a good chance I won’t get to live here.

I really want to live close to my jobs…mostly because Vinny the Van is on his last legs so I don’t want to drive too much.  Still, the idea of my own bathroom and kitchen and ADDRESS (I will actually be able to get a business license for my business) is enticing.

I will also be talking to someone about “emergency” housing that I can move into until I get the voucher or permanent housing.

Once I am in this program, I am in it forever.  Once I have lived in the first voucher/permanent place for a year, I am allowed to move into a new place and I will still pay only one third of my income to rent.  Good deal huh?  So if my income goes up, I can actually move to a nicer place.

I don’t imagine I will be in the program forever though.  Life is always changing and I think I’m on an upward trajectory now as far as income goes.  I’m reaching for stars.  Once I am at $35k per year (a long way off right now!) I won’t qualify anymore.  But by then, I guess I won’t need at as much.  More to come on my upward trajectory in my next post.

Let Your Life Speak; An Homage to Spring.  by Flickr user Photomaginarium

Let Your Life Speak; An Homage to Spring. by Flickr user Photomaginarium

 

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Back in Business with my Back

 

My back is all better for now.  I told the doctor Monday about the pain I had been having and she said it is likely a muscle spasm.  I looked it up (since the doc didn’t seem too interested in providing much info) and although muscle spasms can be quite painful, they aren’t fatal and there are ways to prevent them.  I need to stretch every day and avoid hard work.  Haha just kidding about the hard work.  Still, I’m not in shape enough to do housekeeping for anyone.  I always hurt my back when I do that sort of thing.  I leave that to the youngins’.

Housekeeping  Photo by Flickr user MabyCakes
Housekeeping.  Photo by Flickr user MabyCakes
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Double LIfe

I’ve mentioned before that I live a double life.  A woman who aspires to have a small business in this area really aught not live in her vehicle.  It doesn’t look good.

I try to keep my van clean at all times, especially the windows.  I make my bed every day so that if anyone peers into my tinted windows, at least it won’t look too obvious that I sleep in there every night.  I’m not sure if I’m fooling anyone or not.  No one says anything about my van.

I told one client/friend that was getting too close that I stay on a friend’s couch.  She doesn’t like it but she hasn’t unfriended me yet.

One day though, I saw someone from an apartment complex where one of my jobs was.  I saw him at the food pantry and to make matters worse, one of the volunteers very loudly asked me if I was homeless right in front of him.  Shortly after that, I lost my client.  I can’t be sure that this is the reason but that same man had proven himself to be a busybody on another occasion so…..

Now I am seeing another man frequently when I go to the soup kitchen.  I also see him a half hour later in his neighborhood.  I hope he doesn’t run and tell my client that I’m a freeloader or worse.  I don’t worry about it though.  What can you do?

PS>  If you are having trouble commenting, you can send your comments to MaureenMartin07@yahoo.com and I will post them.  I don’t know what’s wrong with my comment function here.  Sorry!

Paint your life
happykiddo / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

 

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