Christmas, 2013. It has been several years (probably since my Mommy died) since I've had any holiday spirit, at least in regards to decorating. In 2012, Stephen had acquired an artificial tree from his stepmom, as well as more decorations (his dad had been the King of Christmas and there was PLENTY from which to choose). That year, as in years past, I watched him decorate. In 2013, for some reason, I had enough spirit to HELP. So I did. I've suffered enough minor depressions, and Stephen's been witness to enough of my minor depressions, that my HELP with decorating made him very happy. And it certainly didn't make me UN-happy.
In years past, if our finances were tight, we'd limit our Christmas spending, even to the point of filling each other's stockings from one trip to the $.99 store. This year, we didn't let finances rule. We opted to not spend anything, on purpose, because we realized that we were done in NC and it was time to go home. We needed to start downsizing, rather than buying more junk, and start saving in an ING account, as much as possible, as soon as possible, as regularly as possible, to reach a specific financial goal by June of 2014.
We started by listing Stephen's books and comics on Amazon. Things immediately moved! We went into his dad's attic and found a BUNCH of very old dolls that his dad's mother had collected or home-crafted over the years, and I created a store for those on ebay. Things immediately moved! OMG! Selling and shipping stuff is easy, and actually kind of fun. And while the CA EDD tells me that I must still apply for two jobs a week to continue collecting UI, managing our two stores has become my job.
Since most of the "work" I was applying for was actually film industry stuff, both local and in Los Angeles, Stephen put in for a transfer at his job. He told them he'd have to move because of MY work. Not a complete and utter lie, but it's very possible that he'll get transferred in a specific timeframe (because the new store needs him in that timeframe) before I book an LA-based Scripty gig. Doesn't matter. June is our real deadline. We're not questioning the "how" - we're simply "putting it out there" that the "what" is "get home to Los Angeles" and we're taking action as we're being led.
In the last year and one-half, we have left the industry and town that we love, because we knew we were needed here. We've learned that it is NOT cheaper to live elsewhere. We've learned, or we are still learning, how to downsize. We've learned how to be disciplined with our time. We've learned how to be disciplined with our money. We've co-grieved and recovered. We've listened to our hearts, and to each other, and to the voice of God. Coming to North Carolina was not a mistake. It was a re-boot. For Stephen, who had become a bit jaded with LA, it was a hard-boot-because-the-system-crashed. For me, it was just a log off. Now I'm logged back on. We've run the antivirus; we've cleaned the registry; we've deleted the unnecessary programs. We're at 85% of the financial goal, and we have almost three months to acquire/save the remaining 15%. This is SO doable.
The reason I've titled these "Faith in the Big Picture" is because we are people of Faith. We don't believe that there's NOT some larger-than-us entity guiding things. We don't care if you believe in Universal Energy but profess no faith in "God." People of Faith are People of Faith. We would NOT have done the things we have done in the last year and one-half if we had no Faith. Even if we HAD come to NC, without Faith, all we'd be NOW is MISERABLE. It is because we have Faith that we can KNOW that we are doing what is meant to be done, by us, in this place and time.
Thank you for reading this whole thing. It's pretty heavy, I know. But it needed to be said, and I needed to say it. Please feel free to comment, if you are so inclined.