Photo: I wonder which thing God made first: Autumn or New England? Either way, they are made for each other. They are perfection. Autumn and New England are that perfect couple from college that are gorgeous and smart and fun to be around and you secretly hope they’ll break up but they totally make it all the way and have the best wedding ever the summer after graduation. You watch the fairy tale unfold in awe and can’t help but be happy because, damn, it’s just so beautiful. That’s Autumn in New England. Long-standing, undeniable, makes you jealous, can’t stop staring, want it all for yourself, almost achievable perfection.
It hasn’t been an ideal week, Dear Reader. I’m sitting here on a Wednesday night knowing that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
I started my week with poor business news. One of the web designers I freelance for lost a major client over the weekend. Less than ideally, she didn’t tell me about it until Monday evening, when I heard directly from the client. I was supposed to be interviewing an employee this week and I get this email saying, “haven’t you talked to [designer]…?” I sent the designer a text and she called me right away. Her first question was, “how did you find out?”
T’was not a good moment.
Without getting too much into the details, I’m sitting here feeling blue about it. I thought we’d finally landed a client who was going to give some significant, steady income to my freelancing. I was going to have enough to pay for my story coach and do other stuff I really want to do. Now, I’m back to where I was. Moreover, we aren’t going to be able to find a client to replace that income until probably January. Companies aren’t making major commitments and purchases for services like mine right now.
I’m frustrated by the freelance roller coaster. I think I’m also unhappy with myself and how much I’ve relied on others to find clients and get these commitments. I’ve learned my lesson… I spent yesterday seriously unhappy about it and today taking action. In January, I hope to launch a new model for my freelancing business that works better for me.
So that’s trouble one, with hopeful endings but still unresolved.
Trouble two has to do with my eldest. My day started with my first of three teacher conferences this week (two more tomorrow), telling us about Major’s progress (good news and concerning news, of course). He is fine… but first grade is challenging. I’ll keep some of my feelings for my Quiet Thoughts on Friday, but I left today’s meeting feeling a bit like I’m not honoring Major’s brain, and failing him by not being able to provide him the type of education that would really allow him to thrive. We’ve got two more meetings tomorrow. Typing those words makings me feel anxious and unsure.
Trouble three came this afternoon. I walked down to the basement to get a much-deserved beer and noticed a chemically smell. The Husband worked from home today, so I figured he was tinkering in the basement and sprayed something. “Nope,” he said. I told him the basement smelled funny, so he should go and check it out. A few minutes after stepping down there, he said, “it smells like oil.”
Yup, our oil tank is leaking. Because of course. It’s not a huge leak, but it’s a leak, and you can’t repair leaking oil tanks. We’re going to have to get it replaced. The worst part is that our tank is pretty full because of the very warm autumn so far, and we don’t know what’s going to happen to all the oil we have in our tank (it’s like $300 worth of oil. Not a small bit. It could last the better part of November and into December if the weather stays how it is).
We don’t know how old the tank is, but it’s pretty old. Two years ago, our oil service guy warned me in passing that we would probably have to replace it soon. I thought he was trying to upsell me, frankly. It’s an old black tank, a touch rusty, but nothing seemed wrong with it. Well, here we are. I suppose I should say a prayer of thanks for it being now, while the weather is still good, and not during the depth of winter when it would be down right impossible. And it’s not a catastrophic flood of oil. It’s a drip at the moment. At the moment.
The Husband and I have a lot of phone calls to make in the morning. The first being to see if we can/should, finally, maybe jump ship and just get natural gas. Last time we ventured down this path, the natural gas company said we were too far from the street for a hookup and that it would cost us about $10,000 to bring a pipe to the house. The Husband wants to know if maybe that number has changed. I laughed, thinking it probably has, by going up. Furthermore, switching over to natural gas turns a $2000 fix (already so much money… miserable… don’t even want to think about it… so close to Christmas, too… augh) into a more than that fix. Because we’d have to purchase a new boiler, too. Why oh why.
Homeownership is… totally worth it. But Lord, when stuff happens, it’s never small. I’m grateful for the blessing of relatively good timing… but I pray for mercy on our poor little budget. I love this house, though. Even the dang oil tank.
As for the rest of it… sigh
Challenging weeks happen. It’s no fun, and it certainly makes me anxious. There is so much going on and this feels unnecessary. However, I see that growth requires a push from time to time. I’ve been letting freelancing happen to me rather than taking initiative and doing more to make it worth my time. For Ursa Major and this excellent education, we’ve come a long way (many of you Dear Readers have been with us for all of it). I can’t let 1st grade make us turn back on all of it. Everybody at the table is going to have to learn some flexibility: me, Major, and his new teacher. We’ve all got work to do. Because, ultimately, all of this work must be worth something.
Will I have Quiet Thoughts on Friday or will they be screams of anguish as I find out the full and actual cost of my new oil tank? This might be a good time to remind you that I’m a Stitch Fix affiliate, no? Help a sista out, for reals! lol Lordy.
See you Friday for Quiet (sobbing) Thoughts.