So! I’ve been pretty busy lately! Stuff, you know. And Things. Lots of Things doing lots of Stuff, and lots of Stuff doing lots of Things. Life’s been kicking into high gear since Midsummer (go figure, huh?), and Lammas gave me time to catch my breath.
That gave me some very necessary processing time. I guess I’ve been a good girl, because all the Stuff and Things are happy. It’s been an embarrassment of riches! But lots of change, too. And for someone who works with the Lady of Change, I’m usually not ok with it in my private life.
Coping with that has also been part of the Stuff and Things.
The Importance of Sacred Work
If I had to choose one label for everything going on this would be it. My current job is simply that: a job. It pays my bills, keeps me in Top Ramen and out of bridge underpasses, and that’s pretty much the best I can say about it. No upward mobility at all, no benefits, boring to the point of tears, co-workers I have to watch my language around, a complete stifling of my creativity, and a huge energy drain that affects my spiritual work when I get off.
In other words, it sucks.
Thing is, though, this is the first time I’ve NOT lived in poverty. I grew up dirt poor, being a starving student through college wasn’t much better, and things hadn’t appreciably improved until I landed this job last year. I’ve been kind of reveling in the fact that most weeks I can both pay my bus fare AND eat. It’s been a revelation to me. I didn’t really comprehend that people could live like that without winning the lotto until I was doing it. And while I know it’s ridiculous I’ve been treating my whole financial life like a very fragile house of cards, scared to breathe too hard lest it all come crashing down.
With all that said I guess it’s understandable that I’ve been resistant to looking for something else. This job, for all its faults, is stable. I’ve lived at the same address for a year now, and there’s currently no pressure to move. This is only like the second time in my life I can say that, and I’m doing it solo. It’s a Christmas Miracle!
However, I work with a Lady who’s kinda stability-resistant. A few months ago I became aware of a quiet throat-clearing in my head. I tried to ignore it, but that never works. She started getting louder and louder, and then the throat-clearing turned into prods, and then the patented Pointed Questions started (which always make me feel stupid, but eh). Through all of that I’ve gradually had to acknowledge that I have reached a new place in my life. I have choices available to me now that I didn’t have before, and that opens up some new possibilities.
One of which is sacred work.
If I sit down and calculate how much time I spend doing things, fully half my waking life is spent either working or in activities directly related to working (like commuting). Half. Everything else I do, including the spiritual work She wants me to handle and all my self-care stuff, has to get handled in the remaining time. And there’s never enough of it to get everything done.
If I blow off work to take care of other matters I get fired, become homeless, and starve. That’s bad, so it’s usually not my first choice. If I do all my spiritual stuff – which is at the expense of self-care – I burn out and get sick. If I take care of myself, my altar looks a mess and I don’t have time to do all the things She leads me to do. Balancing everything means nothing is done to my admittedly perfectionistic standards. There’s no way to win with the current set-up, certainly not without settling for “good enough”.
Which means it’s time to consider other options.
Of the three aspects I’m balancing – work, Service, and self – the most flexible of these is surprisingly work. It doesn’t matter how I pay for my life as long as I manage to do it. So wouldn’t it be a game-changer if my work supported my spiritual life and self-care regimen instead of opposing them? How much easier would balance be to achieve? What doors would that open? How much more energy would I have for everything as a result?
The answer’s pretty clear. My work needs to move from subsistence to sacredness.
My Path to Sacred Work
As of last week I can see a clear path to making that goal a reality. Ultimately it involves picking up and moving back East, and unless things drastically change that’s going to happen. The only thing still up in the air is timing.
I’ve been “asked to apply” for a one-year contract position. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me. The pay is significantly higher than I’m making now, giving me a chance to finally sock some serious money away (for which I already have plans). It’s also more project management experience, and that’s always handy. If I get hired, the current plan is to work the contract, save every penny possible, and then move.
If that falls through for whatever reason, I’ll be moving to the East Coast sometime around Yule. Or in 4 months. That takes away the financial savings part, and the related experience part, but puts me on the ground to get the sacred work thing going almost immediately.
Either way, though, once I relocate I have a chance to engage in sacred work and support myself. I can’t lose for winning. It’s kinda epic.
It’s a scary and exciting time for me, but for the first time I’m not freaking out about it. Yes, it will affect my stability. Yes, I will lose my apartment. Yes, I will be leaving the first city that’s really embraced me, and a part of the country I’ve grown to love, and starting over again in a new place. This will be my SEVENTH cross-country move (which is kinda ridiculous when I think about it), and I finally have something significant to lose by making that choice.
Right now I’m all pins-and-needles about this job offer. I’m trying to simultaneously plan for getting the job and moving next year, not getting the job and moving immediately, and having nothing change at all (because I’m always aware of chickens and counting). My planning is ranging from travel logistics to finances to the small business I’m in the process of starting. Because yes, I’m doing that too.
The thing that makes this possible for me, considering my bone-deep need for routine, is that I have faith. My Lady would not screw me over, would not let me do something that would break me. She wants me to live a life that’s better for me, not worse. One that helps me become the person W/we both need me to be. No matter where I am or what I’m doing She will always be there for me.
Whatever happens, whichever path my life follows, She’s guiding it. When it comes down to it that’s all I really need to know to take the next step.