30 SEP 2014 :: Valuing my work

Today I have been going through my GOALS Notebook and reorganizing my files there. I am working through this goal setting process and trying to find the best pathway for my situation. As I continue with my efforts, I find myself closer to a weekly "flow" for the things that I need to get done.  I may use my Sundays to review this notebook and plan what needs to be done next. Then I can work those items into my weekly schedules.

I came across my Etsy listing draft...for my artwork. It is hard for me to value my work, especially artwork. I am working out a formula to help me. Estimating the number of hours a project will take, deciding on a reasonable hourly wage, adding the costs of materials and general overhead, is what I have come up with so far. I think original art has extra value, so I have to decide what that translates to in dollars per project.

Art has never been something I pursued as an income source. I always planned to apply it to my writings. Now I am trying to see what I can do with it before I die. I am hoping I will be able to produce at least a decent income (which I am also trying to define). I hope Etsy will help me to achieve that goal.

Throughout my life, my hourly wages have rarely been above the mandated minimums. Each stage of our lives had its own issues and income efforts. Many times I didn't want to make the commitments that would earn higher wages because of the hours required. There is a huge battle in single-parent households, probably in every household: time versus money.

Whoever spends the most time with your children is the one who teaches them their values. If it isn't the parents, it becomes the nanny, the babysitter, the daycare center, the school...the stay-at-home mom contributes more than the wages she might earn with a job. Before I ever had children, before I ever knew what sex was, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. I wanted to find some kind of work that would allow me to do that. My motivation was growing up in an empty home.

I never found a way to make enough money to have a decent life by working at home. I did find out how much help I needed as a single parent and tried to find it in many ways.  I think women latch on to the first man that comes along because they so desperately need someone to help them. It doesn't help the goal of happiness (most of the time), it usually creates a whole different set of problems that are added to the ones you already had. In the end, everyone suffers: mom, kids, and the prospective dad.

The need for stability is one reason I am so focused on home ownership for low-income families...even the homeless.
  • Small housing can create affordable ownership options for low-income individuals and families, help establish small families, and keep them stable as they work through the ongoing challenges home ownership creates, including changing the patterns of crisis and abandonment. 
  • People who are so inclined, who have no family, who want to live in groups, can create coop housing relationships under several housing options, including farms, apartment buildings, and single-family homes.
  • KOA type campgrounds for the homeless can help create the first step toward stability. This offers those who prefer to live outside a better option than the streets or the local missions.
  • Long-term housing for prison reentry programs can help create the supervision and stability that will create a bridge to a new life.
For many years I have been praying for a personal farm property for myself, and separate land for Working Together. One possibility I have been praying about is taking a large piece of land and offering some kind of lease relationship with those who will be involved with Working Together  and our goals of providing food, shelter, and fellowship. I'm not sure it would work, but it is an option to consider. It is based on what I know of sharecropping.  (Please pray for my request of GOD. Thanks.)

I think there are answers for our local, state, national, and global problems, we just have to want to find them more than we want to suffer the current issues or make it a political issue.

All these years I have expected to be the owner of a multi-billion dollar business where everyone is paid the same reasonable wage and has access to the same resources according to their needs and abilities -- not a social service program, but a way to disperse the financial resources to meet all of our needs. In that dream, my hourly wage is currently $15/hour.   :-)