Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

On the Road to Debt Freedom

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Total Black: $84.50
Total Red: $231,084.38

I received a beautiful and encouraging comment today.  Definitely helps keep me going knowing that others have managed to get out of debt.  I appreciate too that she acknowledged the hiccups or speed bumps we encounter along the way.  Every seems ready to harpoon you if you’re not willing to give up a “luxury” item or just can’t bring yourself to take a certain action or give up a purchase or something.  As I’ve said many times, people in debt are still people, with weaknesses and needs like all others.

But speaking of speed bumps on the road to debt freedom, one significant speed bump I encountered repeatedly is the interruption of income.  Had I been receiving unemployment benefits, I would have already received my $405 for the week, minus Federal taxes of course.  But now that I started a new job, I won’t get paid until tomorrow.  And since I started the position on Tuesday, I’ll only get paid for four days, of course.  Should this position end abruptly.  It’ll take another two weeks to get back on the unemployment cycle.  Apparently contract attorneys routinely go on and off unemployment.  It makes sense I suppose in that they are unemployed for those stints between jobs.  It just sorta seems a bit odd; somehow I don’t think that’s what unemployment benefits were intended to cover.  At any rate, it’s these income hiccups that really frustrate my efforts.

I haven’t heard back yet from CHEST or New World Stages.  I just sent a letter to the theatre to follow-up with them.  CHEST still has another day before they said they’d get back to me.  One significant complication going forward, and assuming that I get these positions, if a temporary attorney position ends, I won’t be able to sign up for unemployment benefits again because I’ll still have these supplemental positions.  That’s fine though because in A Few Bits of Good News I declared an end to my dependence on unemployment.  I suppose I’ve been taking steps to ensure that declaration comes through.  That’s the catch with declarations.  You can’t go back on them otherwise you undermine your own authority.  And if you’re issuing that ultimatum to yourself, it just won’t do to send a message to yourself that you’re not worth listening to.  So, I guess for the foreseeable future, I’m off unemployment if I can help it.

Another speed bump on this road is mood and keeping upbeat.  It’s so easy to let yourself start sliding, ever so slowly at first, into despair.  Well, it’s not really despair.  I envision despair as something Biblical in nature, like when people gnashed their teeth and rent their clothing and pulled out their hair.  Thankfully, I’ve not come anywhere close to that state.  Nonetheless, it’s very easy to not notice that a few days have passed and you really haven’t left your home.  That you’ve slowly started sliding back into a state of numbness.  Every so often you’re startled when you remember the situation you’re in, the pressures weighing on you, but then you get to slip blissfully back in to oblivion as you sink further into the couch.  A friend of mine encouraged me to get out and volunteer, if only to have something to do during the week.  I hadn’t thought of volunteering just for the sake of it.  I did work for six months at a local prosecution office and that was voluntary, but I did it to learn new skills and then eventually for the potential to gain employment.  Instead, he encouraged me to just get out and do something, but something consistent so that I have something  taking me out of the house at least weekly.  So, it was his advice that echoed in my mind when I spotted the opportunity to be a volunteer usher with New World Stages.  It’s not exactly what he had in mind, but now it may lead to another job—one which I will enjoy because it’s filled with kooky kids and other motley crews, just fun, enjoyable, youthful people . . . and actors, of course.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow.  It’s my first paycheck from the new temp job and I hope to hear back about the two part-time gigs.  I hope my urge to get off the couch, so to speak, doesn’t send me straight to the massage parlor with my check.  I must admit a weakness for massages, especially with the aches and pains brought on by worry and stress.  It’s a great way to just let go for a few hours.  Unfortunately, right now it’s only a short-term gain with serious long-term pains.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

November 18, 2009 at 23:53

One Response

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  1. Hello, my name is James. I too am trying to get out of debt. I’m employed full time and my job pays good for this area. I’ve started a blog about people helping each other become debt/financially free. I’m not selling anything. I don’t make money off of my blog. I’m just trying to meet people looking for ways to obtain financial freedom. I’m also looking for feedback/ideas on the subject. Please feel free to visit http://www.succeedtogether.wordpress.com and leave a comment. Thanks and good luck on your journey to financial freedom.

    James Reddish

    December 29, 2009 at 13:16


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