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  • Christine Shuck

She Lives!

Updated: Mar 24

Folks, it's been a journey. But I think, possibly, that I am back up and running again. And boy oh boy, have there been changes - personal and, frankly, world-scale - in the past few weeks.


Website Failure

The first big news is one you may have noticed, my web hosting has changed. After being a dedicated GoDaddy client for years and paying them to handle my web hosting as well as my domain names, I encountered a series of problems during a standard update two months ago that meant that my website simply did not work, not at all.


After hours on the phone and through web chat, the problem remained, it was clear that GoDaddy no longer felt the need to support their customers as they once did and I decided to find something else. So here I am, at Wix, and beginning again.


It's a learning curve, so expect that things will change, a lot, as I mess with it in the weeks and months to come.


The Virus That is On Everyone's Lips

Okay, well, it isn't on everyone's lips in a physical (at least I hope not) sense, but you get my drift. I've been obsessively checking news reports, the Coronavirus Dashboard that 17-year-old Avi Schiffmann created, and basically hunkering down like the rest of the world.


I have joked that, as an introvert, I'm living my best life ever. Being told to NOT go out? It's like telling my husband to go take a nap. That man was a cat in his former life, I'm sure of it.


In any case, while much of my life hasn't changed, in some aspects everything has changed.


When we first started hearing reports of the virus ramping up, we were in England, walking, sightseeing, and eating meal after meal of scrumptious food. I'll be honest, I didn't take it seriously. It felt like fear-mongering on a global scale, and I blamed the media for being sensationalist and found myself amused each time I saw a person walk by with a face mask in place. They were few and far between.


By the time our international flight touched down in Minnesota, however, with our phones blowing up with panicked messages from family and friends asking if we had made it back in time (Trump had just announced he was going to restrict air travel in), the panicked buying sprees of toilet paper (what the hell, guys, why the sudden obsession with toilet paper?), and finally the announcement that Disneyland was closing - I finally woke up and became concerned.


Financial Apocalypse

It didn't help that we came back and needed to get the cars inspected and re-registered right away. I had put it off before leaving, and suddenly it really needed to get done. And as always, things had to be fixed in order to pass inspection. $1,800 later, both of our Honda vehicles were able to pass inspection and the problems with them were fixed.


Along the way, I was juggling a seemingly endless series of cancellations on Cottage West, our Airbnb. Just on the cusp of the busy season, we were now looking at mid-July before any guests would arrive. It was a tough pill to swallow, let me tell you! I issued everyone full refunds, however, because I believe in treating others how I want to be treated. And I run a business - crap like this is part of running a business. If I can't handle economic downturns, I probably shouldn't be in business! So that meant we were down by a minimum of $1300 for the month.


And speaking of business, the unexpected financial wallop came from my cleaning business. Everyone was terrified of contact with others, especially me since I had been overseas. And did I mention that most of my clientele are seniors and/or immunocompromised? Yep, that really did it. I earn around $2k per month on cleanings, so believe me, COVID19 has hit our financials HARD in the past few weeks.


After nearly fifteen years of running my cleaning business, and after watching my client list fall from over a dozen to TWO individuals, I realized that I needed to move to something that absolutely would continue to make me money even in times of viral lockdown.


I didn't have to look far. In fact, I sent off three job applications and two responded with offers. Both are conditional on background checks, but it looks as if I will begin working from home in a full-time customer service position for Amazon beginning in mid-April. Being able to telecommute will be fantastic (this introvert's dream come true). I'm not sure what my hourly schedule will be, but depending on what it is, I may actually keep a few of my cleaning clients if I can swing it. Who knows?


Cleaning houses has been amazingly good money. I loved my clients and will miss them dreadfully. I'll also be working three times as many hours for only about $400 more per month, BUT it will be solid income, without the ups and downs and fear of another round of viral shutdowns. And when managing multiple streams of income, it makes sense to diversify.


And the Writing?

Yep, I'm working on that as well. Not as much as I should, nor nearly as much as I would like to be, but there has been some forward progress. In this new world, I recognize that 1) I may never make a living at writing, but I can make some money at it, and 2) It will take a while for me to get settled (once again) into a schedule.


Especially since I just learned that I start my new job on Monday. Ack!

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