As it turns out, life does not stop when one is diagnosed with a brain tumor (or any other illness/injury for that matter). Utility bills, car payments, rent or mortgage, medical expenses, these all continue needing to be paid. Groceries, prescriptions, and gas for the car all still need to be bought. There is no “free ride” as they say. Even if you qualify for Medicaid, food assistance, and/or disability, I dare anyone out there to survive, let alone thrive, on that alone. I have tried, and it is a pitiful existence full of anxiety, struggle, and low self-esteem. It was certainly better than nothing, but surviving is NOT thriving.
The world is full of advice such as “Live each day to the fullest” and “Do what makes you happiest” without any real means of achieving those ideals aside from being independently wealthy or “visualizing/manifesting”, um, back to reality please. I assume that those who say money can’t buy happiness have enough money to pay their bills and eat well. While I agree that happiness can’t be bought, it sure does alleviate the stress and anxiety of just trying to get by.
So, while I did quit my job and move to Florida to be with my family as a matter of changing my priorities (as well as a matter of getting away from freezing temperatures!), and I am so fortunate to have my mom and step-dad to live with, alleviating much of my financial burden, there leaves getting a JOB and earning an income.
As many times as I have moved, I still forget how stressful it is to find a job when I get where it is that I’m going. I don’t know about you, but the job searching, resume updating, cover letter writing, and job interviewing kinda sucks. I’ve mostly applied for part time retail/customer service positions, just to earn enough while I am completing an online program in Medical Coding/Billing. Perhaps when my resume is reviewed, the impression is that I am over-qualified? It’s not like there’s a spot to write in, “No, no, I really do want to stand at the register and ring people out for just above minimum wage despite my qualifications to do so much more. You see, I’m still recovering from the shock and anxiety of having a brain tumor, plus I’m taking online classes, and I don’t want a high-pressure full-time office job right now.” Basically, I’m not what they are looking for.
A rather important side note is that stress has been proven to encourage cancer cell growth, something I am REALLY trying to avoid!
Fortunately, a dear friend of mine has hired me for two days a week to complete a short term bookkeeping project for her business. That got me to thinking… with my 15 or so years of small-business bookkeeping experience, coupled with online account access, I could do remote bookkeeping for clients anywhere. After further research, I found that there is a growing profession of people called Daily Money Managers, who, at the least pay bills and balance checkbooks for their clients, which can also be done remotely.
Instead of drafting cover letters and updating my resume for advertised job openings, I am drafting engagement letters and updating my services and fees for potential new clients. Without needing to commute to a job (currently living 20-30 min from anywhere), buy clothes for interviews or workplace, and possibly working longer hours for less pay, I have the potential to work fewer hours with no commute and much less stress, allowing more time to study, to spend with family and friends, and to write.
A friend recently asked if I have a passion for bookkeeping as I usually end up working in that field. I would have previously said no. I mean really, bookkeeping?! Does that SOUND like something to pursue with a passion? The fact is, I am good at it, it comes naturally to me, and I find a great deal of satisfaction in balancing all the accounts. It’s also a great service to others who have either no interest in or actually despise keeping up with their business or personal bookkeeping. So while I may not describe it as my passion, I certainly enjoy the heck out of it.
Sometimes, it really helps to look at something from a different perspective for inspiration! I am creating a career for myself that I can do from home or take with me anywhere. I was trying to figure out how to earn some income writing, but the truth is that I enjoy writing when I feel inspired and not pressured to do so, and that would change if I felt that I needed to earn income by it.
Are you looking for fresh inspiration? Are you pursuing an alternative income-earning solution? Let me know in your comments, we can always use more inspiration from one another!
Thank you for reading my story. More will be revealed…
2 thoughts on “Creating Something New”
We share a very similar story. Dx with a tectal glioma (brainstem) back in 2014. I too was on the dreadful watch and wait approach. After many months of research and soul searching, I made the executive decision to move forward with 6 weeks of conventional radiation last Feb. Completely by choice, matter of fact it was not recommended by 1 top Nuero and recommended by a diff top Nuero. 5 different “second” opinions, all resulted in 3 different answers and prognosis. Due to location, biopsy not a good idea. Prior to dx, I worked as a Comptroller and had other part time jobs as a bookkeeper. Considering the gravity of my medical situation, working “on-site” 60+ hours wasn’t a good fit for my new life. I, like you, had to carve out a new career that offered freedom. I found a huge need for people/businesses looking for bookkeepers. I was able to create an amazing business as a virtual bookkeeper, working from the comfort of my home office. I went from business suits to my new uniform being yoga pants and hoodies, lol. I was able to create an income virtually the same as in my former career. Incredible that life has an extraordinary way of pointing you in the direction of happiness. For me, my route was a brain tumor dx. Best of luck to you. Be well.
Hi Nikki! Thank you so much for your message. I have not been active in the blog-o-sphere for quite awhile now, so have just read your comment. Wow! It’s actually been so amazing “meeting” so many people with brain tumors and hearing the many experiences. I am so glad that you are doing so well!
I have had a tough time as far as the home business goes… I have never been good at going after clients and have trouble staying on task. I am just scraping by, and just got a second job at Starbucks to eventually get benefits.
This brain tumor diagnosis has definitely pointed me in a direction of happiness as well, mostly in the nature of deep gratitude for the people in my life and for every day that I wake up! Thank you so much for reading my blog and for reaching out!! I hope for your continued health and happiness! – Dawn