Money or Life – I Can’t Seem to Have Both

by Bill on November 28, 2014

Its been awhile since I’ve updated this blog. I apologize for that. I’ve been too damn busy trying to keep myself alive this past year. Lately, since the end of October, I’ve started driving taxi for the third time in my life. Before that I had no job and no real method of gaining any income at all.

I hate both sides of living. The not working and the working too much for nothing.

That, honestly makes me wonder and somewhat understand why people do the crazy things they do for their money. And I have come to realize how quickly people can undervalue themselves in any given situation if they feel they need to.

That, is what made me start writing again. The fact and knowledge that this isn’t just possible for me, but for thousands like me.

Here is what this blog is about, what it was meant for, and what it was supposed to be doing. Life can suck without money. But the problem becomes not in the collecting of money, but in the ways and time spent to collect that commodity.

In the past year I’ve gone from having too much time, and way too little money; to having enough money to sustain minimal standards, with no time left outside of work for much else. There is a life and work trade-off which I do believe many in industrialized parts of the world (including here in the U.S.) have either forgotten or shrugged off without proper thought. A knee-jerk reaction if you can think of it that way. Either take the first few pennies that come rolling to you, or risk waiting longer than you can tolerate for something else that may never come. A fear that nothing else may be coming arises; so therefore you take the crap work just to get by. You take the long hours, low wages, bitterness and lack of any time for personal issues just because there is money on the other end.

I took the job driving cab because, after more than 18 months of trying, I was tired of collecting cans and bottles just to supplement the food assistance I was already using up. Trying to find better work, better paying work that I might enjoy, became a farsighted dream. So now I drive taxi, ten to twelve hours a day, five days a week, for roughly $400 in net income per week. It rounds out to about $8 an hour. Sometimes I make more, and many times I wonder if I’ll get that far. I’ll have to describe it to you some day.

But yeah, that’s my work life right now. Driving taxi for a living; it’s not grand, although people think it’s easy. Is it what I wanted, no, not by a long long way. Does it pay the bills? For the most part yes, but again, I answer that not without hesitation. There are days I wonder if there will be enough for things that keep coming in or piling up.

I’m also living in a situation where most would find themselves leaving in a dash if they could. We, the neighbor and I, are fighting our landlord to get heat and hot water in our apartments. The furnaces gave out multiple times, and there was evidence of a gas leak this last time when the utility company shut down the gas. This is also the second time my furnace has been red-tagged for immediate repair or replacement in the past month. The problem is that I cannot afford to leave here. I’ll fill you in on that story soon too.

So basically this whole writing thing is a way to voice my concerns, problems, and hopefully how I found solutions to the issues. If you find some help along the way through what I’ve said, God bless and I hope it helps enough.

William Swan, writer

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Giving From Nothing

by Bill on July 28, 2014

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Damn It I Need That Nickel

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Living on Nothing Because You’re Supposed To

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Authors Note: this is an unpaid op/ed piece I wrote for the Ithaca Times newspaper which appeared on February 12, 2014. I’m a newly minted public assistance escapee. In other words, I gave up playing their game and decided it was best trying to work out life myself. Why? Because the hoops and barrels you […]

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