356. Battleship Dreams

Laundry and other house-work and shifts on taking care of Jay, and it all made me think about whether or not a way to a ‘better life’ is together? I mean, with a business Char and I do together?

Yeah, yeah, our lives are relatively good, aren’t they? We’re not begging on the streets in Mogadishu. Right.

So useless comparisons aside, what would be good to change? Well, business for once. In the years up to Jay’s birth Char and I tried to create a so-called lifestyle business on the side – doing a website about Inca History and Peru.

Income sources from that site might be affiliates, advertisements, travel consulting, tailor-made guide-books and the like.

I think we went at it on and off for 3 years all in all, and it never really got off the ground. And then Jay came.

What happened? Well, aside from family illness and stress, we worked – or looked for work. And had other creative projects, for my part, that I tried to figure out how to prioritize.

There was always something … and so it never got off the ground and now I never think it will. But it would be nice if it had. Or would.

I would love to do such a business with Char, even if it only covered half our expenses. I would love to make it big enough to live from entirely. I would love to make it even bigger and give a surplus to a project – say for homeless children – in Peru or Bolivia where we both have traveled, worked and lived.

I would love that.

And Char has said she’d like to continue when Jay starts in daycare if she has not found a new job yet.

Well …

Even under the ‘best’ of circumstances, where she does not find another job for, say, a year and so has all this spare time, I’m afraid this will go the way it has previously:

Whenever one of us have been unemployed we have thought more about finding a job, stressed about it, worked on it, fretted about it, talked about it – than we have worked on Inca websites and businesses.

I think I have pushed it more, but Char has admitted that she is concerned first with finding a steady job and wants this to be her base income in years to come.

So no chances, and difficulty in tuning out stress.

I have a hard time accepting this, I feel. But I must.

I said I wanted a business together and “together” is the keyword. If Char has different priorities, if this is something secondary to her that she has difficulty in focusing on because of Other Things – then that is how it is.

It now we have a little other named Jay and his needs, including our need to make some money quicker than if we build up an asset like a website for a business over, say, 3 years.

We can still do it, sure. In our spare time – but there are all the other spare time priorities, like Char’s rowing club where she is very active. And the unforeseens – from Jay, from family illness, from life’s curves.

I don’t think Char will prioritize this, really. Maybe in the beginning when she is only using the first few months of her insurance (the same semi private/public unemployment insurance scheme I got money from the summer of 2015 and until February 2017, with a few breaks to do short term work). It lasts 2 years – that’s what you pay for. Then you are on your own.

Generous compared to other countries, yes, but time passes quickly and the job market is very competitive in Char’s niche which is funding for humanitarian or social NGOs, primarily.

I will have to wait and see what she chooses. This is a different time, but I can imagine that the distractions from Jay (not just when he is home from day care), from the stress of finding a steady job and from All The Other Things … they will win.

And I won’t be pushing too hard, although I’d really love to see this outcome – that she got a huge chunk done in the first, say, 6 months. If she looks like she is prioritizing that I’d prioritize it, too. And I’d let her know beforehand that I am willing to risk less business, as long as our savings still hold. And then do this with her. I have let her know such a view before.

But I don’t think it will go this way. And I have to accept that. I think she will dabble a little and then … the Distractions.

It is okay. I love her. I love what we have together – all the rest. But I would really love for us to have this, too.

Not just to be able to better afford to pay someone to do our laundry every day, or live in a bigger place. Not just that.

Because it feels good – the idea of having our own business that has to do with a topic we are passionate about, and which might make a difference – very concretely, if we generate a surplus.

So I guess what I will have to do is to find a place for that dream. It should be like one of the old battleships – they are now museum ships but by law there is kept enough of the old shells around to reactivate them for service if need be. Or so I’ve read.

So maybe we can do this another day and win that battle to get it done.

But I will be realistic for now. And a good partner.