Monday, May 12, 2008

Watermelon, Grapes, and Hope

Watermelon:

Sorry, long one. Decided to play with headers to break it up. :-)  Forgive me?

Today I went grocery shopping. God bless Trader Joe's. Watermelon was much cheaper there.

Only $6.99.

I heard on the radio that in the regular stores, a watermelon is $12.

Needless to say, the only fruit I eat, nowadays, is the frozen kind. Ick. But it's okay in smoothies.

Every time I go to the grocery store, I feel like crying when I leave. *sigh*

See, this whole Bush stimulus shit annoys the hell out of me. As if inflation isn't choking the hell out of me already, Bush pours more money into the economy which practically guarantees more inflation.

At least as far as I understand it.

I think there's a lot of resentment flowing around, because we're working our asses off and not making enough money to keep up. Everyone's feeling it. And I think people are resenting the hand that feeds them because they're not getting fed enough.

Frankly, I feel its pinch. I relate, definitely. 

The Dark Side:

And this comes at a time when I have to make a choice in my piano business: be a "candy" teacher, or keep striving to give the students a quality musical education that will help ensure the future of classical music.

See, there's a guitar teacher in town who tells his students they don't have to practice at all. He says they're busy enough. He's OVERFLOWING with students. And that's fine. He fulfills a service to those who would only receive music under those conditions. I am glad, truly.

My studio tends to practice more than any others. I have several incentives that get the kids practicing. Other teacher expect the same practicing, but it's not so obvious, and they don't rock the boat when they don't get it.

I'm more inconvenient. Inconvenient is not good for business.

And then there's inflation.

And then there's writing. I love writing, and would do it for fun, but what I choose to write has to be a choice driven by what will most likely help pay for groceries.

Hope:

All the self help mumbo jumbo tells you to do what you love, and the money will follow. Frankly, I don't have much choice. The only things I know how to do are things that I love.

Idealism:

So, for me, no more wishy washy trying to look convenient while providing a quality musical education. I'm going to give each student the best thing for them in the long-term, and not worry about inconveniencing the parents. I'll try my best not to, truly. I'm trying every day to make it easier to squish in knowledge and experience without inconveniencing anyone.

But I'm going to teach like the best piano teachers teach. It's what I have to give the world. It's all I have, aside from writing stories.

I'm more excited about teaching than I have been in years. I had a huge breakthrough this spring. I am SO excited to get started on the new year. Even the kids are catching my enthusiasm. We are totally going to rock next year.

I will trust the universe that there are plenty of parents who want quality over convenience, god bless 'em. I have many of them now, actually. A few more would help with the groceries.

And as for writing, I will write what I'm most passionate about, and trust that the money will follow.

It's all we can do, right?

Give the world our best. Put our best out there. Give it everything we've got without holding back.

If we hold back, if we water down our gifts just to make money, then we disrespect them.

I don't know.

Sour Grapes:

I know Bush isn't all to blame. But he's enough to blame where I feel right about saying that Bush is the worst thing that's ever happened to this country in my adulthood. Until him, I didn't realize how good the presidents before him had been. Or adequate, at least.

But I'm not allowing myself sour grapes for putting the best I can do out in the world.

A lot of people do, and they definitely have the right to. I've done it in the past.

But it just makes me crazy, and it makes things worse. So the only sour grapes I'm allowing myself are for Bush.

I can't wait until we have a new President. And dear God, I pray every day he can lead us out of this mess.

Any thoughts?

10 bonus scribbles:

Stephen Parrish 5/12/2008 03:07:00 PM  

Let's see . . .

You pursue your passions. You do your best. You don't like Bush.

You're my kind of blogging buddy.

Aimless Writer 5/12/2008 07:55:00 PM  

Sometimes I think all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and just believe it will work out. I think the stimulas check is a joke. I won't shop with it, it will go on the bills or pay taxes. If he really wanted to do something for us why doesn't he cut gas prices, cut the income tax in half, or something like that? Perhaps I should use the stimulas to buy lottery tickets?
I think Bush came to office with his own personal agenda to get the man who attempted to kill his father and he didn't care how many died for him to succeed. The man's an idiot.
Ooops! was I venting? Sorry! But I feel the pain. NJ has the highest taxes in the nation. Thousands leave this state every week just to escape.

Heather Harper 5/12/2008 11:23:00 PM  

Two cents from an economic conservative/social moderate to liberal...

Regardless of the person or party in power, all we have control over are the choices we make. A politician is not going to make my life better. I am.

It could be much worse.

Have faith. Think prosperous thoughts. Make wise financial choices.

Love. Give. Be at peace.

conley730 5/12/2008 11:24:00 PM  

The stimulus is pretty much a joke. I'll probably be spending mine along with part of my remaining refund on "big boy beds" for the kids. One other thing I deduced from your post is that you're not a Hillary fan! Me either LOL! I'm ready for the election too. Have you seen the bumper sticker that has the date for inauguration day and below that says "The end of an error"? I love it! I'm glad you've decided not to be a "candy" teacher. Your students deserve the best you have to offer them. Keep up teaching and writing and hopefully the money will follow.

Edie 5/13/2008 09:14:00 AM  

I pray he or she can lead us out of this mess too. Ditto what Stephen and Aimless said. This You Tube video by Jeff Cesario on Bush is hilarious.

Karen Olson 5/13/2008 11:26:00 AM  

Well, despite edie's comment, it will most definitely be a HE who will have to lead us out of this. Hillary's got no chance, even if she sweeps the floor with Obama today in WVa. Numbers don't add up.

Whoever it will be will have a huge mess to clean up, that's for sure, but unless we want a Bush third term, there's only one choice.

As for teaching: no practicing?? That's insane. My daughter's violin teacher wants her to practice MORE.

And writing, well, there's the writing. I'm in the middle of writing the first book in my new series and I'm just loving learning about these new characters and plotting it. Exciting times!

Melanie Avila 5/13/2008 04:45:00 PM  

You're not alone, Spy, you're not alone. :)

R.J. Keller 5/13/2008 05:13:00 PM  

RE: Bush.

All I can say is "Amen, sister."

Zoe Winters 5/14/2008 02:07:00 AM  

I hope it's not a republican. This ALWAYS happens when a republican is in office. Not to start an evil debate on politics but i've never seen this with a Dem in office.

Avery DeBow 5/14/2008 05:21:00 PM  

Keep doing exactly what you're doing, because what happens around you matters, but how you deal with it matters even more. Be content, learn to live on the cheap, and when the economy clears up, just think of how much better you'll be able to handle your money.