I think the events in Newtown, CT broke J. and I just a little bit, in unexpected ways. It’s hit both of us in deep ways. It also seems to have steeped into the national consciousness – for now, although the national consciousness is fickle at best. I’m not ready to comment on the gun debate yet because beyond my initial gut reaction I’m forming my own thoughts, because what I really want is wholly unrealistic.
In other news, my personal website was hacked. I consolidated on wordpress a few months ago to make my life a little easier, and in checking out various look and feels I downloaded a few free themes. One of them – Mantra – had an exploit in it. Even though I never used it besides checking it out, just the fact that I had it inactive in my installation meant that I was compromised. My clue was that my ISP was blocking sending my email, saying I was going over limit. Obviously I dont send 150 emails an hour (nobody loves me *that* much) so after digging through some logs I found some unusual activity referencing PHP files in odd subdirectories, which led me to find the hole. Plugged it up and I’ve been cautiously optimistic its gone. But some people – including people who write virus and trojan software – just need to go to hell.
Despite a holiday rush on getting work done for my clients, I started (or re-started) The Wheel of Time series at the end of November. The last book (book 14) is due to come out in January, and I gave up on the series around book 5. Well, I just finished book 6 and have started on book 7. In my idle time, I figured out how many words I’ve read, and I’m almost halfway through the series that has been published so far. I’ve read 1.92 MILLION words thus far, and about that to go. Holy crap, this guy is long winded. And while his writing is decent, ingesting that much literary output has given me a little bit of indigestion.
No school for Annika this week and next, and after Christmas and her birthday we’re going down to Florida for a week. Unfortunately it’s a 6:30 am flight from Baltimore, which means we have to leave at 4am at the latest to ensure we get our car parked, bags checked, and the girls through security in time. Luckily we thought ahead a bit – we bought a couple of cheaper car seats and sent them ahead to Florida, so at least we don’t have to lug around and check in their car seats. Given the fact that we still have several years of car seats in front of us, it seemed a cheap investment. I dont worry about Annika traveling a bit – she’s a pro now, and given her iPad and a snack she’ll be fine. Savita will be the challenge, especially since she’s going to be in our lap. (Reminder to self: bring birth certificate, nobody is going to believe she’s under 2.)
A friend of mine pinged me on security (as in “sense of”) which has stirred up some thoughts. Bottom line, it’s hard for me to feel secure (financially, that is) despite X number in the bank account. X is rarely enough. My anxiety tends to crystallize around that. I dont suppose I’ll feel total security until the house is paid off, college educations funded and we have enough money to retire on. (Which is to say, never. )
It used to be worse. I do think my trip in 2005 helped me shake this sense of the universe as a place of scarcity and shift toward a sense that the universe has abundant opportunities. And to some extent, that’s a shift that’s been permanent. I work for myself, and have done so for almost 6 1/2 years. And for the last six and a half years, at any one point I probably have about a month or two of work booked at any one time in my set of clients. That’s a lot of living on the edge, staring off the cliff. But it does get familiar, and the best I can do is ignore it and realize that more work *will* come up. And it always has. In some ways I’ve become complacent because I haven’t had to hustle for more work, and I’m comfortable with the work life balance that I have. This sort of life isn’t for everybody – it does take a strong stomach at times – but it works for now.
But that sense of insecurity does come up at times. I think the events of Newtown have rattled my sense of security in almost all ways, and because my anxiety needs a lightning rod it goes to money. Numbers are reassuring, numbers are verifiable.