"We all desperately need more insight into what leads to happiness and what leads to pain." ~Pema Chodron

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Amy Childs

Happiness Consultant

july 30, 2015

Moneywise, I’ve been scraping by for a very long time. But since I’m privileged, resourceful and lucky, my life of scraping by is often indistinguishable from a life of luxury.

In many ways I live like a queen. I have time to play, laugh, cry and breathe. I spend a lot of time pondering things that deeply matter to me. I have friends around the world who care about me and who share with me their homes, families and lives. I sleep soundly every night, and wake up every morning inside a body that is refreshed and ready for another go.

But I always wonder when my luck will give out. When will this luxurious, scrappy life come crashing to an end? When will I get caught with no money and no plan? It could happen at any moment and I spend many moments being all too aware of the uncertainty. And my daily readings of Pema Chodron never fail to drive home the message of impermanence. It’s not always a comfort.

Impermanence is real

Impermanence is real

I cope with the ever-present uncertainty by taking life in small chunks at a time. Thinking about scraping by (or not) for the rest of my life feels terrifying at worst and depressing at best, but scraping by for “just for the next six months” makes my good attitude a little easier to maintain, and sometimes almost even seems like a kind of adventure.

I’m at one of those crossroads again now, at the end of the “just a little while” of scraping by I that did while producing my latest unschooling podcast series. So, yet again I find myself approaching another panic point. What’s next? Better hurry up and find out.

Daily chores

Daily chores

To figure something out, I worked on writing a mission statement,
mini mission statement
brainstormed careers that interest me,
new careers
updated my resume,
amy resumeand filled out an application to work at Rite Aid.

rite aid
(Unfortunately the website let me know that I am not qualified to work at Rite Aid because I do not have a year of experience in medical retail. But I put on my Big Girl overalls and sent my application anyway. Maybe they’ll like that I live only a quarter block away. Imagine the value I’d have during a snow storm!)

Then the other day I received this helpful email from LinkedIn letting me know my profile is “missing my education.”

What education you talkin’ about exactly, LinkedIn?

What education you talkin’ about exactly, LinkedIn?

My education has primarily involved decades of trial and error, shenanigans and heartbreak, and learning day-by-day how to scrape by while creating a life nearly indistinguishable from a life of luxury. But I couldn’t find LinkedIn’s button for that.

Hear that LinkedIn? Life is a good teacher.

Hear that LinkedIn? Life is a good teacher.

So after a couple months of grueling feelings, processing and pondering, I’m once again resolved that I’m already doing the thing I am most qualified to do:

Amy Childs, Happiness Consultant
Duties include: Making a good life in this confusing world, while scraping by.
And breathing through the panic.

Still, if you know of a bulldozer that needs someone to drive it (cheap!), have it give me a call.
In the meantime, I’ll keep on keepin’ on.
keep on



Amy Childs | Happiness Consultant

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