I ended up being an entrepreneur because...well, there wasn't anything else I could actually do. Living in Paradise comes at a cost. No large employers, no real industry and very few well paying jobs.
Those "pillars" of the community that continue to pound on the "tourism" drum, fail to comprehend that most of the jobs created will be seasonal and minimum wage...but I digress...
So I found myself basically unemployable in the last few years - who would pay me $35 per hour for my skills and experience, when a recent business graduate of the local college only costs $18 per hour? Plus they are trainable, whereas I, as I have gracefully matured, find that taking direction is tiresome.
Sometimes there is a thin line between being self-employed and un-employed, the former promising a life of Inspiration and Fulfillment....the latter, twice weekly benefits.
At the moment, both my husband and I are in the fledgling stages of our businesses. "Start-ups" in fact. And ours are sometimes very lean indeed...
So this morning, my husband left for Prince George for a couple of weeks to work as a contractor at the pulp mill, and I am left with a long "to -do" list to keep this boat afloat.
Last year, at about this time, Bob took a contracting job. Similar situation.....except that I was still drinking.
I had tried unsuccessfully to cut down during the summer, but there was always another barbeque, another camping weekend, but I had resolved to really give it a go in the Fall.
And here was the perfect opportunity. Bob was going to be at a "dry" camp, I had lots to do in his absence. I was just starting my online business, and Bob's new invention had just been accepted into an R&D project in Arizona.
So this was it! He packed, and I made a To-Do list.
I would love to write that I made at least 24 hours of not drinking, before I succumbed. But before Bob had even disembarked from the ferry in Vancouver, I had already had a couple of glasses of wine.
Just today, I told myself, I'll buckle down tomorrow....
Well, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.......I don't think I had one day free from alcohol at all.
I did virtually nothing.
How's the website coming? Bob would ask when he phoned, "What did you do today?"...I made sure that I was not slurring when I took his call.....and lied through my teeth about my daily "accomplishments".
The night before he was due to arrive home, I had VOWED not to drink. But I did.
The alarm went off in the morning, but I slept through it. I was supposed to pick Bob up from the ferry terminal at 9, and I woke up at 8.35. I stumbled out of bed, hungover, and I managed to stub my toe on the bedpost, and ripped my toenail right off.
The pain speared through the fog, but I wasted precious moments trying to stop the bleeding.
I arrived at the Ferry Terminal (late) unshowered, sweaty, smelling of stale alcohol, with a blood stained wad of toilet paper around my toe.
Bob didn't say a word as he hugged me.
There were no recriminations or angry words for the work left undone. Even though the project manager from Arizona had finally got hold of Bob in camp, because I hadn't taken the call.
It's a year on, but I still feel such shame. While my husband was putting his life and business on hold to earn enough money to pay the bills, here was I, literally pissing it away.......
People have congratulated me and said nice things to me since I quit the booze. And they've asked me...how do you do it? Isn't it hard?
And yes, sometimes it is. Sometimes, there are the moments when I think...'a glass of wine right now would be lovely'...
In the moments when even the best parts of sobriety don't win over those romantic notions of "just one glass", I transport myself back to that morning, and the feeling of crushing shame, as I tried to explain away why I had let down the person I love more than anything in the world.