If you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, you might know that I was a United States park ranger before I moved to Grenada. I was an interpretive ranger, which meant that I worked at numerous sites around Richmond, Virginia creating history programs and giving battlefield tours. It was really awesome.
I struggled so much with the decision to move to Grenada. I loved my job, and I loved my co-workers. It was really fulfilling, and sometimes I got free coffee when I wore my uniform into a gas station. 🙂
Back in 2011, I wrote a really quick post about how the government might shut down and how important it was to have some backup funds. At that time, we ended up being okay. Congress came to a resolution and prevented a shutdown, and work went on as usual.
As you probably know by now, they weren’t so lucky this time around, and I honestly feel so embarrassed for our country. National parks are open pretty much all of the time. I mean, we worked on Christmas Eve. They are meant to be there, open and available, as our nation’s greatest treasures. To me, when you’re looking at the enormously and awe-inspiring Lincoln memorial in D.C. and there are big barriers preventing people from going up to it, it makes everyone in congress look like a bunch of idiots (not like these WWII vets would have cared, since they busted through WWII monument barriers yesterday like ninjas.)
I know many, many more government workers are out of work right now at tons of different departments – hundreds of thousands of them in fact, so it’s not just the park service, but that’s what affects me the most. It just makes me really sad to see my friends, who are so devoted to preserving our nation’s history, have to go into work and sign papers agreeing not to be paid until all of this is over with. Furthermore, rangers are not paid high salaries at all. You would only agree to do that job if you really, truly couldn’t imagine yourself doing anything else, so it’s equally annoying that they aren’t being allowed to do it, even for two days.
I’m sure this nightmare will all be over soon, but more so than ever, I really and truly believe that the only way to make sure you have consistent work, is to work for yourself. I didn’t always feel this way, but the only way I can personally guarantee that I won’t be fired, laid off, or forced to resign in the future is to completely rely on myself and growing my business. That’s exactly why I became self-employed, and why I’ve worked so hard to earn money online. I did everything from taking a blogging class, to spending money to upgrade my blog, and even contracting work so I could focus on growing my brand.
As always, I truly encourage everyone else to go ahead and build that emergency fund right now. It’s too important. Plus, it feels great to be able to sit down, pay your bills, and write a few checks without worrying about overdrafts and owing more money. Your family is too important. You are too important, so go ahead and start saving now! I feel like we’re still in very shaky economic times, and nothing is guaranteed, so do whatever you have to do to get a few months of your income saved away for a rainy day like the ones that are happening right now, today, for so many workers.
What do you think about this shutdown madness?