No, I'm not going to whine. That's a totally useless, time-wasting, and energy-depleting activity. It also wrenches the soul.
Instead, I want to point out the positives. I'll try to avoid the word 'joy,' although there are a few; I prefer to think of them as challenges well met.
I don't recommend that any single woman of modest means stay in California. Once a bastion of creativity and individuality, it has morphed (beginning with Gov. Deukmejian) into an 'I get mine first, then yours, too' mentality. When I left, I left behind a rented 'home' the size of an inexpensive travel trailer with a bathroom smaller than some shower stalls I've seen... with a rent of $600.
Eventually I fled to Illinois - ten years ago - and have never been happier. I had to do it after I became eligible for SSI and with a small settlement from a work injury (resulting in 4 surgeries). The difference in rent was a real wake-up!
I also found very helpful store clerks...folks in the heartland seem to like to be helpful. I believe that's what has fostered the spirit of volunteerism that seems to be rampant here. When you're not able to work anymore, it's nice to be able to do for others as one can without resenting the time it takes away from earning a living.
Now I live on what it used to cost me in rent...just a tiny tad over $600. After working like the proverbial dog ... probably a sled dog ... for decades, I avail myself of things I paid into -- Social Security, food-stamps, heating/cooling programs. I do volunteer work for my community (generationsofhope.org), wracking my brain monthly to make things of interest to kids from 7-18. (Not easy!) Other times, you'll find me making beads and designing jewelry to supplement my 'income.' (There should be a better word for it, considering that it incomes and outgoes usually on the same day...how about 'ingo'?) You'll find some on the side of this blog soon.
You'll also find a 'donate' button. This will be to help defray the cost of supplies that I use to make items for the kids of GoH, as well as to replace the findings that suck so much out of my decades-of-hoarding collection of end-caps and tiny accent beads when I make them.
As to the 'positives' I promised in the title of this entry...they'll be along quite often. I intend to make hints and discoveries part of many blogs. Here's an example - why buy conditioner if your hair is in good shape except for vexing static electricity? Just pass a fabric softener sheet lightly over your hair and your hairbrush... static gone, and one sheet will last a very long time. Considering you can get a box of them at a dollar store for very little more than that, it's a great savings over a year. I'm not going to turn into a low-rent Heloise, but every little bit helps.