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Stop the COVID-19 Train......I WANT TO GET OFF!

clipped_wings

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How are you doing @clipped_wings?
2 APRIL

Hi @Pushka and hello all. Thank you for showing me how supportive our AFF community is. The last week has been, to say the least - enlightening. Turns out I can go to bed weighed down by pressure and negativity....and wake up full of promise and optimism. If the day deteriorates into sadness again - I just have to wait for the next morning to see it with fresh eyes. It's not quite Groundhog Day, but more a race track that becomes easier to navigate each time I run it. Hope that makes sense.

There are some things I must be pragmatic about. Basic things. Such as laundry, making the beds, food shopping etc. I go into auto mode and just get them done.

Then there is the stuff I dread: Negotiating the mountain of documentation that our bank seems to require in order to offer any COVID19 assistance. Centrelink has requested 100 points of identity in person, but isn't welcoming walk-ins. They are also NOT picking up the phone at any hour and their website crashes when you try to make an enquiry. I have no choice but to front up on their doorstep and take my place in line with every other poor soul. I have applied for jobs everywhere and it's heartbreaking to see an empty inbox in my SEEK profile. I now have so much empathy for older Australians looking for work - I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be among them......but maybe this is an important part of my journey and I have to walk this walk to become a better person.

Other "chores" are my Nirvana and I approach them with great anticipation - gardening, cooking - even testing the pool water. I will see a family of rainbow lorikeets land in a tree and chatter happily. Then there's our two resident water dragons - Big Kev and Son of Kev. They sidle up to the window and wait for me to throw them something delicious. Sorry boys, I am all out of wasps and huntsmen spiders....

Kev is such a blokey name. I'm not even sure what sex they are. But they look like Kevs. Once, a juvenile bush turkey decided to settle in our yard. I named it Ralph. Ralph became part of the family and would circumnavigate the house before tapping on a window to let us know he was hungry. Everyone told me "DON'T FEED THEM!" But I was in love and bought the best quality chook feed I could find.

Turns out Ralph was a girl. But the name stuck and she enjoyed a whole season with us before departing for a new life with the flock down the road.

Even our two kelpie dogs (Indy and Zero) give me a reason to smile. They don't care about COVID19. Or social distancing. Or unemployment. They love us unconditionally. As long as we are scratching their nuzzle, or throwing the ball - they are in pure Heaven.

Simple moments seem to reset my emotional compass.

Good news this week: The battle with our landlord has (thankfully) been resolved. After some lengthy phone calls and a well-timed reference to contacting A Current Affair - we were granted full permission to vacate our huge factory unit for something smaller and more cost-effective. This was a well deserved celebration for me as I had taken on Goliath and triumphed. Mr Clipped calls me the Squeaky Wheel.

So I guess the week has given me perspective, while still taking from me. It's going to be like this for some time.

But here's my lightbulb moment: Every single AFF member here has been impacted. The common denominator of why this forum exists - is air travel. And in the absence of that air travel - all of us are clinging to hope that our livelihoods can return to a semblance of normality once this horrible chapter is done. I am not the only one suffering and I send kind thoughts and warm hugs to you all.

In the meantime, here is my thought for the day:

Perspective for anyone who lives with an autistic person:
What an advanced model they are! NO touching, NO physical contact, stay away from their "space bubble" and don't even THINK about kissing or hugging them.
My boy is ahead of the pack I tell you. He's been practicing social-distance his whole life. Right now his world is AMAZING, because (finally) - everyone else is taking his cue.
Who'd have thought his lifestyle could save the world!


Bye for today xx
 

serfty

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Bye for today xx
Have you investigated "Boosting Cash Flow" for business and "JobKeeper"? If you were doing PAYG for yourselves and have put a BAS or 2018/2019 tax return in since July then you should be eligible for the former; with the latter, you'd certainly certainly be eligible.
 
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Pushka

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Have you investigated "Boosting Cash Flow" for business and "JobKeeper"? If you were doing PAYG for yourselves and have put a BAS in since July then you should be eligible for the former; with the latter, you'd certainly certainly be eligible.
And the criteria has been reviewed a little since the first announcement.

 

Denali

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Re Jobkeeper. Employers need to register your interest and here is some information on what is known so far (as its not legislation yet)

Info as at about 6hrs ago, as info constantly changing/being updated
 
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But here's my lightbulb moment: Every single AFF member here has been impacted. The common denominator of why this forum exists - is air travel. And in the absence of that air travel - all of us are clinging to hope that our livelihoods can return to a semblance of normality once this horrible chapter is done. I am not the only one suffering and I send kind thoughts and warm hugs to you all.
It's so true. And big hugs back to you and yours.

I'm lucky in so many ways - I have a lovely house with no mortgage, and I have a small business and I have worked from home for many years, so I know how to do that. However, for the first time since I started business in 1996, I have absolutely no work in my diary for the rest of 2020 and beyond. I guess the clients will eventually come back. I'm almost 60 and was thinking of retiring soon and travelling the world. I will get to do half of that pretty soon I'd say.

My young adult son lives and works overseas in the UAE. I won't be seeing him any time soon now. And the UAE is a country that blocks technology like FaceTime, Messenger, What's App so no video calls. A mistaken 20 minute phone call cost $280 so no joy there either. But my darling daughter lives in the same city, so if we can navigate the "stay at home" rules, I might get to hug her.

We worked hard and saved for our self funded retirement. My husband has already retired and we were so thrilled to be self funded retirees. That is until we lost a massive amount on the share market, and our tenants are either Chinese students or small businesses that want us to be lenient on their rent. Again, luckily we don't have investment loans. But their rent was our income, along with the dividends that are being paused or scaled back. We don't meet the criteria for any of the government supports so far. We will be OK, but my wings are also clipped @clipped_wings. Thanks goodness we have good health at the moment.

We are all in this together. Everything is connected to everything, and everyone to everyone. I know so many people have it worse than I do, and I am sending my love to your all. Thanks for sharing. It makes it easier for me to acknowledge my own struggle to cope with this whole COVID thing. I too want to get off the train.
 

clipped_wings

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Have you investigated "Boosting Cash Flow" for business and "JobKeeper"? If you were doing PAYG for yourselves and have put a BAS in since July then you should be eligible; with the latter, you'd certainly certainly be eligible.
Thanks @serfty , you are a constant beacon in my AFF world and I know you are a person of great insight. I have pursued every angle I can, to take advantage of the benefits afforded to Sole Traders. Yes, we report quarterly and our accountant is assisting us to stay afloat. She is worth her weight in gold (like a good butcher or hairdresser......when you find a great one - STICK to them).
The biggest stumbling block is creating a Centrelink profile and account. It's the only way they can assist you and it's bloody hard to do. I am not one to shy away from a challenge though and shall keep chipping away to save our business, our home and our family. Hopefully it will be October before we all know it.

Mr Clipped is currently laughing while watching Fun with Dick & Jane. His voice goes up an octave or two when he laughs. This movie is so fitting, given that it represents our very situation right now. The scene when he is wearing the synthesizer suit is making my sides hurt. Gotta love Jim Carey.
 

clipped_wings

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It's so true. And big hugs back to you and yours.

I'm lucky in so many ways - I have a lovely house with no mortgage, and I have a small business and I have worked from home for many years, so I know how to do that. However, for the first time since I started business in 1996, I have absolutely no work in my diary for the rest of 2020 and beyond. I guess the clients will eventually come back. I'm almost 60 and was thinking of retiring soon and travelling the world. I will get to do half of that pretty soon I'd say.

My young adult son lives and works overseas in the UAE. I won't be seeing him any time soon now. And the UAE is a country that blocks technology like FaceTime, Messenger, What's App so no video calls. A mistaken 20 minute phone call cost $280 so no joy there either. But my darling daughter lives in the same city, so if we can navigate the "stay at home" rules, I might get to hug her.

We worked hard and saved for our self funded retirement. My husband has already retired and we were so thrilled to be self funded retirees. That is until we lost a massive amount on the share market, and our tenants are either Chinese students or small businesses that want us to be lenient on their rent. Again, luckily we don't have investment loans. But their rent was our income, along with the dividends that are being paused or scaled back. We don't meet the criteria for any of the government supports so far. We will be OK, but my wings are also clipped @clipped_wings. Thanks goodness we have good health at the moment.

We are all in this together. Everything is connected to everything, and everyone to everyone. I know so many people have it worse than I do, and I am sending my love to your all. Thanks for sharing. It makes it easier for me to acknowledge my own struggle to cope with this whole COVID thing. I too want to get off the train.
Oh I wish I could share a coffee with you! How sad to know you are separated from your children. It doesn't matter how old they are - they are still your kids. From your post - I have already realised my good fortune. I have 3 kids still here to hug every morning and one not far away. My heart goes out to you as I know no amount of money or income could substitute for what I have in front of me each day. Thank YOU for making that very clear xx
 
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Oh I wish I could share a coffee with you! How sad to know you are separated from your children. It doesn't matter how old they are - they are still your kids. From your post - I have already realised my good fortune. I have 3 kids still here to hug every morning and one not far away. My heart goes out to you as I know no amount of money or income could substitute for what I have in front of me each day. Thank YOU for making that very clear xx
well, when this is over, let's do just that! I can travel then! And so can you!

I do miss my son so very much. He's lived away for many years to follow his dream career, and when he moved to UAE (after time in the Netherlands and the UK), I was so excited. Much closer, Qantas tie up with Emirates and Dubai as the hub - all good. Not so much now. Oh well. A friend of mine with an absent son also reminded me to count the blessing that we are not sending our boys to war the way mothers (and fathers) did in 1914, 1939, Korea, Vietnam etc. He's away, but not being shot at.
 
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Pushka

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Thanks @serfty , you are a constant beacon in my AFF world and I know you are a person of great insight. I have pursued every angle I can, to take advantage of the benefits afforded to Sole Traders. Yes, we report quarterly and our accountant is assisting us to stay afloat. She is worth her weight in gold (like a good butcher or hairdresser......when you find a great one - STICK to them).
The biggest stumbling block is creating a Centrelink profile and account. It's the only way they can assist you and it's bloody hard to do. I am not one to shy away from a challenge though and shall keep chipping away to save our business, our home and our family. Hopefully it will be October before we all know it.

Mr Clipped is currently laughing while watching Fun with Dick & Jane. His voice goes up an octave or two when he laughs. This movie is so fitting, given that it represents our very situation right now. The scene when he is wearing the synthesizer suit is making my sides hurt. Gotta love Jim Carey.
With JobKeeper, if you are eligible, you don't need to touch Centrelink.
 

serfty

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With JobKeeper, if you are eligible, you don't need to touch Centrelink.
In fact, you need to keep paying yourself(s), even if it's only $750 (each?) per week ... somewhat more than Centrelink may provide ...
 
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Dear Clipped Wings.
Afraid I am a late arrival here ...
I started reading from the top and was drawn to your story initially as I went through LAX 12 Jan on way for a few weeks skiing in Colorado and Utah.
Had also heard about that problem in China, but that wasn't going to spoil our holiday. News about the "Aspen set" would only come through much later.
After US skiing, which was brilliant, we spent 3 weeks in Japan. We also noticed (all of a sudden for us) on our SFO-HND flight 30 Jan that most Japanese were wearing masks. Then on the flight from Haneda to Sapporo CTS we were conspicuous as not wearing a mask.
2 more weeks skiing and a week in Kyoto, wondering a little about being there when it was obvious many tourists were staying away, especially the Chinese.
We headed home late Feb.
Wow, did we ever time our travel right, and we feel fortunate now relatively safe at home with no ill effects and abiding by the restrictions.

I can't add practical advice about government benefits etc, but was listening to my favourite concert (that I wasn't at in person) online tonight while I read your story. Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris "Real Live Roadrunning".
Full concert here ... Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Real Live Roadrunning - YouTube
It is rather long.
There are many sublime tracks like Romeo and Juliet, but thinking of your son you could start towards the end at track 14 So Far Away, and let it run through the encores.
 

JohnM

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I can't add practical advice about government benefits etc, but was listening to my favourite concert (that I wasn't at in person) online tonight while I read your story. Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris "Real Live Roadrunning".
Full concert here ... Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Real Live Roadrunning - YouTube
It is rather long.
There are many sublime tracks like Romeo and Juliet, but thinking of your son you could start towards the end at track 14 So Far Away, and let it run through the encores.
I hadn't seen that concert before. Great stuff!

Thanks for the link. :)
 

Fifa

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I have only just come across your thread.
Thank you, @clipped_wings for sharing you diary with us.

Best wishes to you and your family. Even though I have never met you in person I'm sending lots of hugs your way and I hope to meet up at an AFF event some time in the very near future 💕.
 

boomy

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Thanks for sharing your story @clipped_wings

Tough times for everyone no doubt. My +1 and I also can’t work and found ourselves doing something we never imagined in our worst nightmares, applying for Centrelink.

This is going to be challenging year both financially and mentally but we are all in this together. I’m glad to see AFF playing it’s part as platform to share stories and get support
 

clipped_wings

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There are many sublime tracks like Romeo and Juliet, but thinking of your son you could start towards the end at track 14 So Far Away, and let it run through the encores.
How wonderful! Dire Straits was a special part of my music collection. Thank you for sharing :)

3 APRIL

Well, Friday came and went. And I am actually smarter for having lived it. For example, I found out today that Mr Clipped will keep his SG status until 2022. Not a bad achievement when you consider the closest he will come to a airplane in the next 12 months, is driving past Mascot.

Our work day was spent mostly packing up boxes and condensing a 270sqm factory for a 50sqm storage unit. Hard yacca if you don't have the gumption. There's no time for emotional or sentimental moments. You either throw it, or stow it. Perhaps the hardest thing was scrapping the thousands of job sheets we kept. No legal reason to save them, but it was an immense collection of personal achievement. It's like going through a box of old photos. You end up sitting on the floor, marvelling at your early triumphs, and cringing at the Big Jobs that got away. Every job sheet told a story. And ours was a pretty great read.

We started our business in 1993, long before Windows/MYOB or Quickbooks. Everything was hard copy. We'd both worked for a large sign firm for many years and had finally decided to jump ship: into mortgage, a new business and a new baby all in the same year. Then we threw in another baby and marriage for good measure.

We had no idea what we were thinking. In those days, we worked 24/7 and carried our infants everywhere we went. In a capsule. Our first born has the dubious honor of scaling more extension ladders in her first year of life than most people will in their lifetime. I'm pretty sure that would be illegal now, but for us it was a way of life. Every sign was hand painted. Including the lofty walls of office blocks. I would climb down the ladder and find somewhere to breastfeed while Mr Clipped painted. Then, he would babysit while I painted. The only time we could afford a fancy vinyl-cutting computer, was when I scratched $5000 in 1996 on one of those Lottery Scratchies. I'd bought it from the newsagent and gave it to our toddler as she sat in the shopping trolley while I (now 8 months pregnant again) bought groceries. She had sucked all four edges, so it was all soft and slimy when I finally sat down in the mall to rest my (very swollen) feet. I scratched to see three $5000's smiling at me and my first thought was that I was on Candid Camera. Trembling, I approached the newsagent and meekly asked in my quietest voice "um, excuse me....is this a winner?"
The rest is history. We used the money to purchase a brand new Roland Plotter and CAD software. Business took off with a solid reputation for quality, honesty and integrity. Two more tin lids followed, before a relocation to the Central Coast to find care for our autistic son, who was diagnosed as profoundly disabled in 2003. Our association with the Canterbury Bulldogs had also came about the same time. Mr Clipped was a Born&Bred Doggies fan and was one day asked to do a quote at the Leagues Club. He was more excited at being in the Inner Sanctum, than he was about the tender! One job led to another and soon he was the preferred supplier. We gave back with sponsorship in 2012 and formed a mutually productive relationship that continues to endure. There's nothing like putting up your own company sign at Belmore Sports Ground when the team is training!

It was the most fabulous 25 years, but we never once lost sight of why we chose to be self-employed: our kids. Every first step, every first word, every school concert and excursion. We were there for all of them. I did tuck shops, Mr Clipped would chaperone the bus trips to zoos, Luna Park - wherever. We donated our time and signage to a variety of school endeavors and I still to this day - volunteer at the annual Fair by the Sea as a face painter. Mr Clipped still hangs the banners around town. Our special son received intervention and flourished to become an adorable and participating member of our family. He recently graduated from High School with a (special edition) HSC certificate. And he still melts my heart.

I put the job sheets in the bin and reflected what an amazing roller coaster it has been. We got way more out of it than we put in.

That kind of investment and return is without quantification. You can't trade it. You can't buy it back. Once it's gone, it's gone. I said at the beginning of this post that I was benefiting on an intellectual level. That is because I continue to learn things about myself that I was previously ignorant to.

Pooh Bear said it best: I am stronger than I thought. Braver than I believed. And smarter than I knew.

We are without income. We are not without riches.
 

I love to travel

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How wonderful! Dire Straits was a special part of my music collection. Thank you for sharing :)

3 APRIL

Well, Friday came and went. And I am actually smarter for having lived it. For example, I found out today that Mr Clipped will keep his SG status until 2022. Not a bad achievement when you consider the closest he will come to a airplane in the next 12 months, is driving past Mascot.

Our work day was spent mostly packing up boxes and condensing a 270sqm factory for a 50sqm storage unit. Hard yacca if you don't have the gumption. There's no time for emotional or sentimental moments. You either throw it, or stow it. Perhaps the hardest thing was scrapping the thousands of job sheets we kept. No legal reason to save them, but it was an immense collection of personal achievement. It's like going through a box of old photos. You end up sitting on the floor, marvelling at your early triumphs, and cringing at the Big Jobs that got away. Every job sheet told a story. And ours was a pretty great read.

We started our business in 1993, long before Windows/MYOB or Quickbooks. Everything was hard copy. We'd both worked for a large sign firm for many years and had finally decided to jump ship: into mortgage, a new business and a new baby all in the same year. Then we threw in another baby and marriage for good measure.

We had no idea what we were thinking. In those days, we worked 24/7 and carried our infants everywhere we went. In a capsule. Our first born has the dubious honor of scaling more extension ladders in her first year of life than most people will in their lifetime. I'm pretty sure that would be illegal now, but for us it was a way of life. Every sign was hand painted. Including the lofty walls of office blocks. I would climb down the ladder and find somewhere to breastfeed while Mr Clipped painted. Then, he would babysit while I painted. The only time we could afford a fancy vinyl-cutting computer, was when I scratched $5000 in 1996 on one of those Lottery Scratchies. I'd bought it from the newsagent and gave it to our toddler as she sat in the shopping trolley while I (now 8 months pregnant again) bought groceries. She had sucked all four edges, so it was all soft and slimy when I finally sat down in the mall to rest my (very swollen) feet. I scratched to see three $5000's smiling at me and my first thought was that I was on Candid Camera. Trembling, I approached the newsagent and meekly asked in my quietest voice "um, excuse me....is this a winner?"
The rest is history. We used the money to purchase a brand new Roland Plotter and CAD software. Business took off with a solid reputation for quality, honesty and integrity. Two more tin lids followed, before a relocation to the Central Coast to find care for our autistic son, who was diagnosed as profoundly disabled in 2003. Our association with the Canterbury Bulldogs had also came about the same time. Mr Clipped was a Born&Bred Doggies fan and was one day asked to do a quote at the Leagues Club. He was more excited at being in the Inner Sanctum, than he was about the tender! One job led to another and soon he was the preferred supplier. We gave back with sponsorship in 2012 and formed a mutually productive relationship that continues to endure. There's nothing like putting up your own company sign at Belmore Sports Ground when the team is training!

It was the most fabulous 25 years, but we never once lost sight of why we chose to be self-employed: our kids. Every first step, every first word, every school concert and excursion. We were there for all of them. I did tuck shops, Mr Clipped would chaperone the bus trips to zoos, Luna Park - wherever. We donated our time and signage to a variety of school endeavors and I still to this day - volunteer at the annual Fair by the Sea as a face painter. Mr Clipped still hangs the banners around town. Our special son received intervention and flourished to become an adorable and participating member of our family. He recently graduated from High School with a (special edition) HSC certificate. And he still melts my heart.

I put the job sheets in the bin and reflected what an amazing roller coaster it has been. We got way more out of it than we put in.

That kind of investment and return is without quantification. You can't trade it. You can't buy it back. Once it's gone, it's gone. I said at the beginning of this post that I was benefiting on an intellectual level. That is because I continue to learn things about myself that I was previously ignorant to.

Pooh Bear said it best: I am stronger than I thought. Braver than I believed. And smarter than I knew.

We are without income. We are not without riches.
When we get out of this and all meet upI am first in line to give you a real hug.
 

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