It's no question that we have little extra income. Pretty much every week is lived paycheck to paycheck. And when you are counting on seeing a little extra money come in from somewhere (taxes perhaps?) and it doesn't, it certainly hurts. But even that is something that is short lived. It would be hard for me to say that we are really poor because in reality we are not. We choose to spend a lot of money on our kids activities because they love it and we want to give them whatever is possible. If that means a little (okay, a lot) less in the bank then so be it. It's a little scary when your bank account hits $0.13 but you know that payday is just down the road. And you struggle for another week. But what happens when that income is halved?
My husband lost his job yesterday. After 13 years of service he was let go because he made too much money for his position and was not interested in advancing. He was not a poor performer but he was disliked by one of the owners of the franchise for not wanting to advance and be a lifer. My husband has spent the better part of the last 10 years working 47 hours a week in a job he loathed. He did it to make sure we had a roof over our heads, food on the table, and health insurance. He went from store to store and improved the quality of the service and staff. He may not have been interested in advancing but he was good at what he did. He was told his services were no longer needed. A permanent layoff.
My racing goals for the year are shot. Not because I can't do it, but because I can no longer afford it. It sucks and it hurts. I am trying to not be bitter about it. Or discouraged. But it is really, really hard. However, just because I can't afford the race, doesn't mean I have to give up my fitness. It might take my mind a little while to believe that though. It's like a punch in the gut right now. And it is a struggle to stay positive.
We have reworked a budget and are hopeful that he will receive the maximum unemployment benefit. If that is the case the unemployment will cover the mortgage. I will be responsible for the remaining bills. It is really tight. Really tight. The kids will not be able to participate in the activities that they have been. Or at least not at the frequency. Competitive dance is out for next year. I have no idea how I am going to break that to my daughter. It hurts my heart.
But we are a family. And we are strong. And we can get through anything. I know that sometimes the ends justify the means. When I lost my job at the end of '05 I thought it was the end of the world. And now I am in a job that I love making significantly more money than I would be if I were still in my old position. Dan hated his job, and I think beyond the fear and the grief he is relieved. He doesn't have to worry about working crazy shifts and being up late working just to show up at 7am the next day. He doesn't have to come home smelling like he was dipped in grease. He doesn't have to dread every day that he has to go to work. I think he is going to be much happier once the shock wears off.
And I am going to be okay as well. Just because I will not accomplish racing in a triathlon this year does not mean I will never race in one. It just means that I won't do it as soon as I might like. God has a plan for us and I refuse to be scared about it. I am going to trust that everything will be okay. We will survive this because that is who we are and what we do.