So I’m sure you’ve guessed the theme around my house these days. What else is new?
I’ve blogged about surviving on a single (paltry) income before, but it’s gotten pretty darn dire lately.
We’ve cut corners wherever possible and sacrificed and scrimped to make the mortgage payment and keep food on the table. At times we’ve resorted to paying for groceries on credit, the penultimate money sin (hey, I worked in the financial sector for 10 years, I know!). I literally fought tooth and nail to obtain medical coverage for my daughter since she can’t be on her other mother’s policy– no domestic partner benefits at her job. I myself have been uninsured for months and pray daily that my fitness routine and smarter eating habits will help me avoid doctor visits. And, yes, I’ve started on a (real) job search since my freelance gigs are becoming further and fewer between. At this point we need something stable to supplement our nailbiting paycheck to paycheck existence.
Perhaps it’s the impending holidays, perhaps it’s the overall economic tightening that’s occuring countrywide, but I am experiencing the most difficult job journey of my life. No one is responding to the applications I’m sending– and, lately, I’ve sent a lot. When I left my 9 to 5 career a year ago, it was with the stipulation that I would never, ever, EVER return to that industry– if I returned there, I would die there, perpetually mean and grouchy and leaving my cubicle only sporadically before waking to find that another ten years had passed. So it’s not the best feeling knowing that I may very well need to resort to that, though I’m applying for every other type of job than the one I left. Now, I love working from home, love being with my daughter all day, am happy to trade the small sacrifices (limited adult contact, fewer resources) for the immense payoffs (freedom and family time) …. but it’s glaringly obvious that my family needs something steadier even though I fully intend to maintain my freelance contacts and projects.
Yes, it is frightening to wonder how we’re going to pay the mortgage. I’m not even THINKING about the holidays and what Santa will eke out. Yes, the financial fights in our house are no picnic, either. And yet– and yet– there is a tiny part of me that is not too terribly stressed. I’m living in the here and now and leaving it up to the universe, thankful all the while that right now we are still surviving, still fed, clothed, and warm. Somehow we’ll make it. We always do. Things could truly be worse.
Much, much worse.
by Elisa Garcia