Friday, March 07, 2008
First the good-depending on your particular life, maybe you meet the love of your life, accept the worlds greatest job, find the perfect home and you drive a nice car that’s paid for. Okay, for most of the free world this qualifies as not just good, it’s right up there as nirvana. But let’s not get mucked up in details here people.
Life goes on, it’s wonderful. You’re happy, the love of your life is happy. Maybe you’ve even taken up doing some version of “the happy dance” during each and every single one of the various dream-filled vacations you have managed to arrange.
THEN WHAM, BAM-THAT’S IT SAM!
Suddenly, the job you love becomes unneeded and you find yourself in an unemployed state. Everything in your “perfect home” starts eroding and/or falling apart. Bills start piling up. Every job you apply for has gone unnoticed by the human resources department. You know this cuz no one’s calling you in for even the slightest hint of an interview. Paying for health insurance or food is a toss up. No discussion of how to pay the mortgage is brought up, since there’s no money to pay it.
Then you find out more fun news-you make just enough in unemployment so that the social security department deems you “to well off” to get help with medical coverage, food stamps or re-training. Oh, one more thing-if you try to take classes to do that re-training bit, they’ll cut off the unemployment. You’ll be told the reason-because they’re paying you to go look for work, not re-educate yourself to make the chance of being more marketable possible.
And since you and the love of your life are happy-they add this little dig for you to think about: if you get a divorce, then you’ll qualify for all the government programs to help you out of the hole you’re in.
You gotta love the government.
So, how does all this “equal” out? To be honest, I’m not sure. All I know is, while my husband and I were not in as dire a spot as I just described, we did have a good chunk of time where we’d look at each other and sigh. In our heads the words “what to do, what to do?” rang at an alarmingly loud level.
Then, we decided it was time to finish up our little pity party and made up our own program of where and how to proceed. It’s not for many people, but we ran our own in-home business together. No, we definitely did not get rich-but we were able to pay our bills, take care of our kids, keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs.
We did it for nearly 10 years. Then we found ourselves starting over all over again. This time the job was there, but my health was not. Five years later-we no longer work side-by-side 24/7. For that matter, we don’t even have one day a week off at the same time. But we treasure the time we do spend together, we make about the same amount of money. So that means, we have a roof, food and a bit extra.
Our dream of retiring at 60-is just that, a dream.
But we are enjoying, once again some good days. I’m working at a day job I like and writing more and more, which makes me happy. My husband enjoys his job and his 4 day a week schedule. We are happy to be enjoying our adult children and thrilled with being grandparents.
All in all-I think we are actually way ahead with the good days. We appreciate them more because we know that we have them got them the old-fashioned way-we earned them.