Monday, July 25, 2011

Catching up again

I'm so bad. I know I stink at blogging these days. I think I'm still recovering from the hoopla of the last 8 months, and the truth is that its not over yet. We're on the other side of the valley, but its all up hill from here. I promised that I would make this blog more real, and I think I've been afraid to do that... people don't like to read blogs about hardship most of the time. While my life isn't all hardship, its a struggle right now, and as it ebbs and flows, there are often some big things going on that are hard to deal with. There is a balance with the joys, I won't deny that... but I get tired of trying to find those slivers of joy to share and pretend like everything else is just fine.

We're poor. That's just the truth right now. Yes, there are others who are far worse off than we are, and I try to keep my complaining to a minimum because if the last 8 months have taught me anything, its that I have a lot to be thankful for.

That said, things are tough, and there are times where it just feels like EVERYTHING is a struggle. We have one car, and have to make every dollar we have stretch beyond any level of comfort just to be able to make that car payment. In a year and a half we'll have it paid off and then it is ours. For now though we have to find a way to make it work, and since hubby is stuck with a company that is notorious for not hiring on their temp employees for years, we're really struggling. They pay JUST over minimum wage, and if it weren't for his overtime, we would lose everything.

We get our food from the food bank, because otherwise we couldn't afford to eat. On that note, I am so thankful that we have such a good food bank here. I know most places aren't as lucky as we have been with our food bank. If you have a chance to donate to your local food bank, please do so. It helps so many families who otherwise wouldn't have something to eat. I hope to be able to give back to our local food bank someday when things get better for us.

Bear in mind that I am not trying to do a "woe-is-me" post, or ask anyone for ANYTHING. I am just tired of the pretenses of pretending like everything is martha-stewart-dandy because that's the accepted status quo. How many of you have struggled and found yourselves in really tight spots financially?

I can't help that this is where we are. Kev has been applying for job after job after job but there isn't much here locally that pays more than minimum wage or offers the amount of overtime he's getting now. As for me, if I could get a job right now I would, but I have to stay home with Abbi. Even during the school year, I only have 4 hours a day that I can work, and that is assuming that Abbi does not have a half day, get sick, or go on any kind of school vacation, and also assumes that I can find transportation to work with Kev taking the van to work at 3am and not home again until 5pm (there is no public transit this far out other than taxi's and that undoes the whole point of working 4 hours a day).

I am making everything I can to sell, we sold off a lot of our stuff to try to help make ends meet, and I am doing as much as possible to make the dollars we do have streeeeeeeetch. I make our own dishwashing detergent, laundry soap, shampoo, hand soap, etc. I make clothes for the girls to wear to school. I mend what we have already to make it last. I create frugal meals as much as possible, and feed my family with as much nutrition as I can given the ingredients we have on hand.

We have figured out how to have fun and do things as a family that don't cost anything and we still lead a fulfilling life with many many joys. I'm not unhappy with my life at all. I just wish it wasn't such a struggle to work the mechanics of it. We are willing to work for our success... we just need a chance to do so.

Now, I know (or at least have hope) that we won't always be in this position. We worked our way up into a place of comfort before, and I know we can do it again. It will just take time, and a lot of effort. In the mean time I am trying to keep my chin up about it, and focus on all the things we do have, and that we can do... and all the things that are not impacted by money at all, like friendships, creativity, writing, going for walks, playing with the kids, reading, etc.

I think a big part of what I needed to say here, is that while it has been hard to find things to post about lately that wouldn't sound too doomsdayish, I do lead a full life, even if our pockets are empty. I hope to share more of that with you all soon.