We are in such a weird position right now.

I know how it feels to no money and no hope for the future. That’s something that has happened every few years since I’ve been married. It’s why Mr. Brickie and I sat down and made a plan to choose a long-term career rather than another jobby-job that anyone could fill. It was a quest that took over a year of solid research and asking pretty much everyone – including random strangers – questions about what they did for a living, how they liked it, and if they would choose it again if given the chance.

Then it took another year from applying for the job to actually get hired. We understood there would be some serious sacrifices and steps backward in order to move forward once and for all.

Sacrificing for a long-term purpose is new for me and I’m still not comfortable with the feelings it dredges up just wanting everything to go faster, faster until we are finally in the okay place.

For now, still solidly in the sacrifice and struggle portion of the program, we apply for government assistance for food and gas and electricity. At the same time¬†we have health, dental, and vision insurance that is paid for through the dues and the benefits program of the job. Well, paid for as long as he works enough hours or we have to pay the difference, but he’s worked enough this quarter to get next quarter’s insurance, so we’re safe for now. (I just realized that not working means we’re going to have another five hundred dollar or so bill for insurance that will be due at the end of February for the quarter of insurance after that one. Thank you for reminding me, blog, I’ll go write that down…)

We are broke but going to a holiday party today where the kids will get gifts – labeled with their names – and see Santa and have a great time.

I am thankful that we are a different kind of broke. That we have some of the perks of the middle class like holiday parties and insurance.

That these perks are reminders that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That our sacrifices this time were not for nothing.

This time it’s actually going to work out. If I know nothing else about Mr. Brickie it’s that he has a great work ethic. So much so we had to get him into a job where the promotions are automatic based on skill and time worked. He’s not a political worker, he doesn’t schmooze or angle for promotions. He thinks his work should speak for itself. This job is perfect for him.

Oh, and maybe it seems silly that the gifts being labelled is such a big deal to me. It is. There was one year we were so poor the kids’ gifts came from the food pantry and the school and those gifts were the kind it’s difficult to be thankful for because they weren’t age appropriate and in one case didn’t fit at all. I appreciated them but it took effort and my unflagging Christmas spirit to make it happen. These are going to be age-appropriate gifts (because they asked the age of each child to do so) and they will be just for them. To me, it’s a whole different ballgame than a big stack of presents that get handed out to everyone.

Maybe I’m just taking my special moments where I can regardless of their actual specialness.

I’m okay with that.