I feel like I can’t really say this enough.
There are people who are homeless, and who are going through other terrible, horrible things right now.
I am in a position right now where we do not have extra money for anything and because of winter we do not know if we will be able to pay next month’s bills. We budget tightly and go to food banks for food. We are also on a path toward a much higher level of financial security.
On a scale of 1 – 10 where 10 is homeless, I’m like a 4, tops.
As much as it would be an inconvenience, I have friends I could live with if I really needed to. I have a family member I could go live with temporarily. No matter how abrasive I might be there are a lot of people who don’t want to see us homeless. I’m very, very lucky. But I’m not even planning on those outcomes because I’ve been working out the most likely probabilities in my head for months.
Here are the most common possible outcomes in the order of probability.
- The most probable outcome is we remain where we are. As Mr. Brickie moves up the bricklayer ranks on his way to being a journeyman his pay will increase. Along with that journeyman title and living wage he’ll get in a couple years there is also insurance (we benefit from this already), two pensions, and other nifty benefits. We are sacrificing now so we can win later.
- The second most probable outcome is that we will move. Whether or not we get foreclosed on is mainly a matter of timing. How fast court proceedings and things go vs. when he gets raises as he moves up the apprentice scale. It’s something I just can’t know. If we do move, we already know where we are moving to and have checked out both houses to rent and apartments in the area. Researching my Plan B extensively makes me more comfortable with the uncertainty.
- The most unlikely outcome is moving in with friends or relatives. This only happens if things happen faster than we are prepared for or some other unforeseen event comes up. This is the rarest of the possibilities.
I have been preparing and worrying about this since before Mr. Brickie became a bricklayer. then I worried while he went through training. I kept worrying as he looked for a company to take him on as their apprentice. I am now worrying our way through his first winter where weather keeps him from being able to work.
As the sun streams through my window and I feel a hint of spring in the air, I feel hopeful. With Tom Skilling (weatherman supreme) saying the current prediction is an El Niño in six months I feel even more hopeful because that will mean next winter is mild and a mild winter will mean more work and faster raises.
If it doesn’t happen that way, I’ll readjust the plan. That’s something that everyone does regardless of where they are on the income ladder, right? I mean, the point of this blog is not to show how sad and pathetic I am. Far from it! I want to show that I’m just a person living my life with my family like everyone else and I’m not anything special. So that others can know that they are not alone or if they are doing great maybe they won’t assume everyone else is just because they are.
I am just another person who used credit cards to fund my children’s Christmas. I then used my tax return to pay them off. I know I’m not the only person in America who did that. I know I’m not the only person in America who wants this past Christmas to be the last time they use credit cards to buy things for their children!
Honestly, I cannot overstate how lucky we are. Even without food security or knowing for sure where we will be living a year from now, none of my children have medical conditions that require doctor care beyond annual physicals. None of my children have behavioral issues outside the norm for their ages. Both of my children are in enrichment classes in elementary school. I have a husband who is dedicated, affectionate, and loving. I have all the OTHER things besides money that people want. I am beyond thankful for all those things every day of my life. The everything else I have is what allows me to write this blog from a place of strength and love instead of sounding like every day is another panic attack.
If that makes me less inspirational, so be it. I am here to be honest, not try and blow smoke up everyone’s butt and try and show myself to be some kind of impoverished saint. No way. I am just a person who is currently poor and thinks they won’t be forever who is kind of just trying to take everyone who wants to come on the journey.
My readers are the best people. I am lucky to know most of you. But you know … you KNOW I wouldn’t trade places with any of you. No matter how wonderful the life you might have right now, I love my family and I am a junkie for a great comeback story. I like to think that’s what I’m in the middle of right now. A comeback story.
I hope to have you with me once this part of the journey is passed and I refer to things like The Taco Incident as examples of how fear of not having enough shows up in the strangest places instead of being a story of something that just happened. When I have my kids in activities and we are taking vacations and you will all know how hard I worked to get those things.
Who knows, maybe it will help someone else put their own life into perspective and cut themselves some slack and remember how hard they worked to get the things they have. (Wow, that was a really clunky sentence!) Maybe it’s you who thinks you could always be doing more but have already done enough and are running yourself into the ground. Maybe it’s someone you know.
I will always feel the perspective this part of my life has given me is the true gift. I am a much, much less judgmental person now than I was a few years ago. I have more understanding in my heart for the situations of other people. I don’t look at stories online anymore with an immediate eye to pick them apart or be an armchair quarterback for a life I have not lived.
I’m not going to start handing out cash willy-nilly without some facts, though. I mean, I’m not going to go full stupid or anything, but I can give any human the respect of reading or listening to their story with an open mind, regardless of what I choose to do with that information after reading or listening.
How are you doing? Are you feeling overworked today? Or do you feel you still have some pep in your step to get things done?