Marathons aren’t just the ones you run with your body, you know? Some marathons are mental tests of strength and stamina. We are in the home stretch of one of those marathons.
Five and a half years ago my husband, Mr. Brickie, was hired on as a Union Bricklayer Apprentice. The apprentice scale started at 40% and you would move up in 10% increments every time you worked 750 hours, took two training classes, and were six months out from your last promotion through the ranks. The 40% represents that you will make 40% per hour of what a Journeyman makes. It’s a simple and clear way to navigate from point A (getting the job) to point B (being a journeyman).
I’m not entirely sure what being a Journeyman means, other than getting to that finish line of making 100% of your potential hourly wage. There’s a little book they gave him when he got hired that outlines it all, but I haven’t read that book for five and a half years.
Right now he has 15 days left before he graduates(?) promotes(?) becomes a Journeyman. Three short weeks. When I look at it on the spreadsheet you can finally see today’s date and the date we’ve been aiming for without scrolling down.
When we started this journey we knew there would be sacrifices but felt it would all be worth it in the end.
It was the first time either of us did a real five-year plan.
It was the first thing we had truly hoped for as a couple. It was our dream, not my dream or his dream, but one we held together. We whispered our hopes to one another as we fell asleep in the dark, kind of a realistic version of, “What would you do if you won the lottery.” Even more realistic because we don’t play the lottery but we have been on this journey toward this destination for so long and we are fifteen (business) days away. Three weeks.
The problem? I tend to absolutely fall apart during the last leg of a race. If I have to wait for a half hour, I’m fine for 25 minutes and am a nervous wreck for the last 5. I wake up and immediately want to do something, anything, that will let me sleep until three weeks has passed an I am no longer a jittery, anxious mess.
I do breathing exercises and guided meditations I find on YouTube, but they only help a little. I keep doing them because I don’t have better options right now. I have to keep it together. I joined Facebook groups for spirituality, self-improvement, peaceful parenting, and anything else that could give me advice or inspiration on ways to keep it together I may not have thought of yet.
I am waiting for a return call from a lawyer. Two, actually. I can tell you about one of them. We are receiving a bill from a doctor that worked on Mr. Brickie’s wrist when it broke during a work accident and he was out of work for five months and I learned to navigate the waters of worker’s compensation claims. The lawyer we worked with is – we think – contacting them about the bill but we aren’t entirely sure. Usually he responds back very quickly but this last time it’s taken a while and so we aren’t quite sure what’s happening. We may have to pay the bill even if we don’t legally owe it because if they put it with a collection agency our credit scores won’t care if we don’t legally owe it, you know? We’ll see how it pans out but for now it’s in the air.
The other lawyer, well, I’ll blog about it eventually but while there are a lot of things I can talk about in the moment, some stories have to be the “in retrospect” type. Some things, put out in public, can change by the nature of them being in public and this is one of those things that can’t be shared just yet. It’s going to be a good story regardless of how it turns out.
Everything is a good story if it’s told right though, isn’t it? It’s not the story, it’s the telling that makes it interesting. I’m not sure I’m telling this story that way, but I’m giving it my best shot.