I like to keep this blog upbeat, yet real. I like to venture to subjects outside of running because life cannot be exclusively about running (dammit). There is so much else that goes on with us in a day from parenting to jobs to making stew for dinner. I like to be candid and authentic. Most of all, I don’t think you can be your true and complete self without some honest self disclosure.
Writing is therapeutic for me and I value and cherish the insight and support of you all more than you know. I read each and every comment, each and every day.
I’ve been holding one issue close to my vest, not wanting to air my dirty laundry. But, I’d rather just put it out there now and stop “pretending” all is perfectly fine. What is going on occupies big chunk of my thinking.
When our first child was born 14 years ago, we made the decision that I would work from home part time and Ken would be the primary breadwinner. This worked very well for our lives. As a contractor, I was able to make decent money and use my MSW degree by doing domestic adoption work. Ken worked as a systems administrator for an investment firm. We enjoyed a comfortable life and were grateful that someone was always home with the kids or was able to volunteer in the classrooms and go on field trips. Weekends did not have to be spent catching up with shopping or chores because I was able to get most of this done during the week. It worked for us.
As of January 1st of this year, Ken lost his job of 12 years. He is still unemployed. It has been ten months.
You probably have noticed that we run, bike and a lot together in the middle of the day and unemployment is why we have been able to do this. He’s been able to be with the kids more at their sporting events, take them to/from school and help make Emma’s costume this year:
You know she lives in our house when there are Lara and Marathon Bars in there
The “up” side is that we are stronger than ever as a family and are fortunate to have so much quality and quantity time together.
Ken is a very skilled at what he does, but he does not want to go back to a job with a stuffy financial institution. He really wants to do IT (Information Technology) work for a company that is more in line with his own lifestyle – preferably something in the outdoor or fitness industry.
I don’t have to tell you this is a tough time to be looking for a job. Prices keep climbing, the news is full of grim outlooks. I have taken on more work, but my income has never been enough for us to live off of. I know many of you are feeling the crunch of these economic times and that we are not alone.
I am considering full time opportunities, yet trying to define what exactly I would like to do. This has never been easy for me. If you haven’t noticed, I wear many different hats: writer, social worker, mom, coach, merchandiser, volunteer, athlete. How to focus in one area has never been my strong suit.
For what it’s worth, it feels good to put this out there. Most of the time I’m able to be optimistic, hopeful and upbeat. I know in the end it will work out and that no matter what happens, we have each other. I take happiness from the small things I love – a trail run in the foothills, a gorgeous sunset outside my back door, a movie and popcorn on the couch on a Saturday night.
Taken Thursday night from our back deck
Yet, in the middle of the night or a quiet moment, the fear creeps in and I panic. What if? What if? I think the worst. My job is to keep these thoughts at bay and to not let them consume me. My job is to be honest with my kids about what is going on, but not pass on my fear or anxiety to them. My job is to support Ken as best as I can in doing what makes him feel alive.
Finances are stressful. While I don’t believe it is money that makes us happy, I do believe you need enough of it to have peace of mind.
Thanks for reading and for continuing to be an amazing source of support for me in all ways.