Thursday, June 3, 2010

2 cloudy years later...

"I will stay with it and endure through suffering hardship, and once the heaving sea has shaken my raft to pieces, then I will swim." -- Ulysses, the Odyssey

So, we've been swimming the past year. Life threw us some curve balls, some hard decisions were made and things were rough for awhile. I had faith that the shore was close though and faith that swimming would get us there.
For the first time in almost 2 years my small family is caught up on bills, with money leftover to go into savings. For the first time in almost 2 years, next month will likely see that savings increase. I finally feel like there's solid ground under us again. Things are of course still tight, with Dave staying home with Rowen and our personal credit basically non-existent. But, austerity measures, steadfast resolve, loving support for each other and strategic aid from parents saw us through the worst of it I think. We're looking forward to rebuilding our finances and security nets. Having had to use them once, we are even more adamant about them being in place before austerity measures are loosened.
I know some of my friends thought I was crazy when I left my job shortly after the conception of Rowen. I'm sure some of my family thought it was irresponsible. Looking back now though, I'm sure I did the right thing. If anything, I should have left that job sooner. I am working in the same field as I was back then, with a new company. I was worried about the job because of how the last one turned out. Thankfully this company has shown me that I was absolutely correct in my criticisms. Thankfully I'm now with a team that's excited about my contributions, interested in my development and willing to answer my questions. I'm now with a company that cares about family, cares about wellness and is properly managed.
It was a rough way to start a marriage, and not the quickest path to career advancement. But I was home with Rowen for the 1st year of his life and I got to breastfeed for most of that time, those two things alone almost make it all worthwhile. It's also nice to know that even weeks when we had no grocery money, food that I had grown and preserved helped to keep us fed. Maybe that's a skill I'll never need to know again, but chances are it will come in handy some day and I'm happy to know I've got it.

Other silver linings to these cloudy years, my sewing improved exponentially, my cooking skills improved and in general I'm more comfortable with my own abilities. It's nice to have a steady paycheck and the comfort that brings, but it's nicer to know I don't need it. I can make it without it, *we* can make it without it. We are stronger than we were 2 years ago, and more sure of our worth. I wouldn't have made it without Dave, and our partnership is my rock.

Maybe next year we can finally take that honeymoon. :-)


Ken said...

Hang in there, the trick is to not buy-in to what society tells you that you need. You two, look pretty young, so I imagine that's sort of hard, I'm older, and it's taken some time to develop the correct attitude about things, but I'm getting there. It really is all about memories, experience and preparing Rowan, no that you have a kid, that's your life mission. Take care of yourselves too though, but Kids really are number one. The patience and love you show him will shape your lives, as well as his - forever. I can't imagine being younger - from a mental perspective and having a kid. I sure would have had more energy, but not the wisdom to take it easy and really let them develop on there own. Hang in there. Don't believe all that discipline crap either, kids need love not disciple at this age, nor any of that pysco-bable, boys run around and are hyper, it's just the way it is. Later, Ken

Jennie said...

I hear ya, I'm a big fan of keeping things simple and keeping our cost of living well below what we bring in. We're both interested in saving as much as possible so that we can move in a few years somewhere where we can both be happy.

Discipline crap.. :-) we try not to let him get away with crocodile tears and hissy fits to get his own way, but we are definitely heavier on the love.

Hahaha, little guy loves to climb. He's all covered in bruises from several escapades over the past couple of days. Dave got some new gray hairs I think.

How old is your little girl Ken?

Ken said...

Hi Jennie,

She's two and half year old (a lot of people hate things broken down in months - but 30 months) She's really starting to talk a lot more. I read a good article about "Controlling People" - my wife sure is, but it was very interesting because it specifically said that when a child gets hurt, boy or girl, you should not diminish their experience - Like saying "Oh your ok" or the such. They had this example where cops and military would shoot each other with tasers and then "tough" it out, that was the disassociation with what they were feeling verses what was being validated in there minds.
I don't know, I'm off on a rant :) I'm just sensitive to stuff like that now, because I have a kid. And, more so, than ever in the past champion all kids. It's really wierd, seeings how I was a stone-cold killer in the Army. I guess that's age for you - 43, I wonder if that's why I like James Dankin's - Bison Blog, similar ideas, to a degree, That's how I found your blog. - Ken