Am I brave? Do I have a choice?

It’s been very strange, with multiple people telling me I’m brave. I’ve always defined courage as doing something, even when you’re afraid. I’m having cancer done to me. I have too much to do to sit around wringing my hands about it. 

I’m working 3 jobs, 50-60 hours a week in order for us to survive a little longer. Our fixed expenses (mortgage mainly) were very modest for a low-level executive, but husband hasn’t been able to find a steady job in 6 years. We thought he had one last Spring when a European company hired him in their American expansion, but everyone hired for that were let go 4 months later as the envisioned flood of customers didn’t show up. Mostly, he gets a month or two of contracting work with 6 or more months of nothing. (We’ve learned that it’s pretty much a waste of time to even look for work if you don’t have something by Thanksgiving. No one will return your calls until the New Year.)

In the last few years, there were a number of times when we were about to be foreclosed on, but rich friends (one of the perks of having once been an executive) stepped in and got us entirely caught up, with no strings attached. It is very humbling to accept help like that and while it gives us a relief, we start sliding down again. We’ve dodged multiple power/water shut-offs. 

People think that people like husband should lower their standards and get a job a Walmart. Truth is, we’ve tried. Walmart, Safeway, Starbucks, etc don’t hire people with high level experience. They know that you’ll keep looking for a job that better fits your resume. (Yes, you can dumb the resume down, but that leaves a lot of years of nothing…also not good for getting a job.)

So I homeschool while working very early mornings at one job, evenings and weekends at another job, and teach at our homeschool co-op to cover son’s classes. Daughter is at the community college, paying her own classes from her job and struggling with working and studying. And now I have cancer. I can’t stop my life for it. There are multiple stories in my own community of cancer causing people on the edge to fall into homelessness. I have to try to keep us from sliding into that. 

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