July 31, 2010

Beat it, recession depression

4 am ... well good morning to you! Yes, I very much enjoy the sound of that soothing alarm (not joking, it really is soothing - Aqueous Transition) however I would like it better at sayyyyy 9 am. It is a Saturday morning and, while a normal weekend beginner, Gregg has to work today. No rest for the weary. As he rises I hear "Ugggggg I don't wanna go..." and various grumbles. Normally I would toss and turn for an average of an hour and a half before falling asleep to catch the rest of my z's but occasionally - today for example - I hit the point of no return. At 5:15 I spring out of bed and rush to the freezer section of our lovely refrigerator. "You're gonna laugh at what I'm about to do" I say to Gregg. He looks at me curiously as I remove the little hanging wax tart holder from the top shelf. "I put it in here yesterday afternoon and forgot about it" I inform him. He shakes his head mumbling something about how I am insane. (For those of you who don't know what I am talking about - to remove wax from a candle holder you can just put it in the freezer for a few minutes and it slips right out). Gregg grabbed his necessities and headed out the door for, hopefully, a short and non-grueling day. I headed for the kitchen in search of my coffee pot and some cinnamon. Brody? Well, he would have headed straight through the glass, sliding door to murder a rabbit had I not yanked him away reprimanding him.

I have had the urge to write many times lately but nothing has come to mind. Writers block? Slackers block? I don't know. Maybe I have been limiting myself due to unflattering material. Yep, that's definitely it. I try not to overwhelm my friends with gloom and tales of woe. Nobody wants to read a womp womp diary. We all have our sad stories, we all have our rough times. However, now that I have roped you in ... you will read about mine. And you'll like it. HA! Suckers. 

So, I guess my being laid off in May kicked off the 'season of horror'. We were fine for a few weeks. I was collecting unemployment benefits at a decent rate, not nearly what I was making while employed but I could make it work. Gregg was growing more and more exhausted and stressed out from his close to 60 hour, very draining work weeks. Enter the transportation calamity. 

My car, despite five trips to the mechanic, remained undiagnosed and ill repaired. The AC in Gregg's Jeep failed just as the sweaty heat of 2010 crept into our lives. I let him take my time bomb of a vehicle to work so he wouldn't die on the ride home. On the hottest day of the year, 102 degrees I believe, he came home in the passenger seat of a tow truck. My little Honda rolling along behind him, twisting its mustache. He opted for the sweaty rides home after that. The following week, he came home in a tow truck again - this time with his Jeep riding behind him on a flatbed. Now, with two cars needing a doctor, we were less than thrilled. Luckily, there's a mechanic in the family. He figured out the problems, wrote down the parts we needed and came back to fix them. My car decided to be a drama queen and break down even further. Still in the driveway, I stare at it daily with a deep loathing. 

Whilst dealing with our chariot afflictions we had a sandstorm of other stress factors plaguing our lives. Costly weddings, birthday parties, the visit of our southern family, my endless job searching, birds in the wall, etc. The biggest issue of course? Income. After spending several hours on the phone with the lovely unemployment office I was given devastating news. My benefits were being cut like a wimp in a knife fight. I now bring in less weekly than I did at age 19. Something to be very proud of indeed. Obviously the job search was expanded immediately to include jobs that I would hate doing for less pay than I would ever imagine accepting. My once peaceful 8-hour nightly comas were transformed into barely 4-hour naps interrupted by nightmares and racing worries. My mind refused to rest.

Gregg continues to struggle with his taxing job. His body is tired. He is overworked and it is aging him immensely. We are hoping for a new path for him soon. I have a job interview on Monday which sounds promising but I refuse to get my hopes up. I know that whatever happens is all happening for some crazy reason - maybe we are in line to win Powerball. Shhhhh!! Don't be a dream crusher. It has been a rough few months to say the least but I am hoping that the worst is behind us. My crappy car should be fixed one day soon and I'll be rollin' in 10-year old style once again. Gregg will find a job that won't cause him to crumble on the floor when he arrives home and will pay him for any overtime hours. I will find a job that will pay me what I need to make ends meet. And we will once again live our lives at our means - because that is all that we can do. You win, economy... but not for long. 

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