“Something will come along.” I appreciate the positive sentiments of well-meaning friends, on a certain level. Okay, honestly it depends on my mood. Sometimes when things feel bleak it’s nice to get a supportive comment. Others it seems to hit in exactly the wrong place, and I stand there thinking, “Oh, really? It will? Is that because when things have gone wrong in your life, they’ve always gotten better? Are you counting on the law of averages here?”
I sound bitter and negative, I realize. I have been trying all week to focus on the positive, to believe things will turn around quickly and basically to have faith that somehow things will improve. I really have. It’s difficult, though, because this isn’t just a “bad spell” or even “a hard year.” It’s been several years. Several. Chris hasn’t had anything other than contract positions or short-term freelance work in several years. Contemplate that before damning me for my attitude. This last two months was a lovely respite, and one of the longer ones we’ve had. A few years back there was another that lasted three or four months, and that was nice, too, until it vanished. Always in the past there was something to get us through, but that isn’t the case now. I have no mutual funds anymore. Not even an IRA. I have exhausted every resource I had (emotional ones too, it feels like sometimes) and have to “have faith” that Chris will find something else soon. I know it’s supposed to be better out there, and I would be happy to see some hardcore evidence of that. This week, at least, none has been forthcoming.
Statistically, Chris has not had any luck in the past with getting contract positions one right after the other. We have experienced exceptionally long lulls in between, and we can’t afford to have that happen now. To make things more complicated, for as many resumes as he has sent out, nearly every contract job he’s gotten has come from employment agencies calling him for random positions… positions he had not submitted for. While I am grateful for work and income however they come, it does leave us feeling like the countless hours invested in sending out resumes are wasted time. Not a good feeling, and not one that leaves you raring to begin the process again. I also have a joke about the agencies themselves. They often call and want a portfolio sent “right away,” and sometimes they want them to be tweaked in some fashion first. This requires additional effort, obviously. I would have no problem with that except that anytime Chris has received one of these “incredibly urgent” requests, nothing has come of it. Literally nothing. Not a phone interview, not an actual interview, and certainly not a position. Generally he hears nothing whatsoever after he sends off one of these emergency portfolios. I don’t know what the correlation is between supposed urgency and never hearing anything again, but it makes me a little crazy. Of course, he has to respond to all of them as if they might be “the one,” regardless. It’s so frustrating.
Faith is hard. Faith even when experience has taught you to expect little is even harder. There is always someone out there who has it worse, of course. I met a young woman recently whose husband had a traumatic health issue two years ago. They were both in their 20s, and had a son who was only 10 months old at the time. The husband had to learn to walk, talk and eat again. He has improved greatly, and is currently at the level of a 15-year-old. She said she had perfect faith in his recovery when it first happened. She gave it all to God, and was confident it would all be fine. Now, two years later, things are better and yet tougher, too. He doesn’t still struggle with the most basic of tasks, which is obviously something to be grateful for. On the other hand, she’s now wondering if she will ever get her husband back. The man she fell in love with. The adult she married. She has to care for her young son and her husband, who might function at the level of a teenage boy permanently. Scary stuff… I can’t even imagine. Stories like this are a reminder that things can, in fact, be worse. We are all healthy, and I am grateful for that. Still, zero income is a fairly substantial problem. I can’t gloss it over and pretend things are okay just because there are others who have it worse.
It is so freaking difficult to just get up in the morning and keep putting one foot in front of the other, sometimes. I don’t want to be depressed, and I don’t want to drown everyone I come into contact with in the gloom of my circumstances. Forget contact highs. Contact lows exist as well, and I don’t want to be that girl. The girl who brings everyone down with the sheer weight of her misery. So I try to shake it off, and to live as if things could change on a dime. Because they could, in theory. But it’s going to take a whole lot more than a dime to fix things. So I try for faith, and struggle for a positive attitude. I have two beautiful kids who need me to keep going, preferably with a smile on my face. I have a husband who needs my support, and needs me to believe both in him and in the possibility of things getting better.
One minute at a time. It’s all I’ve got.