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Just have to Ask

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I mentioned my new perspective specifically in regards to my job search in yesterday’s book club post. I have really been struggling mentally and emotionally. We are year three of constant stress and upheaval in regards to housing and finances. It just hasn’t stopped.

Better Off without Me

For the first time in a long time, I can say that I have very clear moments of despair with no view of positive things in my life. And that is just not like me, I’ve always been a “glass half full” kind of girl. My beliefs that:

  • God has His hand on my life;
  • Everything happens for a reason;
  • It will turn around and so on.

These beliefs continue to hold strong, but boy, there are definitely moments, sometimes hours or whole nights where I think “the kids would be way better off without me.” I mean that’s what life insurance is for right?!? Before anyone calls the suicide hotline on me, I’m not suicidal. The thought of leaving my kids is not something I could ever act on. But I wanted to share because I KNOW there are a lot of others out there that have been through similar experiences and similar thought processes.

Taking a Different Approach

For the last couple of years, I have been so focused on getting back into the corporate world, making the amount of money I should earn with my education and experience and just generally following the expected course when one loses their job. And I’ve been miserable. I hated leaving kids every day. I hated never having a moment to just be. I hated working literally around the clock.

But this time, now, after reading Your Money or Your Life AND dealing with the last year and my last employer, I’m choosing a completely different path. I’m creating my own opportunities. I’m asking for what I want, how I want it and when I want it.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what all I’ve been doing, but I will share a couple of examples.

First, I’ve approached the local Boys & Girls Club about doing some programming with middle school kids for them. This was triggered after some really tough experiences Gymnast has had at the school.  This area is so poor, so racially divided and extremely limited in opportunities.

I feel like I could help turn that around.  They have said YES to the programming and are now working on finding ways to pay me to do it.  We are looking at grants, their current budget or maybe bringing me on with a dual role: programming and administration.

Right now, I am volunteering a few hours a week, getting my foot in the door. And they’ve given me a space to call my own.  I’m very hopeful that this could turn into steady part time income. And more than that, really fill the need in me to help and work with kids.

Second, I applied for a local job in the news paper. Office manager, several hundred a week and while it’s not great money, I thought, I could pay most of the bills with it. Well, it’s not so local, it’s an hour away. I cried on the way to the interview.

I knew that 10 more hours in the car a week, $100 more dollars for gas, the job just wasn’t feasible. But  I went to the interview and I put it in God’s hands. It turned out to be a really small creative operation and I would have LOVED to work there.

I explained the logistics and financial challenges to the owner before leaving. He offered me the job on the spot. I told him I would put some thought into and see if there was any way I could make it work. I cried on the way home too.

Saturday afternoon I get an email from him…”Will you work 20 hours a week remotely, 1/2 the pay and we will revisit more hours and incentive pay in 4 weeks?”  Guess what, I cried again. The money isn’t great, it’s $325 per week. But the benefits of staying home, creating my own schedule and getting to work for a company I will enjoy…priceless.

I accepted and will be spending the day at their shop on Thursday to get start.

Current Status

Essentially, I have one part time remote job and one volunteer position that has a very high probability of becoming a part time position. The income, well, it’s not enough to pay the bills yet, but it’s a giant step forward on all accounts. The most important one being, I’m getting my “groove” back, my joy, my purpose.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Walnut |

    Your focus right now is paying rent, keeping the electricity on and food on the table. The last budget I could find on September 30 suggests that you’ll be able to accomplish those three items. It might help out for you to identify which budget line items you are able to cash flow with your various jobs and which items you’re still funding out of your emergency fund. This might help keep your focus sharp as you continue to search for opportunities.

  • Reply SMS |

    Wonderful new developments! However, I think you would also benefit from speaking with a therapist, if that is covered under your health insurance. Or a minister. Have you found a church in Georgia? Even though you are not suicidal, you are sometimes in despair and always under stress. There is no shame in this. Please consider it.

  • Reply Jean |

    This is a great suggestion. Finding a church where you could join a women’s group or even find a mentor of sorts would be really beneficial. And if your health insurance doesn’t cover counseling, you might be able to find someone that charges on a sliding scale.

    Initially, my reaction to your post was that you were ‘giving up’ and ‘going back to what feels safe’. But in essence, you’ve gone through the steps that you would go through with a career/life coach, except you did it on your own. I think it’s great that you have changed your mindset to be in charge of your own destiny and ask for what you want. I truly hope that you are able to find fulfillment AND be able to pay the bills. (Side note: I worked w/a career coach last year and decided that I really want to work for a non-profit, but I can’t do that until my house is paid off, since my husband is now retired and going to a non-profit would most likely mean a pretty good cut in pay – at least that’s what I’m anticipating and planning for. But I have a plan, and there are days that having a plan makes it a lot easier to go to work!)

  • Reply JayP |

    There is a podcast by Kate Bowler I find very uplifting, and she has also written a book. She had the perfect life, but was then diagnosed with incurable cancer. The book is called “Everything Happens for a Reason, and other lies I have loved”. Her podcast is called Everything Happens. Basically, things just do happen, and not necessarily for a reason, and not because we have made bad choices, caused them, or are being punished. Its so uplifting because its about the way forward, and will leave you inspired and uplifted. Check it out.

  • Reply Joe |

    I’m glad to hear that these two opportunities will enable you to get by in the near term.
    Long term, it’s important to get to the right balance. That means alignment between money/time/lifestyle. A lot of the feedback on the blog over the years has been centered around this. For instance, I remember a few years ago the idea of taking a vacation to Europe was floated. A great goal to be sure, but not properly aligned with the financial situation in my opinion.
    Now, I see the great strides you have taken and would encourage you to consolidate. For instance, please use the time you have now that the kids are in public school to focus on stress/mental health. Despite your misgivings, it sounds like they are doing great.
    Finally, I think it’s important to consider the possibility that it’s not “corporate jobs” that were the wrong choice for you, but this particular “corporate job”. From your description, it certainly seemed like a very atypical situation. I also think back to the posts where you were over the moon soon after starting that job. If you could capture that situation over a longer period of time, that would enable you to get on the path of financial freedom without making unacceptable sacrifices in other areas.

  • Reply Kate |

    Great news on the job, Hope! $325 a week may not be a huge amount, but on the other hand it will take care of a lot of your bills!

So, what do you think ?