I know, you want all the bad news, all the ways I have screwed up…yet again! And I promise, you are going to get that. But since it has been a while and my life has changed so much just this summer, a little life update first.
Mostly empty nesting is going well
Pretty is still at home. She is working at a local retail store and going to school for cosmetology. I filed the adoption paperwork for her, but there has been a set back. So I’ll update on that some other time. (But it does adversely affect her ability to get financial aid for school which is why I brought it up so more to come on that saga.)
The five dogs keep me company and were really the only motivation I had to get out of bed for several weeks as the kids all moved away. The transition from MOM to single, isolated woman in a tiny town was so hard. Not to mention the crazy financial stress I have been on since…oh, last July. It has been the roughest year of my life. And those who have been around know I’ve had some rough years.
I’ve made and am making a concentrated effort to get more involved with my church. I try to go diligently Sunday mornings and just this past week made it to a Wednesday night women’s group with the encouragement of some women in my Sunday School class. And I am volunteering every Sunday evening to teach ESL. We are four weeks in on that is going well.
Finally, I am continuing to walk 5 miles every morning before 7am. And trying really hard to convince myself to add some other workout type thing to it…basic weights at home or jump roping. I’m not there yet, but it’s a goal.
The job hunt
The job hunt is TERRIBLE. Losing my dream job last summer about killed my confidence. Not getting converted to employee from the contract role hurt financially (the work environment was not a pleasant one,) and then being unemployed since February has been gut wrenching. I have probably put in at least 500 applications. The response is almost dead silence.
I am so grateful for my part time job (that I got after being referred by someone in my Sunday School class) which has provided a relatively stable income since March. Although it doesn’t pay the bills exactly, it is way more than nothing. And I genuinely love what I am doing and where I’m doing it. Who knew that I would enjoy going to an office every day?!? Thank goodness, she doesn’t care in the slightest what I wear.
It’s been a struggle to revive my contracting business after mostly shutting it down two years ago. But my purpose and goals are becoming more clear. And I’m dedicating time almost every day to its resurrection and pursuing projects and opportunities.
I’ve been on more than a few dates. And I hate it. I don’t know that I will ever trust a man again. (My 5 year relationship/1 year engagement ended last November with no notice over text message. I literally wanted to die.) But when the loneliness threatens to overwhelm me or I get tired of sandwiches and noodles to eat (no, I’m not really that shallow) I will put myself out there.
Trying new things
I did decide that I wanted to learn to paddle board. I’m fat, so out of shape, and with my hearing pretty much gone, my balance is terrible. But it looks amazing. Thankfully, my back door neighbors are a young couple who LOVE the outdoors. She has made it her mission to teach me. And it’s free, we have soooo many lakes around here and she is letting me use their equipment.
I haven’t gotten to my feet yet, but I’ve mastered knees and seated. It’s been so good for me. And the best part, they are dog lovers like me, they have 3. As soon as I get more comfortable, I will be able to take my dog and do it with her on the board. So freaking excited about that!
I know, I know. You’re slapping your forehead, going “This girl. She’s in all this debt, can’t pay her bills and she’s still talking about traveling.” I am! I can’t help myself. Taking Gymnast to Texas at the end of July really lit the fire in me to car camp more often. And the 3 boys all now being states away and Princess being hours away. I have to. But I’m doing it soooo cheaply. And it’s so good for my mental health. It’s kind of a must.
Hope is a digital marketing manager and foster/adoptive single mom to five kids. She has run her own consulting company for over 15 years and took a leap of faith returning to the corporate world in 2021 to a job and team she loves! Hope began sharing her journey with the BAD community in the Spring of 2015 and feels like she has finally mastered the balance between family first and wise financial decisions.