Monday, November 30, 2009

"Welcome to the First Day of the Rest of Your Life."

What a crazy week it has been getting here.

Mon. 11/23 - Schedulded for work since I normally had this day off from school. But because of Thanksgiving on Thur., the school switched Thursday's class to Monday. So I was in a panic to find someone to work for me, which I thankfully did so I could go to class.

Tue. 11/24 - Attended class which was mainly a review for the final but also a pot luck party which I really enjoyed. It is sad to say that we are skimping on food so much that being able to eat nice food at a pot luck or party is such a treat! I am not ashamed to go back for seconds.

Wed. 11/25 - Got a 92% on the final exam. It as one of the highest scores. I made 3 silly errors that I should have gotten right. Came home to work on the storage shed consolidation. Got son haircut.

Thur. 11/26 - Thanksgiving. Had two helpings of dinner and a small slice of pumpkin and apple pie. Ditto my comment about having an opportunity to partake of a nice meal. The day went very well with my family but there is stress involved with such get-togethers. The night was cold and rainy but I still tried to work at the storage shed. Because of computer glitch I could not gain entry but maybe that was for the best.

Fri. 11/27 - Put in an eight-hour shift cashiering Black Friday at the big box store. They did provide a nice lunch for everyone (cold cuts, cheeses, chips, dip, veggies, fruit, potato salad, cookies, cake, pop). Again, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this meal, especially the fruit. I took some home with me. After work, my close girlfriend treated me to dinner out. We both got fried chicken salads with soup and I saved half my salad for Sat. I am finding that the poorer I have become, the more food means to me. And that is a sad observation to be aware of! Gave my manager notice and he requested two weeks. I asked for a transfer to a local store near the town we are moving to but not sure of the liklihood.

Sat. 11/28 - Finished moving the contents of one 11 x 30 shed into another. Now I only have two sheds - an 11 x 30 and an 11 x 20. Before I was paying $600.00 monthly for the three sheds which of course is impossible to afford. Trouble was, after working an exhausting Black Friday, the strain of moving things at the shed left me physically exhausted! Plus, I ran out of room and ended up taking the excess to the apartment. So the apartment is overstuffed with a bike in the kitchen and so on. I figure we are not going to be living there so what does it matter? Had to work from 5-11 p.m. Just very tired.

Sun. 11/29 - Went to my final school clinical at the nursing home on only four hours of sleep (but that is how it has been the past five weeks since I have worked Sat. nights until closing). Got the highest score on the final clinical exam (90%) but again made silly errors. Class let out early and I'd hoped to get an earlier start with driving to our new home but my oldest was with his girlfriend and not being cooperative. I did go to the apartment rental office to give notice of my intent to move. Breaking my lease early will result in some costly charges but the rental company will work with me to pay them off over a monthly time frame. We are looking at $2,000.00! From there it was a mad dash packing up things for a week's stay. There hadn't been time to organize earlier in the week so our packing was of the throw it all in bags strategy. Both boys were exceedingly rude and nasty to me during the afternoon and for about three-quarters of the four-hour drive. Basically, they blamed me for having to move since I haven't been able to get a full-time job, threatend to not do their homework, refused to particpate in sports, claimed they would not speak to anyone ever at the new school, that sort of thing. I know they are upset with the move so I tried to bear it but my resolve was running thin and I told them that I will not tolerate disrespect, etc. The little restaurant we like to stop at half-way was closed so we just grabbed some McDonald's which we ate in the car. We got in about 8:45. My sister kindly called me to see how we were doing. She mentioned that my brother told her how much he likes GF (even more than Husband #1 and Husband #2. I felt a little bad about that because Husband #1 isn't here anymore but I tried to take it as a compliment about GF who really is about as decent a guy as you can get).

Mon. Today 11/30 - We escorted the boys to the guidance office at 7:30 but left as we were the only parents there. GF and I then went to Walmart for groceries. We came home and handled financial matters, e.g. making an appointment to transfer my car/life insurance over to GF's new local agent, etc. We also made a truck reservation for me this weekend so I can clear out the smaller storage shed since I have to go back to work on Sat. night anyway and I'll bring the boys with me so they can see their friends while I am at work. We'll put the contents of that shed into the garage here where I can finally have a chance to get through it once and for all! A lot of it is from my parent's home from the sale of their house two years ago. It will be so wonderful to knock the monthly expense of two of the storage sheds off. As it is now, we will have a very tight month financially this December which is so sad bcause it is the most magical month of the year. And we've had such meager holidays the past two years (I heard about that too from the boys). I hope we will be able to get them something. As long as I can have some nice food here in the house for everyone I will be happy.

Now the boys are still at school and GF at work. I am bracing up for hearing an earful when they come home. It is a bit surreal that I am sitting in a living room of a home that I will now be residing in. GF said goodnight to me last night by saying, "Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life." I was way too tired to make any witty replies. I am grateful to be sitting here in a home again with groceries in the pantry. Enough for the entire week. I am glad I took the Certified Nursing Asst. class. If I don't get hired for a social services job I will seek employment at a nursing home. It all could be worse. The sun is out and the tidy neighborhood we live in is quiet and peaceful. GF will come home this evening and my sons will be here. We will be safe, sound and sheltered. The boys have their pick of soup and a grilled cheese or two with carrot sticks, sloppy joes with tater tots and corn, spaghetti with garlic bread or Enchilladas for dinner. Cheap and filling.

No one has starved. We somehow made it. It hasn't been easy. I remain terribly worried about finances and must find a job as soon as possible. In the meantime, I will take some downtime with getting the smaller storage shed moved and then we have to focus on moving out the contents of the apartment. I will go back home to take the state CNA certification exam in mid-Jan. In fact, since I had to give a 60-day notice with the apt., we will go back over Christmas break for one week so the boys can be with their friends.

What I dreaded so much was the move to the apartment. But we all got through that and in the end, it was certainly not as bad as what I'd anticipated in my mind. The constant shuffling around and moving of my possesions from such a big home to a smaller place has been the real pain. All in all, we only spent 2 1/2 months living in the apartment. And already we've moved onward and upward.

But the most amazing piece of all of this for me is to have truly fallen to the lowest financial level I have ever been. Once the rent and bills are paid this month there is NOTHING left for food. And I am not even sure if there will be enough for all the bills. If GF hadn't been here for us I'm not sure what would have happened. I feel as though he has saved us. It is hard to describe in words how I really feel inside. To know that you have fallen to the bottom of a long and dark basement staircase. But thankfully someone helps you up, turns on the light and starts guiding you back up the stairs. We could have spent a long time in a musty, damp, dank basement. By a stroke of luck or a miracle or both, our time on the basement floor was very brief. As soon as we fell, we were picked right back up. There that describes it perfectly. To be picked up at the exact moment of hitting the bottom. That is what it feels like to me. If that isn't getting saved, I don't know what is.


  1. i hope your sons settle in and start treating you with respect. the decisions you made were not solely for yourself but also for their safety and well being. maybe one day they will realize how hard it was for you, how scared you were.

    you are blessed that your stay in the "basement" as you call it was brief. even though your Christmas might be lean compared with the dreams you all have, you all have a new start to look forward to and a life situation that seems like it will improve as the weeks move along.

    congratulations and peace.

  2. Now you know the only way is UP! Just that alone will have to give a great sense of peace and calm.

    So much has happened to the boys and really when we all think back on high school, we all felt like it was the be all end all. They have no other thing to counter balance it against. They will adjust,and in time, I am sure will be as happy. It's hard for them too right now.

    I am glad to see the relief in you -- may you have many blessings this upcoming year.

  3. I AM SO GLAD!! The boys will either come around or they won't--so what. THey are still under your care for a couple of years anyway and eventually...they will see that this move was the right thing to do...for you and them.
    You give GF a huge hug--he has taken on a big commitment and he has taken it on gladly. Gotta love him for that.

  4. you must have felt petrified the whole time. And yet you passed those exams with very impressive results. Well done, and well done on managing the move and well done on managing to not explode at your sons ... teenagers are teenagers BUT when you are that stressed, wow.