Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Post in Which I Couldn't Think of an Appropriate Title

I have been struggling with this here blog lately.

You probably couldn't tell, because I have been making an extra effort the last few weeks to keep things upbeat and positive around here and less gloom and doom.

Sometimes I have a tendency to focus on the gloom and doom.

That comes as a surprise to many of you, I'm sure ;)

The truth is that the last few months have been very good. Yes, we still have have problems and issues that we are dealing with. Everyone does.

But for the most part life has been good. We're getting by. My health is good. Our marriage is good. My job is good.

I was just starting to get to the point where I was worrying less about stuff and trying to enjoy more of my life instead of being stressed out most of the time.

Of course you know this is the part of the story where everything goes to H** in a hand basket, right?

Except it isn't a story. It's my life.

It started last week when I found out that I was going to lose my health insurance at my job.

Budget cuts. I didn't mention it here(although I did have a mini meltdown over on Facebook about it) because I was trying to keep up the positive vibe over here, and also I promised myself
I am not going to worry so much.

And no, I cannot go on my husband's insurance because he doesn't have any right now. His part time job does provide health insurance but he was not eligible at first and in the meantime we missed the enrollment period. So this development had me a teeny bit panicked. I have a major disease. I cannot be without insurance.

But my husband and I talked about it and we agreed we could probably find a way to afford CO.BRA for few months until we got things situated at his job with his insurance.

I soldiered on, telling myself to think positively and everything would be okay and we would work it out.

Then yesterday my husband got up to go to the first day of the new classes at (one of) the colleges he teaches at. Before he could leave he got a phone call from the Dean of the college. The Dean was calling to tell him that his 2 classes had been given to a full time instructor due to budget cuts and low enrollment.

He came to my work and told me. I was in shock. And scared. Those classes represent half of our monthly pay. How would we get by without it?

Then he went on to tell me that he had received an e-mail from the other college he teaches at later in the day, and it said the same thing. Both of his classes were given to a full time instructor because of low enrollment.

My husband is out of a job. Effective immediately. Completely and totally out of work. He has no other schools to fall back on.

The only sources of income we have now are the one that comes from my job, and his part time job that he works at night.

Neither of these is enough to cover our rent and monthly expenses.

After hearing all of this information and letting it digest for a spell, I did what any normal person would do in this situation.

I went into full freak out mode. Now keep in mind that I found out this information while I was at work, and aside from shedding a few tiny tears when my co-workers found out what was wrong, I managed to hold it together until the end of the work day.

So I should say I waited until 5:01 p.m. yesterday before I went into full freak out mode.

It started on the phone with my husband in the car on the way home and continued when I got home and into most of the night. I even forgot to eat dinner. That's how much I was freaking out. We're talking hyperventilating here. There was crying. Lots of crying. And asking of questions like "What are we going to do"?, which my husband had no answers for.

I cried myself to sleep last night. Today was my day off and when I woke up(with red, swollen eyes) I laid in bed for awhile pondering the situation when suddenly I came to a realization.

You know what?

All that freaking out? The worrying and the stressing and the crying?

It isn't going to help the situation. Not one bit. Not even a little.

So I have decided that I'm not going to do it. Okay, maybe that's a little ambitious. I'm going to try very hard not to do it.

And once I made that decision I felt a sense of peace wash over me. That doesn't mean I am going to be cool as a cucumber at all times during this period. It just means I am not going to waste my energy on things that won't help the situation.

And just because I have decided not to freak out about this doesn't mean I'm not scared. Because I am. Really scared.

We could use your thoughts and prayers during the next several months as my husband looks for another job and we figure out our living arrangements(if it comes to that).

Tomorrow my husband will go to the unemployment office and see if he qualifies. The last time his classes were canceled he was told that he did not qualify because he was considered a "temporary employee"(they call it "adjunct") and also because he had a part time job that was providing some income(as is the case now).

****I am very angry at the way our state community colleges treat their adjunct faculty(disposing of them like trash when they don't need them after 8 years of employment), but that is a post best left for another time.*****

Lastly, that song that's playing? My theme song right now. For sure.


Marla said...

OK, so I read this several minutes ago, started to comment, and realized that I really didn't even know what to say. Then I popped over to FB, saw your comment there and felt like I needed to come back here and say the only thing I can think of, which is that I am SO sorry. Y'all will be in my prayers, big time. Big hugs to you from Texas tonight!

K said...

We are SO SORRY guys. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. You know I'm only a phone call or e-mail away.

a Tonggu Momma said...

So, SO sorry. I have no words... just know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone struggling with this yucky, horribly economy.

Jill said...

Michelle, I am so so sorry for you and your husband. Just try to turn things over to the Lord. I know it is so easier said than done, but I urge you to try.
My prayers are with you both.

M3 said...

Oh Michelle, I am so sorry...

Rhonda said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about this. Wishing your hubby much luck looking for a new job...

Linda said...

Sorry to hear you too are affected by this economy. Nothing to do but continue to live your life the best you can.. Please keep the faith and know that many people are praying and thinking of you. When these things happen to me I go in breakdown mode, then I realize I cannot change what happened, I can just go forward and know that this too shall pass and life will go on. Easier said then done, But you can do that You have been through a lot and come out the other side..We all have faith in you.... Linda

3D said...

I wish I had more comforting words then I am sorry but please know that you are both cared for by many and I will hold you in my heart and in my prayers.

When awful stuff happens, we may not see the light, but it will soon shine once again.

Keep smilin!

Journeywoman said...

I'm thinking of you. I've been exactly where you are and I have nightmares that I will be there again.

A few things you might want to look into.

A) FIGHT for the unemployment. They are required by law to give you a hearing if they turn you down. (or at least here they are.)

2) See where you can cut. If you have to spend money before you can cut, that's fine. (like buying a crock-pot) There are a lot of frugality blogs that have amazing ideas.

3) Some people get paid for advertising on their blog. Find out about it.

4) If you can, open an ING savings account and throw some money in there. Have this be your "luxury" account.

You have my email if you need to talk.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Oh Michelle, I am so sorry....I am at a total loss for words right now!! I wish there was something I could do or say to comfort you guys....

Try to stay positive...I like what 3D said up there...Maybe it happened for a reason....something better is waiting for the two of you. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers!!


Tracy said...

I am so sorry, this economy is really scary!! I hope your husband finds a new job ASAP (hopefully one with benefits)! I hope you are able to keep out of freak out mode-easier said than done I know.

suzanne said...

I usually just lurk here but wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts. Is it your husbands part time job that offers insurance, if so see if this is considered to be a qualifying event for a change in status. Sometimes you can be added outside of an enrollment period for certain circumstances. It is worth looking into because I am sure the premiums will be less than COBRA.

Julie said...

You are in our prayers!

KHM said...

I was absolutely horrified to read this.

I second the comment about finding out if this is a "qualifying event"

Depends on how the employer words things, but we had something similar happen and it turned out that the circumstance (husband losing his insurance) was a qualifying event where I work and I was able to pick both of us up.

Will be praying. Don't know what else to say just now.

Karen and Bob said...

Michelle, I am so sorry to hear of this news. My thoughts are with you and Joe.

Kayce said...

Michelle, I'm so sorry and am thinking of you and praying for you both right now. Please call if you need a shoulder to cry on. Hugs.

Laura said...

Michelle, I'm so sorry. I can't believe all you've been through in the last 2 years and now this on top of it. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa and Tate said...

i dont't know what to say or offer.. only my prayers and hopes for you guys! i admire that you are chosing such a good attitude. prayers, my friend, prayers are going out for you.


Liene said...

Tells you how much I was paying attention to your Facebook page.

I am so sorry. It really sucks right now for a people I know. My cousins got screwed in their business by their parent company which I won't mention. Had to shut their stores down. Oldest cousin along with his wife and kids are living with his parents. Middle cousin is trying to sell his house and file bankruptcy so they can't come after him. He and wife just had baby #2 on the 5th of January. I think they may move in with her parents but I don't know. The boys are running another business but it's still not easy and they're making WAY less than they were before. However, they said that in a way this has been a blessing to them. It's made them realize that life doesn't revolve around stuff and how much stuff you can have.

I also wanted to tell you that in times of stress, we tend to lash out at the ones we love most. I know when we were getting ready to move to GA last month, I was constantly at the better half's throat, and cried I did. I didn't want to move, I didn't want to change my life.

I know you will find insurance. Just be patient. I'm like you - I CANNOT live without insurance because of my heart issues, which knock on wood have been great for the past 7 months.

I'm sending (((((((big hugs))))))) to you because I know you need them right now. And like the 1st song on your playlist says, "JUST BREATHE".

Joannah said...

I'm sorry, Michelle. I hope things get better very soon.


Keisha said...

I know you probably don't know me, I found you througn Marla's blog. I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you and your husband right NOW! God is in control of ALL things my friend.. as I'm sure you already know.

Keisha Walker

Shannon said...

Oh Michelle, I am so so sorry. Man, when it rains it pours. You guys are in my prayers.