Normally I’m a pretty nostalgic person. I get a little sad at the end of the year over all the good times that had passed, the loved ones we may have lost, and the blessings we were granted. Not this year. Nope. I will be grateful when the clock strikes midnight and 2014 has finally arrived and the Year from Hell as breathed its last.
Last year as 2013 started my hubby and I toasted to the new year with our girls over sparkling cider with the hope that our family would be back home in Pennsylvania. Well we are, but it didn’t go down the way we hoped…
Who would have guessed just over two months later I would lose my job, and with it the sole source of income for the family. Unemployment in the state we were living in topped out at less than $400 a week, and I had been making more than that…much much more. Needless to say things went from bad to worse pretty fast. We moved to our home state to be closer to family and where there is a lower cost of living. A good idea but it took my kids away from the schools and friends they knew and forced them to start over in a location we weren’t (and still aren’t 100%) comfortable with.
Fortunately my husband found a job in the industry he worked in before we moved away. Unfortunately he makes about a fifth of what I had been making. I applied for jobs every week and went on interviews, but got nowhere.
Mean while my health, which had everything to do with me losing my job, just got worse and worse. It wasn’t long before the brain fog I was feeling everyday was seeping into the interviews and I couldn’t really hide it any more. I get up and get the kids to school and have every intention of getting lots of things done, but most of the time I end up laying down and going back to sleep. I had my first appointment with one of the best rheumatologists in the city, who happens to be highly respected for her work across the country, and it was awful – I’m not looking forward to a second appointment in a few weeks (that’s another post for another time),
Then there was the violent meeting between my husband and a large deer while he was on the way home from work one night that totaled our car. We couldn’t get a loan to get a decent car and bought a car older and worth less than the one that was totaled. My husband seems fairly confident in this decision. I wish I was. In the less than two months we’ve had it, it spent almost two weeks back at the place we bought trying to figure out what was wrong with it and we owe them another $200. My in-laws felt bad because they found and convinced us to buy it so they paid to have some of the other stuff wrong with it fixed. (Yes, we bought a car we knew had problems because that’s all we could afford.)
I know it sounds like it, but it wasn’t all bad. I’ve been spending more time with my daughters. I’ve been cooking more, which means more things “from scratch” and less from a box like my husband does. My girls seem to like and it. I’m getting to cook with the girls and teach them a few things, which they seem to enjoy – but it can be hard to tell sometimes with a 15 year old.
Let’s not forget I wrote my first novel. It still seems strange to type. I’ll be working on editing that and writing the next one in January. I don’t know where it’ll take me. Hopefully someone will read what I write, and I’ve got some ideas on how to get it out there, but at the moment telling some stories and getting them out of my head and on the page is the important part. I mean it doesn’t make much sense to plan on publishing and marketing when you don’t have a finished story yet. So I’m focusing on one step at a time.
It’s so hard to look back and realize that in less than a year we went from giving to Toys for Tots and food pantries to receiving from them. I know it’s just a bump in the road. I know we’ll get through this. We’re together and that’s the most important part. Our family and friends are being really supportive and that’s huge.
Despite everything that happened in this year we’re still hopeful. Things will get better. It doesn’t change the fact that 2013 sucked.
Here’s hoping 2014 is better. Happy New Year All!