It’s a Fact

It’s a fact: no one wants to hear about my money issues right now.  But, they are, in fact, all I can think about.  Actually, I spend a lot of energy all day long trying NOT to think about our financial future.  I try not to focus on the fact that not only is our savings account GONE, but now my 401(k) is quickly dwindling and I don’t like it one bit.  It took a long time for that to build up and now it’s almost gone.  And when that is gone, then what?

You see, I’m pretty attached to this house.  It’s our dream house.  The tears start streaming just thinking about losing it.  When we built it, paying for it was not a problem.  We payed for it and our other bills and still had money for other things.  But, our financial outlook is very different right now from when we built it.

I quit my job.  I quit my job.  I. quit. my. job.  I walked away from the only stable salary we had.  I did that.  No matter how glorious you make being a stay-at-home-mom and no matter how much we agreed on it an no matter how much I LOVE it, I still can’t walk away from I. quit. my. job.  I just shake inside with fear over losing it all because I know that no matter how many times I’m told that it’s not my fault–in my head it will be my fault.

And Jeff.  Oh Lord, I don’t know what’s going to happen with his job.  He works all the time and makes darn near nothing because it’s commission only and when you aren’t selling anything, you aren’t making anything.  He’s eternally positive.  Any minute the top is going to break off and things will be completely better.  He’s going to take classes and pass tests and partner with people and it’s all going to turn around.  The problem with that is that I’m eternally realistic.  So, a few nights ago when I could sense that he was in a mood that could take this question, I asked him: “How long will you ride out this MetLife thing before you would decide it’s not working?”  The answer was pretty scary: “In this economy there are no jobs, Mandi.  This is it for me right now.”  Oh God, I think, we’re going to ride this all the way.

What did I want him to say?  I don’t know, really.  That I want him to get a job that pays a salary?  That I want him to know what else is out there at least?  That I want him to go back to retail store management?  I DON’T KNOW what he can do, I just wish he could make this terrible feeling go away.

We’ve definitely gone into survival mode.  We’re canceling everything we can live without and lowering everything we feel we need.  We’re turning up the temperature on the air conditioner, we’re doing laundry in only full loads.  I’m terrified to spend any money and I definitely don’t want to talk about it.  I don’t like feeling broke and I certainly don’t like other people knowing that I am broke–except for all of you nice, anonymous blog stalkers.  And again, that brings me back to where I was a while back.  When there’s one thing you can’t talk about, it’s the only thing you can think to talk about.  So, I stay at home.  I pull away and I draw up into myself.  This is just one of those things that talking about does not help.

But there’s that one thing that I’m holding onto.  My gym membership.  Those that would judge would certainly jump all over that.  My justification: that is my health and it is very, very important to me to stay healthy.  It’s my preventative medicine.  End of story.

Those same judges would also say: Where is your faith, Mandi?  My only response is something that I’m learning about myself that I don’t like.  When I am to this point (and you just have to walk a mile in my shoes to feel what THIS feels like), my faith really SUCKS (for lack of a better word).


7 responses to “It’s a Fact

  • LittleMissBuffett

    Mandi – I know school is out right now, but is there anyway that you could find out if someone needs a long-term subsitute teacher this fall – and if so, could you consider it? Maybe that would give you some needed income during these recession days without having to make the committment to going back to work full-time? Perhaps short-term income would allow you guys time to get Jeff’s situation on track, but not put you back into a full-time role. Just a thought, but if you have family members who could help with childcare on a short-term basis, perhaps that would make it an easier process for you.

    Wish I had more to offer, but please know that we all do care…and are lifting up prayers for you and your family.

  • Holly

    Stupid freaking economy.


    I have no advice. We’ve been there before and it is not fun at all. All I can say is that I understand -I’m sure many, many people can say they understand- and I hope that things turn around for you.

    I don’t fault you one bit for hanging on to that gym m’ship. Just a suggestion – we are able to use the gym at a church right beside our house, for free, and we aren’t members or anything. Maybe keep an ear out for a deal like that?

    • mindofmandi

      It is REALLY stupid right now. I guess all along I was thinking that it would never get to me and my family.

      Thanks for the tip! I will look for something like that. That would be IDEAL.

  • Lauren

    you know what? i was so strong in my faith at the beginning of our ordeal. and i still love God, want to serve Him, and i know He loves us…but i am beginning to question my beliefs about how much God is involved in that part of our lives. we found out that there was another problem with unemployment, bills late, about a hundred bucks to our name, and i found myself throwing stuff around the yard and yelling at God and asking Him why he can’t just tell us where to go to find work. it takes all day to apply for one job b/c of all the stuff they want you to fill out online. i’m even looking into other areas like charleston and atlanta b/c gsp seems to have the worst job market of all metro areas in the south. we’ve talked about cole going back to school…but for what? how do we know he’ll get a job? because where is God? that’s what i’m asking. where is God? i didn’t realize it was so freaking hard to just send us some work here and there to get by on. i am angry. i am. i guess that’s what the devil wants. but i am. we just have no idea where to go from here. not to make you feel worse lol but we’re for sure in the same exact boat. up sh*t creek without a paddle and going nowhere.

    right now we’re banking on a couple jobs for him, paramedic and recreation for spartanburg. i’m applying for jobs too that might help us barely get by with his unemployment. i want to know what happened to this blessing stuff we’re supposed to have. i’ve had times of serious doubt about God before and i wish i could just make it go away. my dad even said yesterday, “you have to be prepared for if your faith doesn’t work.” great. yeah. we’ll just be like the rest of the world and call ourselves children of God.

    ultimately i still think this is a test. i just hope we pass it.

    do you think you might go back to work?

    • mindofmandi

      No, I don’t think I’ll go back to work. I had the chance to, but I turned it down. There are some yucky feelings involved either way I go, but I went with the least yucky and continued with what I’m doing now. I mean seriously, if the total brokeness wasn’t a factor, my current situation would be PERFECT: staying at home, working mostly from home and getting out to work some so that I stay sane and still feel smart.

      I know how you feel with having a hard time finding your faith. It’s when times get tough that you find out just how much faith you have, and I feel pretty terrible about how little I seem to have in me. And then, when the realizations hit, the guilt overtakes and the tears come and OH THE CYCLE.

  • Whitney

    Oh Mandi, you aren’t the only one! Although we have the advantage of Matt having had (by a long shot) the better paying job when I quit mine to stay home, his business (the one he works for) is intrinsically connected to the car industry, and we all know how that’s going these days.
    I have friends who’s husbands are in pharmaceutacal sales and making money hand over fist, and we’re cut back to bare bones… even the gym membership! It’s a little depressing sometimes…
    I also feel the same way about our house. I LOVE my house. Honestly, I think the tight budget has made me realize even more how much I love it. It would be crushing to have to “downsize”.
    Ahh, but then I remember, as I’m sure you do, that the Lord provides… maybe not in the way we would like, or the way our plan is… but he does provide. But don’t I feel guilty the times when I don’t trust??? Yes. Especially because I know I should… ever feel like that???
    I’m holding out that his business will pick up. It has a tiny bit this summer. I’m hopful that the pay cuts everyone at his work had to take will be re-instated by the end of the year… and that one day, one day, bonuses (no matter what the size) will also be re-instated.
    Until then, just makin’ it, livin’ life on a budget.
    You’re definitely not alone in this.

    • mindofmandi

      Thank you so much, Whitney. Sometimes there’s so much comfort to know that someone else is having the same struggles and coming through them.

      Yes, I do feel so guilty when I realize that there’s such a lack of trust in my heart. When things are happily bouncing along, I throw out the positivity to other people, but it feels terrible that when it hits my fan I can’t muster up the faith to tell myself the same things and REALLY believe them.

      I can also relate with finding a new love for the things you have that really mean so much–like the house. I find myself just touching the walls as I walk down the hallway. In my head, I know it’s just walls and a roof, but the memories within them are so strong that they become so much more than that.

      I’m saying prayers for you guys right now, too–praying you’ll be blessed with more than you can hold and that you’ll get back all you’ve lost and then some.

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