Thursday, October 13, 2016

When Was This "Not Enough"?

Greetings again, Chaotics.
Lately, I have been feeling....discontent with my life.
I had fallen away from my Stepford ways.
I stopped trying to lose weight.
My journey towards debt freedom was lonely and stale.
Our homeschool "day" was literally taking a good chunk of our day.
My husband started talking even MORE on homesteading, which, at one time excited me, but on top of everything else, made me feel even more overwhelmed.
And then, out of the blue...

I got a call for a job I had applied at two months ago. A job I applied at because, at the time, I knew I could get it. A job that, at the time, I only wanted because I was angry at my husband.

I asked my husband what I should do. A large part of me dared hope that this would be the ONE time he put his foot down and said, "NO!" and command me not to do something. That he would see how very overwhelmed I already was with homeschooling, how much of a failure I felt at tackling our budget, how tired I already was between home and church activities.

Maybe he did. But, instead, he said in a tired voice, "Do what you think is best. I'll support you no matter what you decide."
Any other time, I would have been thrilled to hear these words. But that day, those were the last words I wanted to hear.

So, I took the job. Not because I wanted to, but because I figured maybe this was God opening up a door for me to finally do something right(tackling debt). I prayed on it, and when I heard no response from God, no sign on the side of a dumpster, I took it as God was just saying, "Do I REALLY need to say anything? Just take the stinkin' job!".

In minutes, I realized...the people at this particular location are not the same as those in another location I worked at. There was no friendly chatter, no talking about their lives, no joking about...anything. I thought maybe it was because I was new, and everyone was a bit uneasy around me. But after two weeks, I barely got three half sentences about their life beyond the job.

No biggie, I reasoned. It's just a job until I become debt free. Work and go home. 

In two weeks, I realized, these people take their jobs a bit more seriously than my previous location. And that, if we're being totally honest, I could really care less. We're not getting serious bucks to take this job that seriously. Most of us are barely above poverty line for income. We're not getting paid according to our passion for the company. We're getting paid because we don't have the(fill-in-the-blank) to do a higher-income job.

But I digress.

I have called off twice in two weeks. I want to feel bad about it(especially considering I've only called off twice in one whole year at my other location!), but I really don't. They are already trying to gently tell me, I could do better. And, truth be told, I know I could. But, at the expense of what, exactly? And to please...who, exactly??

I woke up the other morning, still recovering from a stomach bug, and these words graced my brain-
 When was this "Not Enough"?

As I cleared my mind of cobwebs, I got pen to paper and started pouring out what was swirling around in my brain.

When was this "Not Enough"? 
Today, I'm home with some sort of belly bug. I worked less than two weeks and I'm ready to quit. 
What happened? Well, I got this job because I had said something wasn't enough. 
Papa Bear's bringing home more than he's ever bought home-yet because he still takes out cash advances, I said it's not enough.
Papa Bear kept adding to my plate of responsibilities. Instead of rising to the challenge, I ran away and said, "this is TOO MUCH, I've had enough!"...but instead of easing my own load, I added something else. 
My children weren't content with the rate things were going. Instead of telling them to suck it up, buttercup, I said in agreement that all we're blessed with is not enough.
Instead of wisely managing what I do have, I kept spending like money was water. I said it wasn't enough. 
I was tackling most of the finances. Instead of proving to Aaron that it all could be done, I foolishly started wasting--then yelled at him for overspending because I had hoped the money remaining would cover what I blew. I said neither one of us were enough.
When did I lose my joy in homemaking? When I realized it wasn't progressing us, when I said what I did, what God entrusted to me, wasn't enough. 
It infuriates me that I got a belly bug...that I got a job outside the realize, I hate having to cater to someone that's not within my home's schedule, I hate not being the queen of all domesticated duties, I hate not being the boss of my own hours and days. I'm mad at myself that I could care less about this job, the service, about pleasing the very people who authorize my paycheck. 
I got this job to pay off prove to someone out there I was taking this debt thing seriously. But who am I kidding? I could of done that at home, being more mindful over Papa's money. 
It's not proving anything to Papa(**Side note- that night, he confessed it did. I'll explain below**). He's still spending money on the road. It's not proving anything to my kids. Except the complete opposite--how I value money over them. 
It's not proving to my debt journey friends a thing- they're not here. 
I feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world. I WAS a proud homemaker, I would constantly preach to other women what a joy it was  is  to be a homemaker. Now I'm embarrassed and horrified at the thought of someone I know seeing me at my job location. Now I'm falling behind in my housework. Now Papa and the kids are having to pick up the slack. Now I'm not sure if I want to keep going at this job.....

I stopped at that point because I started crying. I felt like such a fool. Someone, something had gifted me with this teach me a lesson. It wasn't about the money. It wasn't about proving something to, well, anyone. It was about ME. It was MY stinkin' thinkin' that needed to change. I was at my tipping point and the job was just the straw that broke this camel's back.

My husband and I had a talk that night. I really wasn't going to say anything. I was just going to suck it up and deal with it. I had taken the job, I was just going to need to learn to deal with it. But out of nowhere, my husband mentioned he was trying again to not spend a dime on the road. He was three days in, and he said, he was trying his best. He wanted next pay to be the pay he shows me a paycheck without advances taken out. The jaded part of me wanted to say nothing, to inwardly roll my eyes...because how many times have I heard that?!?. But I shut that hussie up and said words of congratulations. He then said something else....he noticed how he had been looking at the big picture(which, he had been lately-only thinking of our dream home without really thinking how we'd get there,etc.), and realized if he wanted to get to that place, that he had to take steps in the here and now to try and get there. As he said it, "I've been looking at the map but wondering why I keep tripping over rocks!".
Well, I started crying again. I told him how I hated this job, how I wanted O-U-T, how I discontent I was about not meeting any goals. He said he noticed, and that he wasn't sure why on earth I even took this job, my plate was already full, didn't I see how much what I WAS trying to do meant to him, to the kids, to our family? He then said how taking this job was the slap in the face he needed. He remembered how he promised me that as long as he was alive and able to work any job, that once we got married, I'd NEVER take another job outside the home. He knew then how much of a desire to be a homemaker for me was, but once he saw me at it(and not, you know, doing it Peggy Bundy style like his ex-wife did), realized how much he needed it, too. He didn't want me having to divide my time between a job that could really care less about me as an individual and a family that saw me as an essential part of making it work. That it is I who really makes our house a home, and without me fully devoting myself to it, it's just an empty shell that people share.

Well, if I wasn't crying before...I was REALLY letting the waterworks fly then.

We agreed, I was to quit.

The next morning, I realized both of us were doing the same thing, just in different measures. Papa was dreaming too far into the future without realizing the here and now. I was taking on too many of the here and now's trying to make the future into everything all at once.Because, wouldn't it be great if I lost weight, we got debt free, we had our emergency savings already in place, our pantry stocked, and a baby on the way..ALL AT THE SAME TIME?!?!
 I wrote down everything I was trying to accomplish, and put a number on the priority I wanted them done. That way, each time I start to feel discontent that everything is not falling into place at the same time, I have to remember, I am only one human being, and I can only do so much.

This is my list-
1. Start baby step 1 of saving $1000. 
   I texted Papa this, and told him, I won't quit my job until we meet this goal. If he's going to push himself to stop spending on the road, then I can push myself to make this job count in some way before quitting. If we both keep at it, we should have this by the end of November. I told him I really wanted to quit before snow and ice because, truth be told, nothing damper's a winter lover's attitude than actually having to put wheels under all that awesomeness and attempting to do stuff aside from making snow people.
2. Start saving a Repair/Replace Car Fund, and a Christmas/Birthday/Holiday fund.
   One of the main reasons we can't keep or maintain an emergency fund is that we treat our car emergencies like life or death emergencies and we act like Christmas(and birthdays,etc.) just springs up on us. No more!  After these two goals are met, we can actually enjoy the holidays without feeling like we're robbing Peter to pay Paul.
3. To have 2 months extra paid on all  our bills.
  This may sound like a silly thing, but it's not. Papa's a truck driver, and his ability to make more money slows down as he has to slow down on the roads. If we can keep our bills at two months ahead of time, then once the leaner months hit, we won't have to stress on if we can pay everyone because they'll already be paid.
4. To have a fully stocked pantry.
  This is my personal security issue. I want my dry pantry filled in case of anything, one freezer filled with just meats, and the other, with freezer meals I make. We're halfway full in the dry pantry, but once I leave my job, I'll have to start tackling the other two. IF I have time, I'd like to start using my youtube channel to record how I do this.
5.Baby Step 2- To have our debt fully paid by the end of 2017. 
I know this SEEMS impossible for us, especially on our income, ESPECIALLY with how much debt we have. But I'm trusting the God of the impossible.
6. To lose 50 pounds.
I have lost 10-ish pounds working my bum off during the summer. I need to do this not only to be a healthier me, but also because of  goal #7
7. To have the money saved up to do our DFS(Debt Free Scream) on the Dave Ramsey Show and get my reversal surgery done by 2018.
8. To start Baby Steps in Homesteading, while saving up for our dream home&land.

I'd like to juggle all these things at once, but I have tried and it doesn't work. While all these things seem like a ticking time bomb that need to be started right now, I know doing them all without giving each the total devotion it needs is just a recipe for disaster. Then nothing gets done and I become overwhelmed, tired and an angry, snappy Mama Bear. Even if this goal list takes longer than the times given, I'm going to trust God knows what He's doing.

So, no more of "This isn't enough." I'm going to be content with the step we're on now, and not listen or worry about what everyone else thinks. I'm going to give myself to the goal we're on and keep on keepin' on until we get it DONE, before moving onto to the next one.

Anyone else like this as of lately? If so, I'd love to hear about it, or what you're doing to combat it!

Until Next Time,
~ Mama Jenn