Can I just whine? I was out of work for almost 2 years, but while unemployed, I freelanced. First, I had an incredible severance so I could relax for a few months. Even in my panic of looking for work and not getting a nibble, I freelanced my old job at $25 an hour. So 2 months ago I got a job... finally. The prospect of a job WITH benefits was more than I could take. I forgot that it would merely be the OPPORTUNITY to have benefits. So I took this incredibly low-paying job, earning HALF my age. I'm 47. You do the math.
The last time I made less than HALF my age was when I first got out of college at the age of 21 and only made $10,200 as a first-year teacher. At the time, I had a tiny apartment ($199 monthly rent) and a tiny car with a tiny monthly payment. It was just me. 26 years later and life is no better. Aren't thing supposed to get better as you age? Better? Easier? More prosperous? So I take this job for a measly salary and discover that the medical insurance for my family will cost me an entire paycheck. You read that right. So half my measly salary will go for health insurance, which leaves me with the other half to... what? It won't even pay the mortgage. A month before I took my new job my husband took a new job after 5 years at a low-paying job that did not provide (the opportunity for) benefits. So at the anticipation of making twice his salary, he took this new job. Well, if you know me, then you've heard that he got a pay check after 4 weeks on the job, and IT BOUNCED. He went to the bank to cash it, not once, not twice, but three times, only to be told there was no money in the account. This guy offered to pay our car payment if my husband put magnetic signs on the door when he sold the roofing so we bought a new car to replace the 10-yr-old van. Now we have a huge car payment, and he has no salary, not even a lousy one.
How does this shit happen? I am usually such a positive person. I am exhausted from this job, but that's just because it's a new routine. It's not really that exhausting. But I drive 30 minutes each way and wonder how much of my crummy salary is going to gas. At least when I freelanced, I didn't go anywhere which meant I never bitched about the high price of gas. Now, if you're keeping score, that's a car payment, gas, wear and tear on a new car, clothes, lunch, all costing money we don't have that I never had to spend when I freelanced. So how do I quit my job? I don't. How do I find another one that pays me (a) what I'm worth and (b) what I need? I have no idea. Here's where the not-so-positive part comes. I am trapped. My daughter will graduate from college next year with her teaching degree and make approximately $15,000 MORE than I am making as the age of 22. She jokes about moving home and living in our basement so she can save money for a new car and a house. I joke about moving in with her, only I'm not joking.
I know there are people much worse off. I know there are people much better off. I really am not a jealous person. I don't begrudge anyone the joys in life especially if they have worked hard for it. But when I hear about people taking vacations or not having to work or buying a new car (they can afford), I grow resentful. I find myself resenting a lot these days. I am blessed with tons of friends, and we have our health (for the most part with the exception of those minor daily meds we both must take as we grow older). We have 2 beautiful, brilliant, witty, outspoken daughters. But I just can't shake this depressing feeling that I am trapped in a low-paying job, can't afford health insurance, and have a husband who can't find a decent job. This is a depressing blog. I'm sorry for that. I just can't shake this feeling. Oh yah, when I had to buy independent insurance (after my COBRA ran out), my doctor wasn't on the list so I've been taking much of my medication every other day until I find a new internist. (Now I know how old people on Medicare feel.) Thank God, my ob/gyn wrote me a prescription for my anti-depressants or we'd all be in a hell of a lot of trouble. Well, except that my insurance is so bad that meds are very expensive even with
To top it off, I joined an exercise club at the beginning of the year. Yep, in January. I've lost 2 pounds since I started. At this rate, I will lose 8 lbs in a year. I joined it for many reasons but mainly so I could lose weight for my 30th high school reunion. I thought joining in January was the the safe and healthy thing to do. Little did I know, I should have joined in January 5 years ago! When I worked out tonight, there was one woman there who thighs were as big as my arms (which I lovingly call my tharms). I found myself resenting the bitch! And the music they were playing was from The Rat Pack. Who wants to exercise to Dean Martin singing "Blue Moon"? That was just too depressing. So I came home and watched "Friends." And no, I don't care that there is a new Pope, but because my bosses are Catholic and we work inside their home, I had to watch Fox news on a big screen tv all afternoon. I'm resenting all people with Big Screen tv's. Does Pope Benedict not know that that name doesn't impress Americans?! I was so hoping the new Pope would be Latino, African, or gay. But then I have a sick sense of humor!
And I have a zit under my nose that hurts like hell.