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Monday, January 23, 2012

Life as I know it

Grad school started up again tonight. I wasn't even sure I'd be taking a class this year. So many things seem up in the air.
My job reimburses tuition but I'm only taking 1 class at a time and frankly that alone is not enough incentive to stay in an $8/hour job that I don't enjoy. At least the people are nice.
I had applied for financial aid but after getting approved for a loan to help keep up afloat, I now learned that I can't have it because I'm less than halftime. Seriously, I can barely keep up with the workload for 1 class, working fulltime and actually seeing my kids for a few minutes every day.
I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth it. I graduated suma cum laude 4 years ago and never made more than $11/hour. When I got laid off from my last job as an elementary school library clerk, I couldn't even get an office job because my experience heavily focuses on libraries (who aren't hiring clerks, surprise!) and I was competing with 800 other applicants for a single secretary position. Wish I was exaggerating.

I am thankful for the blessings in our lives. We are healthy and we have a roof over our head and food on our table but the struggle of living paycheck-to-paycheck is starting to wear on me. There's no such thing as working hard and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. We don't live extravagantly. Heck, we don't even have iphones or ipads, Nooks or Kindles, much as we would like to. We try to live within our means, but with the cost of living going up and our income remaining steady or declining, this just doesn't work. I know we are not alone.
I just have to remember that when I tuck my beautiful, healthy children into bed or spontaneously give my husband of 6 years a hug, that you can't buy these things. Kat's 4 day hospital stay helped put things in perspective. How indescribably awful to see your tiny daughter hooked up to monitors and IVs, coughing and fighting to breathe. I am so grateful that she had the strength and we had the resources to come through that.
How many people out there would give all their worldy possessions to hug their kids or their spouse one more time?

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