This has been a sobering week. Yesterday my office mate's husband lost her job, out of the blue, after 40 years with the same company. Effective Yesterday. It was surreal how fast it happened, and painful to watch my coworker realize that her health coverage was suddenly gone- she stood, dazed, in front of my desk alternatively telling me what happened and taking long pauses where she gazed off into the air, doing math and looking into the future. It was not expected, not even feared, and now they have no time to plan for "what if?"
This morning I sat down to write the rent check and realized with that old familiar feeling that we are ALREADY broke for this pay period. How does this keep happening? We have no kids, no home improvement/maintenance bills. As I glowed about yesterday, we own very little. I took pen to paper and added everything up. It turns out, we don't make much money. I had fooled myself into considering my salary as my income- but in fact, with the two of us together making what we make, minus taxes, we end up with what would be a fairly good (for a youth minister anyway... ha!) salary for one person. If we were one person on that salary, we could get ahead. But after taxes come bills, debts we are working hard to pay off, and the car payments- well, you know the drill.
It's embarrassing to have to tell people that we can't afford to go to dinner with them (and sad, because going out to dinner is one of my very most favorite activities!) but the fact is, we sometimes can't. We just have to keep on keeping on until the cars are paid off and the debt is paid down, and hope that people still like restaurants when we are solvent again. And we keep reminding ourselves that we chose this lot, we earned this situation (and to be honest, no high-paying job where I could not be doing what I'm doing now would ever pull me away... for long. Ha!) and we are making progress- and we are thankful thankful thankful that we have jobs at all.