So the economy has finally hit us.
We're lucky, I know.
But seriously. I posted a status for a short time on facebook regarding how lame it was of Ah-nold to cut teachers' pay and where the hell is his personal contribution to all these cuts?
Then I realized I should be damned thankful my husband still has a job when so many people cannot find one and live--god, I don't even know how. So I deleted it.
But, stupid or not, I can't help but feel angry about this. It wasn't a small pay cut, and it'll only get deeper once our insurance rates go up by 25% in the near future. Now our premiums are (i suppose) reasonable compared to what they are for other people even in the neighboring district, but we are working off a beginning teacher's salary. With three kids. And I'm going back to school full time next semester--that is, if Ah-nold's education budget will allow me to.
Seriously, they won't even look at my application until they know if they can even afford me. Which I hope comes soon.
To put it into another perspective: my husband made more money working as a not-quite-full-time night clerk at a grocery store. We took a slash in pay when he took his seven years of education and put it to work doing something much more beneficial to society.
I mean, how do you compare stocking shelves to teaching kids critical thinking and preparing them for being productive adults?
So they cut education. And while I'm all about taking a hit along with everyone else, fuck!
But again, lucky to have a job. He did get the pink-slip this past May and was thankfully rehired.
Anyway. Back to the point.
Since we stopped paying tithing two years ago, we've gone on this whole celebration: "lookit! the world still revolves! we got a JOB in this economy! we got a great house at great rent! what? now we're BUYING a house at a great price? but i thought our financial house of cards was going to fall apart without tithing!"
Prideful? Maybe. But it was a big relief. A revelation.
Our bishop in the last ward we attended was also a teacher in the same district Eric is in, except this guy had seniority on his side. Tenure. Many years.
He lost his job.
Further proof, we thought, that tithing and blessings don't necessarily correlate. That said, for all we know said bishop found an even better job. But the experience still taught us that hardship is no respecter of persons. And I fully believe that.
Which is why I felt so angry.
For a long time I worried, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's what I'm good at. And when we did the numbers the other day on our current finances, I couldn't help but wonder if it was maybe, maybe because we'd been bad. Yanno, no tithing. Among other things.
It sounds stupid now, but it isn't. Not after all those years.
Not that we're in a big bind or anything, but we have to tighten up big time. Discipline. You know. Things we're not exactly great at. Not with big things mind you, but small.
We're in debt (minus the house) for the first time ever. Not gigantic debt by any means, but debt nonetheless. I have to remind myself that some debt is okay if handled responsibly and is backed by a plan.
This and our savings account is a bit low, money we need to make it each month. It's not a matter of living within our means, just a matter of living. If it got bad enough we'd ditch the cell phone, but cells are pretty necessary these days. Especially for me. For various reasons I'll lump into a category entitled "anxiety" (increased anxiety = increased need for medical = more money per month than is needed for the cell)
Until I wrote this, I couldn't help but worry just a little in the back of my mind that we were being punished for our omissions. To put it in a more PC way, that god was "withholding blessings" from us because we hadn't met our part of the bargain.
Even though I don't believe. Leaning more atheist these days than agnostic, but you get the point.
I told Eric this last night and he reminded me that even faithful members are going through the same issues and maybe even worse. Just like anyone else.
Again, hardship is no respecter of persons.
Things have been good for us for a very long time now, so maybe we're about due anyways, if not overdue. Time to be adults, I guess, even though we've always been sticklers. Just not in this particular way.
It's scary, really.
That said, this might be really, really good for us.
I'm just tired of the residual guilt. Even when it does go away, something else always tends to sneak back in. I'm hoping that'll stop soon.