The frightening truth about financial difficulty and outside employement
As I write this, I am sitting in my car at softball practice after having written three book reviews to post on three consecutive Fridays. I am feeling all sorts of things right now as we face financial hurdles ahead of us. It’s been a tough several months since the beginning of the year. Sometimes I want to panic the more I see our bank account dwindle. It might be time to take a Loan out, which I don’t mind doing at times like this because I know it’s all part of a cycle and I’ll be financially stable again soon.
It’s easy to look at what I do and judge. It’s easy to look at someone like me who stays at home and writes and say, “Well, just get a job,” when the going gets tough.
You would think it should just be a simple thing, but for those who have never struggled with the in between moments or with logistical issues, maybe you will just never really understand. There are questions to answer, like who is going to watch my kids over the summer and we’ve already paid for camps so who’s going to get them there? And even if I pay for childcare would it cost me more than I make? If yes, then what’s the point? The truth about outside employment is that it’s difficult to find employment that even covers the cost of childcare.
And then, maybe you don’t even know, but I have applied for jobs and gotten my hopes up only to have them dashed against the pavement at my feet. And there are jobs that may pay and may hire but at what point will my back pain flare up again, rendering me immobile? And who would hire someone with health issues anyway? The truth about applying for jobs is that sometimes nobody wants to hire you.
Actually, I do have a job. But it takes a while to get some traction.
The truth about being a blogger is that it’s not easy. It’s not just sitting at home and messing around with glue and paint and palettes and Pinterest. I don’t volunteer for the PTO, and I don’t get to go out to lunch with my friends every week, or even every month for that matter. It’s not that it’s a physically draining job, but sometimes it can be an emotional challenge, especially for someone like me.
I love blogging and writing, I really do, but daily I find myself comparing myself to other bloggers. The ones who seem to do it all and still manage to homeschool. The ones who make the big bucks. The ones who succeed right out of the gate.
I want to be better–I do. I want to be Pinterest perfect and make a living to support my family, but my thought life has really been all over the place. And when I sit down to write, not only does my brain quit, but it seems to find another track entirely on which to travel, leaving me not just postless but also penniless.
The truth is that sitting down at the computer as a blogger requires a concerted effort and certain focus day in and day out–painstaking planning and purposeful posting. And as a stay at home parent, distractions like sick children and laundry and paying bills calls to me, sometimes almost like a scream. I shouldn’t really call them distractions, as they all need my attention at some point or another. They’re my responsibility after all. There are times when I wish I could put them to the back of my mind and focus solely on my blog, especially when it concerns my bills. I hate the time of the month where I have to organize them; just looking at how much I have to pay is enough to make anyone quiver, and worry how they’re going to survive for the month. My friend told me to try and start making deductions in areas like my electricity, to see if this could make a difference to my savings. She’s pointed me in the direction of a company called Payless Power who apparently offers reduced rates when it comes to their energy and electricity plans. I’ll tell you what? This is actually not a bad idea and one that I’m definitely considering, especially if it can help to take another distraction off my plate.
Physical and emotional struggles make it tempting to quit.
Fighting the urge to give up is one of the most difficult things to do as a blogger when you fail to see results or struggle to focus. Sometimes it’s just a fight to get this far in the post and not just scrap it, because it doesn’t seem good enough. I want to open up my heart and pour my soul out to you, my readers, but what about rejection and what about measuring up? Putting words on a page is my job, but it’s hard as a perfectionist, because while putting my soul out there for you is my job, it’s also painful. And sometimes I hold back just because I don’t want to seem negative or annoying, but really what I just want to do is reveal my heart to someone and have somebody say, “I feel like that too!”
So here’s me pouring my heart out to you today. This is me spilling out all my emotions, trying to help you to understand that yes this is my job but no it’s not a piece of cake. This is me saying I am really trying to make a living out of this so I can still be available to my family while not selling my soul for some money and just growing more and more resentful by the day. This is me saying I love you to those who subscribe to my blog and who come back to visit again and again, because it means my work has value and meaning and is making a difference. This is me saying God has put me here for a purpose, and while I don’t know exactly what His path holds for us right now and while I’m struggling to see the light ahead, I am fighting the negative feelings but trying to do what’s right and sometimes it’s just not easy.
And I hope wherever you are right now, whether your struggling in the same financial situation that we are or if you are a blogger or even if you’re a stay-at-home mom or an employee struggling to stay focused on your work and all of that’s required of you…I am with you today. I know I say this a lot, but you’re really not alone.
And if you’re not one of these people, and you have it all together and you don’t have to struggle with any of this, then consider yourself blessed and try not to judge the rest of us. Because it’s not just laziness and it’s not just a lack of responsibility that causes others to struggle. I mean, sometimes it’s those things for some people. But sometimes it’s a mistake that was made 10 years ago that still affects every move we make today. Sometimes physical and emotional problems like back pain and depression and inattentive-type attention deficit disorder get in the way of every success we might have had or might have in the future. And although it may be a nuisance to you, it’s draining and defeating to those of us who are in the middle of the struggle.
What I really want to say is that I wish that we could just support each other. I can sit here and pour everything out to you in as many words as I want to, but when someone is trying desperately to stay focused and clawing at every opportunity there is to succeed and each and every one fails, what we really need is support. Maybe you think that someone else’s dream is foolish. Or maybe you feel like someone is being irresponsible when they feel they are following God’s calling. But can’t we still love each other? Can’t we still support one another rather than allowing each other to feel defeated and alone?
Maybe instead of condemnation we could share an encouraging word today to someone who is floundering. Maybe instead of telling the dreamer to “Give it up,” we could tell them, “You can do it.” Maybe instead of pouring on judgment we can pour on the prayers. Because really when you think you know the whole story, you’ve barely scratched the surface. Some people are drowning in the daily fight. Let’s save more lives with encouragement rather than suffocate them with criticism.