Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stressed, Tired, and Defeated (almost)

I know a lot of you (friends, family, etc.) are getting tired of hearing about how much my life sucks. So I'm going to write this, and then try very, very hard to focus on the positive, be productive, and stop complaining so much. I work better with lists/categories/etc, so here goes...

Job searching:
No go, once again. I look, and look, and call, and have people send letters of recommendation - and still nothing. I keep wondering if it's me, if I just don't know the right people, or if I'm doing something wrong... But in reality, bottom line ... it just sucks right now. Job searching of any type. Because the economy just sucks right now. To put it in perspective:
I had a conversation with one of my managers the other day during which we talked about jobs and internet listings, etc. And in our hospital here in Chattanooga, there is one job posting for a position in the NICU on night shift. And my manager told me that the last time she checked, there were 180 applicants for that one job. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY. So. I figure that same issue, plus the HORRIBLE economy in Birmingham right now, plus all the hiring freezes, plus low census in general, compounds the problems I'm having into one big stinky mess.

I have switched my outlook. I am now planning to continue working in Chattanooga indefinitely, until something opens up in Birmigham. Which I guess was the plan all along, but I honestly thought I would have a job there by now. Oh well.

Scheduling issues:
This month is just going to suck, work and moving and scheduling-wise. I have a total of 6 days off until we move. Three of those six, we'll be in Griffin for the 4th of July. (Commence meltdown.) I work Thursday, then next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I have Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to pack nearly everything, then Mark will finish while I'm working Sunday and Monday. Another problem: I work Sunday night, then stay over an extra 4 hours Monday morning for a CPR recert class. I found a wonderful soul who will work my first half of Monday night, and then I'll go in at 1AM-7AM ... and then it's moving day. We move Tuesday and Wednesday, and then run errands Thursday, and on Friday I come back to Chattanooga for the weekend. Sunday I go back to Birmingham when Elissa, who I love and who is the best friend EVER, is coming to help paint and unpack and organize, which needs to be done by Wednesday night, when I have to go BACK to Chattanooga. I guess I'd better get used to it - this is going to be my life, for now.

Money stresses:
Cost of living (at least for us) is higher in Birmingham. I will be making the same, and Mark probably won't be getting paid for anything he'll be doing down there. At work, we're supposed to get a 3% raise in July, but they're also increasing our insurance premiums (and giving us LESS coverage in a move that only Erlanger could pull off...), so I probably won't see any of that raise at all. (This, by the way, is the first raise I'll have gotten in the TWO YEARS that I've been at the hospital. Yeah. Love that.) So our budget is gonna be tight. Add to that Mark's dental work that he just got done, PLUS we found out today that he's going to have to go see an oral surgeon to get his wisdom teeth out (which we weren't counting on), and he has to have a few more things done. All that adds up to $$$$$.

And yet, the silver lining (this is me thinking positively):
Our marriage will be stronger. We can survive most anything if we can get through all this. Which we will. And it will be fine. Just slightly upleasant for a time.
Mark and I are both becoming more sacrificial through this whole process. I've come to see HIM as my family, and want to travel where he wants and needs to go, and do what's best for us, not just what is more comfortable for me.
With me traveling back and forth, and being gone for 7-9 days at a time, Mark will be able to study adequately for his grad school classes and get all his reading done and still have time to volunteer where he needs to. And the time we will have together will be extra good.
I still get to do my dream job, and get paid for it (even if the pay isn't so great).
We're getting to see Jesus through our families and friends, who have been understanding and helpful and gracious and generous through this whole thing. Our families have been more than willing to help us out wherever they can. Several friends have freely offered their homes and apartments for me to stay in while I'm in Chattanooga if the need arises. I had one friend, who helped us move the last two times, actually tell me that he would be slightly offended if we didn't ask him to help us out again. Thank you. So much.
And honestly, these two years, however tough they may be, are a means to an end. A graduate degree (and two years for the economy to pick itself back up, hopefully) means opportunities for a better job for Mark, and better pay, and a better work environment. Which would thus give me the opportunity to have babies and work prn (or not at all, if possible.) Our family will be better because of this. And so even if I have to travel back and forth from Chattanooga to Bham for the entire two years, it will be worth it, because of the opportunities that will come afterward.

This will all work out. I have to believe that it will.

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