Monday, April 20, 2015

April Update (156.2)

I wrote this on April 4.... it's out of date, being that today is April 20th.  I had a birthday on April 13th & I'm already 45.  But I might as well post what I wrote, and then add some more at the end.

It's April already. It's true what all the "old" people say. The older you get the
faster time goes by. Now that I'm in my mid 40s the weeks are going by
at light speed.

I will be 45 in a week. So I'm now on the climb to 50. Which is fine.
Just acknowledging that it's coming down the pike.

I started this blog when I was 36. My age is in the web address even.
Not sure why I did that--maybe my age felt significant at the time.
So I've has this blog for 9 years. Doesn't seem possible that it's
been so long ago that I read Frances's book and met Vickie and Jill and
Jen and Lori and Helen and Jodie and Shauna and Jeannette and lots of
other bloggers that my 45 year old brain seriously can't remember
their names but do remember their stories.

My face isn't yet showing my age much (aside from what gravity is
doing to the elasticity). I'm blessed with good genes, and being a
geek as a teenager and staying inside reading meant I avoided the sun,
which helped a lot. My body is starting to feel it though. I wake up
with an aching right knee sometimes, like this morning. I put on some
KT tape and wrap it and take some ibuprofen and I'm ok, it doesn't
last. But it's a symptom of things to come, I'm sure.

I know I need to start taking better care of myself. Taking yoga
again. Or just taking walks. I may never run long distances on a
regular basis again. I'm not sure it's a good thing anymore for me. I
don't have time, for one. And two, my joints don't need the beating.

Mentally I have work to do as well. I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow.
I haven't been to an OA meeting for months. Working full time and
trying to do everything to take care of a 7th and 3rd grader and a
household is sometimes more than I can handle. I also help Mark when I
need to on the weekends with his client letters. Mark works 60 hours a
week, at least. His job is really more than he can manage by himself.
That was all I wrote on the 4th.  Incomplete, so I didn't post. So here's some more. 

I'm seeing my therapist again this afternoon.  She had had a cancellation & I took it.  My next appointment will be on May 22. She's just that busy.  Anyway, we mostly talked about Big Life Stuff.  Here's what's going on. 

My husband is beyond overwhelmed working by himself.  He managed OK without me the first year by himself.  It was tough but he did it.  But his clients are becoming more demanding, his practice is changing--people want more financial planning, and that's what he should be doing, being that he is a Certified Financial Planner, and he simply can't do the day-to-day minutia of an assistant PLUS the in-depth planning of a CFP in the number of hours he works.  He puts in 60-65 hours a week.  And he is killing himself.  We have to make a change. 

We are seriously considering me quitting my job and going back to work with him.  When we started looking at hiring someone else, it just doesn't make sense.  The amount I clear after taxes is basically what we would have to pay someone to be his assistant. My hours suck - in my 40 hour work week, two of my days are late nights--I work Mondays until 8 PM and Wednesday until 7pm.  And on Thursdays I have choir practice at church from 7-8:30pm.  I feel like I'm never available when my kids need me.

People keep quitting at the college--things are pretty unstable.  Our Campus President just resigned Friday; he's worked here for 17 years and left for a better opportunity at another private college.  Shizzle is getting real.  This is not a place to make a career.  A year ago, I would have said it was.  Now?  No flipping way. 

But this is a HUGE risk and we would be back to the same financial burden we were before without a second income.  I would have Cobra for health insurance for 18 months, but then we'd have to go on the Health Reform Plan, which ain't cheap.  

We would also be back to "working together," and before that happens, my therapist suggested we write down our expectations and set ground rules for this time around (both of us, not just me). It's not easy working with your husband.  

We've been talking about it for a few months, so I've been in knots about it since.  Mark has been super stressed since late fall.  He just keeps hanging in there and moving forward because he doesn't have any other choice.  To his credit, his business has done better than ever year over year, even with me gone. But again, his health is sincerely suffering.  He can't keep up the work-a-holic pace.  

He'll be 53 this year.  The heart attack risk in his family is real. I can't let my fear of the unknown get in the way of us making this change, because my fear of him having a heart attack from his overworking is much greater.  I don't want to grow old without my husband or have my children grow up without their father. 

That may sound overly dramatic.  But it's not.  This is how much stress he's under.  I see it. He doesn't come home until 9 or 10pm on weeknights (he is with kids on Mondays but every other night he works late).  He's not eating healthfully.  He's not exercising. His dad died at 51 years old.  His oldest brother died at 57.  Both his brothers had first heart attacks at 54 (and lived--neither was on cholesterol medication, which Mark has been since he was in his late 30s).  I see the writing on the wall. 

All I know is, if we make this change, it doesn't create a magic cure-all for his (or my) stress to go POOF! & he's going to be all better.  But it will create space in BOTH our lives for things to open up to healthier roads.  That's the plan anyway. 

As far as the financial stuff goes, we're working on building up a nest egg so we have a cushion before I give my notice.  My therapist said not to necessarily make the "cushion" the determining factor for when I leave--she said to consider that perhaps when I joined him, my being there could also pave the way to him doing more business that would allow the nest egg to be built. So we are thinking on that, too.

And there is enough planning business, Mark thinks, that if I'm with him, it will increase his monthly recurring revenue to offset my current income.  He has done zero prospecting or attempts at growing his business, other than from clients referring family & friends. So financially he can increase his income production, but he doesn't think it will be an issue--the potential now, vs. when I left a year and a half ago, is different from what it was, because his business model is changing. 

Our tentative goal is summer.  Which is a breath away. We will see.  

I had a little break down this morning, because I have too many scenarios in my head, and I ruminate over and over on how things *could* go.  I dropped to my knees and laid my forehead on the floor and prayed that God would just take them all from me and help me to surrender.  Because I can't control one flipping thing in my life right now.  It's all TOO BIG and I don't know where it's going and it's time I stopped trying to control everything. 

If I were going to my OA meetings and working my steps, this is the kind of stuff I'd be working on.  Clearly, I got a lot of baggage--the same baggage I've always had--and it needs to be worked on. 

I've gained a little weight, and it shows to me but probably not to others.  I'm not growing out of my clothes but I'm squishier and I notice.  The other major bonus to me leaving my current job is I'm back to Monday night OA meetings. I need them so desperately. Not just for food.  It's so much more than food. My emotional bingeing is almost more of an issue than anything I put in my mouth.  I still don't eat cookies, cake, ice cream, or any of my other binge foods. And I don't eat at my desk during the day between meals.  But I don't eat cleanly and I don't eat like I need to.  I eat too many convenience foods (again, no time, no space, no desire, for the prep involved) and I eat for comfort more than I should. Even if it's not a binge, eating for comfort is outside of being abstinent.  So, work to be done.  But I'm not bingeing, and I haven't regained a lot of weight. So it's not all a loss. 

Anyway, that's the low down.  I know it's a lot and it's not sunshine and roses.  I'm not in a deep depression or anything.  Just at a big fat crossroads.  I'll update when we make any decisions or have any news to share, good, bad or otherwise. 

The kids are doing well.  They are busy in school!  Sophie auditions for a play this Saturday--Shrek the Musical at her acting studio.  Luke's teacher told us that he scored the highest in the class on their math & English acuity tests, & she hopes that bodes well for his IStep scores (the state's standardized tests--3rd grade is the first year for the test). 

Last day of school is May 22, which is so close they can almost taste it.  I don't have them signed up for any camps yet.  I am SO far behind.  I don't think they are doing much.  Sophie will do more than Luke.  I think Luke will do one full week of camp and might do some half days at a local church, but will stay with mom & Sophie otherwise. They really are old enough that they like to stay home & be together and CHILL more than anything else.  


Jill said...

Oh how I WISH I could kidnap you for the weekend and we could watch Kimmy Schmidt together! How fun would that be??? :)

I hope it works out for you to work with Mark again - I think it would be good for both of you if you can swing it. I think setting those boundaries will be the key to your success.

Just recently we had to switch bookkeepers and my husband hinted that maybe we could do our own monthly bookkeeping, to which I said "if by "we" you mean "ME", then no. I don't want the whole thing on my shoulders when I have to work full time, cook every night, do all the grocery shopping, all the laundry, AND run kids around." He found another bookkeeper asap because I am NOT falling into that trap. Been there done that, not doing it again.
Get your boundaries set and don't be shy about protecting them.


Vickie said...

I had a bit of a writing lull there myself for a little while.

It is now JULY. Nearly the middle of July.

Time for an update please.

Have you switched jobs again?