No, I’m not starting a Barenaked Ladies theme to my blog titles. Not a bad idea, but in this case, pure coincidence.
February 1st will mark my official first day as a part-time-employed / part-time-freelance-designer / part-time-artist. That’s one week from today. A lowly seven 24-hour periods from now.
Exciting, but yeah, definitely scary.
We have our baby on the way, and June is fast approaching. Michelle is 21 weeks along today. That means that we’ve been pregnant longer than we will continue to be pregnant. And my former painting-studio-turned-storage-facility has not yet begun the transformation into what will inevitably be the cutest/coolest nursery in the 37221 zip code.
In one week, I will be getting my last full-time paycheck. At a time in our lives when we should be stockpiling money, my job gets cut in half.
Will we be okay? Yes. It’ll be a struggle for a while, but I fully believe we will be okay. In part because I have confident in our abilities to generate enough income to make up the difference. But the most convincing reason for me is how our friends and family have gathered around us in this changing-by-the-minute era of our lives and have promised they would not let us fall. People have not been giving us their money to lift us up, they have been giving us themselves, and that’s what strengthens us and lifts us to fight another day.
It’s going to be rough. I don’t know many families that begin when times are not rough. Maybe this is a rite of passage and an opportunity to finally get our lives on track and grow the heck up. In fact, pretty much everybody I know is struggling in one way or another right now. Yet at the same time, it feels like something big and life-changing and unexplainably wonderful is in the air.
I do realize that I will look back one day and realize that this job-cut was the best thing that ever happened to me. Isn’t that almost always the case? So I know there is a great path ahead of me that will take Michelle and I (and whatever little people happen to be living with us) to places we’ve dreamed of. Any decent parent just wants to be able to give a great life to their children. Perhaps we will be able to set them up with a great home and parents that they can trust and count on, but I realize too that they will carve out their own path, their own beliefs, their own life.
More than anything, I want my children to know that they can count on and trust Michelle and me. They may grow up “broke” or they may be the children of those rich and famous Grayum artists you’ve read all about in Time magazine. But I want my children to be able to come to me and ask for help when they’re scared. I want them to know that their mommy and daddy love them without condition, without strings, and without exception, and that there’s nothing in the world they could ever do to screw that up.
And I take comfort in knowing that showing my kids unconditional love doesn’t cost a dime.