May 29, 2008

Good news/Bad news

So, I have an assortment of good news/bad news scenarios going on right now.

Tomorrow is my last day at my current job. This is a combo of good and bad. The other good/bad aspect of tomorrow is: I have a Skills Verification Test for a new job. It's in the middle of the day. So I have to leave for a while to go do this. It's bad because of the timing. But it's good (and the good considerably outweighs the bad!!) because it's for a job I really want, and that could be a really incredible opportunity.

I got J into Pre-K at his brother's school. I was really worried it wouldn't happen, because you apply and then they draw names to see who gets in. But he got in! This is really awesome, because he so desperately wants to go to school with his big brother. I got the call this morning, and I can't wait to tell him tonight. He's going to be so excited. The bad side to it, is that I have to hurry up and get him into the doctor and make sure that all his shots and stuff are up to date, before the sign up date at the school. Which, with my current job situation, is an expense I really didn't want to have. But....gotta do it.

Back to the work situation...this last month or so has been kind of surreal. I've never before worked at a job with an end date in sight that I didn't set myself. I've given notice at a job. I've been laid off - but always with that day being the end. This time, they asked me (us) to stay on to help with the transition. It's very weird to continue doing your job when you know that what you're doing is pretty much a waste of time. And of course, it's much harder to bite your tongue and be nice when you've got nothing left to lose. Well, except a good recommendation - but even that is sometimes barely enough to keep you from saying the thoughts that come to mind when someone says something really stupid or really insulting.

Even with the surrealness to the situation, and even with the urgency that I feel to get another job, I somehow don't feel panicked. I don't feel as though my life is going to get really really bad after tomorrow. I feel this is meant to be, and it's all going to work out. It's a good thing. As the old REO Speedwagon song says, it's time for me to fly. This job helped me spread my wings, learn new skills and master my temper and my patience, and now it's time to take what I've learned and apply it to a new, better job.

C is getting an award at school next week. They do an awards assembly at the end of the year. His behavior last year meant he didn't get one. He does this year, though, and I am so proud of him. In the less than 2 months since he started his medication, there has been a total turn around in him. His grades shot through the roof, his conduct grades went up to where they should be, and his attitude at home has gone to normal child attitude. He knows he's getting an award, and he's excited, but I know he doesn't realize the significance of this. To me, this shows me that I did the right thing by going against my own feelings of doubt and putting him on the medication. It shows me that he truly is the good kid I always knew he was, and that he just needed that little bit of help. And it shows me that the improvement I see is not just wishful thinking, but it truly exists. He's gone from being on the verge of suspension for his behavior, to getting an award. In less than 2 months. Miracles do happen.

How odd is this, with my unemployed status looming ever closer, gas prices through the roof, and not knowing how I'll pay my bills soon...but yet I couldn't be happier with my life, and wouldn't change it for anything.

I guess that's the good news and the bad news.

May 14, 2008

Oh, what fun....

I really try to stay a positive person. I try to be optomistic and look at challenges as chances to grow and to learn.

Here's my situation right now: I'm out of a job as of May 30th, I have 2 sons in glasses, and the youngest has to go back in about a month to ensure he's got the right prescription, my oldest has ADHD which costs me $116/mo in meds, and $125 every two months in dr. visits, and it looks like my youngest will be following in his hyperactive, unfocused older brother's footsteps. No insurance. I have a $900/mo mortgage that my family has to pay b/c I can't, and miscellaneous other bills that my current paycheck minimally manages to cover with the assistance of my very meager savings account.

Can you see where I'm having some trouble staying positive right now? I mean, let's not forget, gas prices no longer creep up, they are pogo-sticking their way higher and higher every single day, and food prices are not far behind.

I try to keep my kids from knowing how bad the money situation is. I don't feel they need to know, or worry about that. But, when gas prices go to $3.77 a gallon, it gets harder and harder to tell them no on other things without having to explain what's happening.

Fortunately for us, we have lots of home entertainment. A satellite dish with 200 channels, tons of DVD movies, a pool, a swingset, and grandparents right down the road. Now, before you say I'd have less money trouble if I got rid of all that stuff, let me clarify that first, the money came out of my tax refund for the pool and swingset, I've had to DVDs for years, and the satellite is #1 a contract I can't get out of and #2 a necessity with 2 kids, no gas money, and living in a state known for horrendous summer weather. Although we are in a drought right now...we really need some rain. Do a rain dance for us, will you?

Being serious, our situation isn't desperate yet, but it could quickly get there. And I know we're not the only ones feeling this way. We have to do something. We have to figure out a way to bring gas prices back down, to bring jobs back to America, to increase pay, all kinds of things. It's just sad that we feel so powerless.

Ok, time to lighten the mood. I was driving home from the grocery store with the kids the other night. And so I don't have to keep saying "oldest" "youngest" all the time, let's call my oldest C and my youngest J. So, we're listening to the radio, one of those dedication shows. This girl called in and had the same name as me. C's like, "Mom, that's your name!" I said, "Yeah, it is." Then the girl says she's 17, and C goes, "Oh, that's not you, Mom. You're not 17." So, I tease him. I say, "Are you saying I'm old?" (I'm 29.) He gave me this look, the one that males give you when they don't know what to say because they think any answer they give will get them in trouble. So, J pipes up and says, "No, Mommy, you're new!". I absolutely cracked up. C quickly changed the subject. I have to teach him the fine art of telling a woman what she wants to hear...or maybe I'll let his brother teach him.

So C gets done with school in just a few weeks. I'm so proud of him. The improvement in his attitude, grades, everything, since he started his meds is just amazing. And he's so much happier now. I've found out that the manufacturer of his meds provides assistance if you can't afford your meds, so I'm in the process of applying for that. That will take a huge weight off of me. At least until J needs meds. I'm still hoping to avoid that, though. Just not sure how.

Oh, well. Off to work now.

May 9, 2008

Can you say unemployment?

Last week, at about this time, my co-workers and I got called into a "short" meeting that sent us all into a tailspin, and everyone went home early. We were informed that our particular branch of the company we work for is being closed at the end of May.

So, I've spent the last week alternately ignoring my situation and frenziedly sending my resume to any phone number that seems to even remotely resemble a business' fax number. Ok, not exactly like that, but I've definitely been responding to lots and lots of job ads.

They are giving us a nice "completion package", which is corporate speak for "we're laying you off, but we want you to stay and be nice until we're ready to really do this, so here's what we'll give you to smile and pretend you don't want to murder us in our sleep."

I'm not too panicked, yet. With the job market the way it is, and the economy the way it is, panic is not too far off, though. It's hiding behind the bedroom door, actually, breathing heavily in the night. I usually jump into bed, because you know, monsters behind the door can't get you in bed.

I have to make jokes, even if they're bad ones. If I let myself think about this in any serious way, I might cry. Seriously. This was a really big shock, and as a single mother with two kids, and an ex-husband who doesn't pay child support, it's a major reason to freak out. Oh, and did I mention that my mother also got laid off that day? Hers was effective immediately; at least I have until the 30th.

I'm looking into working at home. Gas prices are making it harder to even go to work. How sad is that? It used to be people wanted to work at home b/c they wanted to wear pj's all day, or be home with their kids. Now, they do it b/c they can't afford to go out and drive to work.

Ok, enough with all the whiny, poor me crap.

My son is doing awesome on his meds. He had his follow-up appt on Wednesday, to see how the meds are working. It's amazing. He's even stopped grinding his teeth at night. He brought home his interim report on Tuesday, and he had all S and E grades. I'm so proud of him, I can't even stand it. And he's so funny now. He tells me all the trouble other kids are getting into and saying "don't they know they can get in trouble for that?"

It's great to see him so much happier, though. And that's what's really important. He was...not miserable, but he wasn't a happy boy for a long time.


Back to work.

I'll keep you posted.