Posted by: emjb | August 4, 2007

Lazy days, poverty, smiles

That sums up the summer so far. I got laid off about a month ago, and this is the longest I’ve been unemployed since…um, high school, I think. Matt’s working and it keeps the wolf at bay, mostly, but we keep it cheap around here when we can.

I’m interviewing, even getting the occasional second interview, but summer seems to have slowed everything down. People go on vacation, they move slower, proposals take longer to get approved, and so I stay unemployed a little longer. Also, I’m pickier about some things; I negotiate more than I used to, I have different requirements of a place that I work, and I’m not a 20-something eager young thing anymore. I don’t want to be on my feet all day, get screamed at constantly, or deal overly-much with bosses who expect me to be their mother. I already have a child.

I do as much as I can on the job front, then I try, very hard, not to freak out about it. I enjoy Nathan, reminding myself he will never be this age again, soon he will lose his sweet baby language and pretty baby skin and happy squealing. He’ll replace all that with good stuff, too, but I should pay attention, right now, while I can. Although I won’t be sad when diapers go away.

I finished another book for my ex-New York job, and I think it went pretty well, considering that I knew zero about the subject when I started. And Matt and I had an e-book we published picked up by a bigger e-book concern, so we’ll see if there’s any extra income as a result. Every dollar helps.

I am at a truce with my house, which sometimes seems like Enemy Number One to me, with the bugs, and the unusable back yard, and the stupid landlord, and the hateful bathroom, terrifying garage. OK, maybe not much of a truce. But I have learned to ignore the things I hate as much as possible, and enjoy the good things (lots of light, wooden floors, lots of big shade trees that keep our a/c bills low). It’s not really the house’s fault that it was abused and neglected by former (and current) owners. And it’s not my fault that I don’t have the money to fix it, or a landlord with a conscience. It’s still better than our old apartment, next to the freeway and right under the airport traffic, with no room for our stuff and our busy toddler.

Today, we went out in the front yard and I sat in a chair and cooled my feet while he splashed in his kiddie pool. Our front yard is fairly nice. Most of our neighbors don’t really seem to use theirs…I suppose their back yards aren’t poison ivy infested swamps. Or maybe they don’t care. But our front yard has thick grass, a water hose, and a big shade tree, and it works for Nathan and me. We’re getting by, in every sense of the word.

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