Not a Night-Owl By Choice

I used to work graveyard at Denny’s, and before that (and for a while after) I just liked to stay up late. It seemed like that was the time my brain kicked into gear and I could get stuff done. I still feel like the middle of the night is when I do my best thinking and writing, but with 5 kids in school, it’s an insane choice to make. How I looked forward to the day Anya would start kindergarten, so I’d be able to devote those 2 1/2 hours to writing and try to get myself on a much better sleeping schedule.

Well, today is day 3 of kindergarten, and I’ve been up all night. Again. That’s right, I tossed and turned for hours. Even got up a couple of times to go outside and appreciate the distant thunderstorm, and get myself some warm milk. I’ve been stealing naps during school time instead of writing.

Some of you know, but most of you don’t: Last January, my husband lost what we’d thought was a very stable job of 10 years. With it went the best health benefits any company would offer, and pay that, until it was gone, we’d taken for granted. He was able to find another job, but with a huge pay cut – almost entry-level, and he has 15 years of experience in software engineering. Try supporting 6 kids on a one-income, entry-level paycheck. And then our new health benefits are 10 times more expensive, with co-pays that cost twice as much. I’ve never known worry and stress like this!

He’s been looking for a better job, with no luck so far. There’s nothing in our area, and he hasn’t had any bites with all the resumes he’s sent out to companies in other states. I can’t go back to work at Denny’s because I have nerve damage in my shoulders. And the kids need me at home anyway. (I’m still keeping my eyes open for something part-time that might work out, though.)

I don’t think I’ve had a decent night’s sleep since last January. When I’m not worried about his finding a better-paying job, I’m beating myself up for not being able to afford to send Lia to college. She’s so intelligent, wants an education, and deserves one. She herself is still having trouble finding a job of her own, after looking all summer. And there’s not even a hope of doing anything for the kids, vacations or even buying them a little something they want now and then.

I really don’t mean to complain – well, maybe I do just feel the need to vent, big-time, since I try not to complain most of the time. And I’m sure a big part of this post is bad judgement due to lack of sleep. LOL

But really, I’m asking you guys, if you can keep us in your prayers, that Dennis will be able to get a better position somewhere, anywhere, soon, that we’ll be able to sell our house and get out of here, that someday I’ll maybe be able to sell a few of my books, and that I’ll be able to hold it all together until then. And some sleep would be really great, too. Because this is totally gonna be me every day until I can find some peace of mind.

Hopefully a year from now I can look back on this post and say, “Wow, that wasn’t so hard, but I’m sure glad it’s over!” And then I’ll fall asleep. πŸ˜‰


13 thoughts on “Not a Night-Owl By Choice

  1. Life is hard sometimes but it only makes it better. Keep looking for jobs and be positive. And, from one mom to another, maybe get some more sleep πŸ™‚

    Good luck with everything! I will keep you in my prayers.


  2. Oh, sweet Kristin, I will definitely keep you in my prayers. That is so hard. We live off a farmers income which is meager to say the least. It's hard. I've had to swallow my pride and get state insurance, because we obviously don't get it if we are self employed, but I know we need some sort of coverage, especially for the kids. It's not fun. However, I think I have a good idea what an amazing writer you and I'm sure good things await your writing career. Have your cute daughter apply for financial aid. That's the only way I can get through school and it doesn't hurt to try. Also – tell him to look in Utah, cause you would be an awesome neighbor! Hang in there girl… sending all my happy sunshine thoughts your way! πŸ™‚


  3. Believe me, I know exactly where you're coming from (although I only have two kids), so you and your family are very definitely in my thoughts. I really hope something wonderful happens for you soon.

    And of course you can vent. Isn't that what friends are for ? πŸ™‚


  4. Pooh! Sleep is highly overrated! Who needs it?

    OK, OK, maybe we do, but wouldn't it be nice if it was optional?

    Financial stress stinks! (But you knew that already, didn't you?) Much, much sympathy on that front.

    As far as college goes…local junior colleges+financial aid= πŸ™‚


  5. I know how it is. Two years ago my mom lost her job with the office that she worked for for fifteen years. We were very fortunate that she found one soon after, but the pay is significantly lower so money has been pretty tight. My parents were super stressed about sending me to college so I took on some really difficult courses to boost the gpa up and get more scholarship money. Has your daughter looked into some community colleges? They are a little cheaper than state schools and a short distance from home πŸ™‚ Best of luck to you and your family, I know you'll pull through.


  6. I'm sorry to hear you're having such a stressful time. It certainly would make for sleepless nights. Have you looked into financial aid for her? I would think she could be eligible for something to help out with her education. Best of luck to you and yours, and I'll keep you in my thoughts. You'll pull through this! *hugs*


  7. I will absolutely keep you guys in my prayers. I agree with Abby, see if your daughter can get a grant or financial aid.

    We had to go through a similar period when Circuit City went out of business. My husband had to find a new job, and it took a long time to recover. We had to move in the the in-laws for a while.

    I will pray for sleep, and a light at the end of the tunnel.


  8. Look at this! I get a nap and then come back to all these lovely, encouraging comments from wonderful friends who have helped me feel so much better! I want to squish you all in a huge, squishy hug!

    We both feel really silly about the financial aid part. She was registering for the community college, and their financial aid section is so confusing that we stopped there, and it was too late by the time we were ready to move on again. I have a friend who's going to help us both (because I want to go back to school too!) with the financial aid section next semester. That's assuming we're still living here. Lia doesn't want to move, because it'll mess up her residency for a community college in another state, but it's up to her whether to stay or come with us. I'd miss her! And rent is too dang high in Nevada.

    Abby – Utah and Texas are the areas we're really looking into! Both of them have some good companies in his field. I'd prefer Utah, because I'd miss snow too much, and I'd also like a house with a finished basement so I could turn it into a playroom/writing nook. Basements aren't common in Texas.

    I've been counting my blessings much more than complaining these days, but even the most optimistic person has to lose it sometimes. LOL I've learned so much from this experience, stretching a dollar, not taking things for granted, realizing so many other people have it worse, etc. Oh, and being creative with meals! I made homemade noodles by hand last night and they were so easy and simple, and tasted better than storebought! I'll never go back to bagged noodles again. But I'm just ready for this particular learning experience to be over! LOL


  9. Wow Kristin.
    You got a lot going on girl.

    We're very lucky to live in a state with a super stable economy (well, until people don't need oil anymore) but even here, a lot of friends have been told -we can keep you one, but we can only pay you X. If you don't like it, you can go, if you don't mind, we'll keep you on.

    SO hard.

    Prayers are with you.

    I have sleep problems, too. Hard to think straight when you're tired.


  10. I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time and I will definitely be sending good thoughts in your direction! As for college… scholarships, grants, and financial aid work wonders. Have your daughter apply for anything and everything she qualifies for. It doesn't hurt to try. There is a lot of money not given out every year simply because not enough people ask for it. Check into college specific programs too. I just went to a community college, but because I joined the Honors program they paid ALL of my tuition. I just had to pay fees and books, something I could manage on a small part-time job. I also applied to community groups for scholarships. While many of my friends were concerned with only the big name money-givers that pick a select few, I was getting money from the gardening club and an auto shop. Just keep looking! I hope everything starts looking up for you and your family soon!


  11. Quid – such great advice, thanks! We totally did all the wrong stuff when trying to register her for community college last summer, but we learned a lot and she's excited for the spring semester!

    Hubby got a few job bites. I'll post updates as they come in, and in the meantime I'm really crossing my fingers hard and praying!


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