If my husband had to be laid off, I guess this is as good a time as any. The cool mornings and evenings and golden light of late summer feed my soul in a way such that I feel I can handle challenges, that everything will be all right. I definitely feel the extra motivation to get to work myself subbing this fall–that was the plan anyway, so my heretofore provider can ease out of the rat race, not have to commute so far, and look for something closer to home (where tech jobs at his level are rare and pay a lot less) so he can be a bigger part of our lives. It’ll be okay. He admitted his team was pretty dysfunctional, and he was glad of an excuse to move on. At least this time he was an employee, so can apply for unemployment insurance for the interim–a first.
As for finances, the garden is overflowing with vegetables, I shop in bulk and local, and I’ve explained to the kids about the need to make stuff from scratch more, eat out less, and create fun family treats in a lower cost way. I know how to economize, enjoy second-hand treasure hunting, and was looking for a way to motivate changes in our grocery purchasing habits anyway. No more Cheerios and premade ice cream bars–it’s back to homemade granola and yoghurt, plain vanilla bulk ice cream on homemade apple crisp, my eleven-year-old’s vegetable soup and daughter’s coconut curry. Not everyone is enthusiastic, but if my husband, our oldest son and I can be enthusiastic about a dinner of boiled beets, steamed broccoli and reheated potatoes, maybe it’ll trickle down to the younger three (hunger can do wonders). The big financial drains will be school related fees and extracurriculars, and of course the usual costs of this American life–insurance, auto and gas, and loan payments.
Another cut in expenses I just learned about was no more swim club fees–my son was cut for lack of commitment–surprise! After paying his membership all summer to save his spot while he worked three jobs to save for college and gain coaching experience, he checked in with his coach and found out. I’m disappointed, as is he, but especially that the communication between my son and the coach was so poor over the last year. My last effort will be a chat with that coach which will include a strong suggestion to warn swimmers that swimming must come first or you’re out. At least they can warn their parents so all that money won’t be wasted. And to question his inflexible approach, basically one that favors the well-to-do and kids that are academically gifted (or don’t care about academics). Saving for college? Shows a lack of commitment. Missing practice to study for exams or catch up on school work if you’re not a speed reader or have a learning challenge? Trying to learn another skill or sport? No excuses!
I reminded my son that there are a whole lot more academic scholarships out there than swimming scholarships. He gets that, though he loves swimming and still plans to work out on his own in case he swims in college. Difficult to stay motivated, though. He admits he’s really learned a lot through his experiences working with his various coaches over the years. We’ve had some good chats about their different strengths and weaknesses, the challenges they face, the way to motivate and teach kids. He’s really looking forward to his final year on the high school team come this fall as one of the few senior anchors and a co-captain. He really appreciates his high school coach, and goes all out for the team.
I have so much I wanted to finish up before school started–house and yard projects, sewing with the girls, a few fishing trips, college visits. Still a few weeks yet, including the time until teachers start going home sick and doing raining days, and the sub jobs start popping up online. I’ll have to do a work clothes inventory, make sure I have comfortable shoes, see that my status is active. Figure out how I’m going to cook and bake from scratch, drive the kids around, attend swim meets, put supper on the table, keep up the house, balance all these duties with my husband, and work. I know I’ll find time to write.