Sunday, April 5, 2009

gratitude

there's this scene from harry potter...the movie...which one?....uhm, the one with the baby thestrals in it. because it's when luna is telling harry that if she were voldemort, she would want to make harry feel alone to weaken him...because we draw strength in numbers. that's been playing through my mind a lot. not necessarily the scene, but the sentiment...it just so happens that when i am looking for an image to attach to the sentiment, this is the one that pops up for me.

i think i've mentioned before that eight years (med school + residency) just didn't sound that long six years ago... but all of a sudden, it feels like f.o.r.e.v.e.r. a family of six making it on a resident's salary is getting tough. or it was...yeah, there's a happy ending coming up here in a bit. but i have stretched dollars and cut costs when i wasn't sure i could do it anymore. i don't mean to sound like we're suffering...we're not. our kids still climb at one of the best rock gyms i've seen in texas (but i admit i'm not ALL that well traveled as far as rock gyms go), they still take music lessons, and now, i have not just ONE child traveling to the international level of his robotics competition, i have a SECOND one who just qualified for nationals in his competition. and he'll go. he is bursting in a way i rarely see my second born burst and, come hell or high water, he will go...this is our commitment to him as his parents.

but finding a way to make that happen...it has been getting daunting. when my spouse did pharmacy school, when we found out we were pregnant with our first child, i worked. that is what we did in the family i grew up in. but once that child was born, my mil told me she wanted to me to feel like i had the option to stay home with my child, if that was what i wanted. my spouse (who was my boyfriend at the time...i only mention this because it makes me feel young in a weird way) asked me to consider it. but i did not know where the money to eat, to pay rent, would come from. but it always came. sometimes his parents helped us...and this one was huge...having family that can and will do that is amazing. sometimes we charged things. sometimes we filed income taxes or sold things. mostly, we just enjoyed the simple and free pleasuers of life. and i have not one regret for the choices we made. oh, i did work sometimes. but i usually ended up coming back home. it was just how our little family rolled. and it's still how we roll... i learned a lot of faith in those times. i also learned a lot of responsibility. and while i have still been practicing the responsibility as of late, the faith was escaping me a bit. i mean, we were making it. a loan here helped. we still had income taxes to file, and that would help. but the stress of trying to make it all work was leaving us tired, and worn, and feeling a little alone...a little stretched...and a little like we didn't have much to give others, to be honest. but we got a deposit in our account a few days ago that will probably mean we can make it through the rest of the year without taking out any more loans. and while i don't think it's necessarily appropriate to post my financials here...this has made a lot of difference today. a lot.

i looked over our bills, and they have steadily dropped since moving out here almost two years ago. we still find ways to trim here, use less there. my spouse works extra hours when they are offered. but the recent success of our children in robotics (who the hell knew they'd be such robot whiz-kids?) has been challenging. and made me feel desperate in a way i was growing to hate. i thought maybe i'd just pull them from music lessons to make up the difference. but, after this deposit, i don't have to. at least not yet.

my spouse has a little over two years left of this residency. and then, things should lighten up a little...i think. i really don't know, and while it seems obvious they should, i hate setting myself up for disappointment, so we'll just leave it at they should. so we keep telling ourselves two more years of rough financial times, and then it'll get a little easier. we usually hold hands when we say this to each other. he doesn't know about this deposit yet. but it helps me remember to have faith. and to be a part of other people's lives in a way that keeps faith alive for all of us. and for this reminder that i am not alone, that there are people praying for me and supporting me, even when i am so wrapped up in my own stress i don't remember to do the same, i am so, so, so very grateful.

peace