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I was told before that on the days when I can’t seem to write those are likely the days I need to write the most…today is one of those days.

I want to write about my daughter, struggling to come to terms with the medical struggles that lie ahead, my boys and all that they are dealing with, I even want to write about the divorce and how with things as they are right now, I wonder if the ex is finally getting a dose of reality and how much more he can take before he snaps. I know he’s close, I can see it.

He started a new job (his 15th job in less than 10 years) in January. He never stays anywhere for very long and, of course, it is never his fault when he either is ‘forced to quit,’ is let go, or moves on to the next latest/greatest endeavor.

So, in less than five months on the job, they are already starting to make noise about the amount of time he has been taking off from work. He complains about being broke…but miraculously always has money for things like bowling, bingo, and beer. These are his priorities (not necessarily in that order). My friends and I have a pool going to see how long he would last at this job…I’m thinking I may win! (I’m just kidding, we don’t actually have a pool…but we did all predict a length of employment).

Now, with him having the kids full time, he has also had to face taking time off for doctor appointments and sick kid days, something he has never had to deal with. I was a stay at home mom, and even after I began working a year and a half ago, it was me who took the time off and ran kids to doctors and sports, and everywhere else they needed to be.

He has already informed me that he will be going with his mother to the Mayo Clinic when she goes for her consult/surgery. He doesn’t know when they are going or for how long he will be gone, yet he is upset that his boss is already letting him know that he is less than happy to be losing him during the busiest time of year for them at work. He is a mechanic at a small town (less than 500 population) gas station. He is the only mechanic…when he is not there they are losing money…period.

In my opinion, his boss has every right to be upset. He’s missed more work in the last five months than I have missed in the year and a half I have been working! I understand that my job is much more flexible than his, I can make up the time, switch shifts with co-workers, etc.

I also do not have myself spread so thin financially that taking an extra day or two off here and there would put me in a bind. Twice a year I have months with three paychecks. This year they are May and November. I couldn’t have timed this better if I had done it myself. May was when I moved into my new apartment and officially was at my financial breaking point. With the final paycheck this month, while not firm, I will be putting down some solid roots. The last paycheck in May will actually pay most of my June expenses. After I have at least two months of living expenses put in to savings (which I am still determining being as I’ve never lived alone and some of my expenses that I’ve had over the last two months are not on-going such as deposits and household goods).

I know longer live paycheck to paycheck and I love it. Sure there are things I’d LIKE to have and buy and spend my money on, but right now I don’t need them. Right now my focus is on building up a little nest egg so that I can go back to working a little less over the summer so I can spend more time with the kids. Last summer I worked an average of seven days in a two week period. The kids and I spent our days outside, throwing Frisbee, football, playing baseball, driving around, gardening, digging for worms…it was magical.

This summer I will be closer to ten shifts (which is an 80 hour paycheck), but am aiming for nine. Just think…nine on, five off…nice.

A lot of what I am willing to work will, of course, depend on how much I have the boys. When they are gone on vacation, I can work the full 80 hours and not worry so that when they are with me, I can take an extra day off here and there.


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