June 14, 2012

Bending, Not Breaking...Yet.

I am not not not going to cry at work. I am not. I am an adult and I can comport myself as one, even under pressure.

The theme of 2012 in my life so far has been: These things will work themselves out, and you have very little choice in how or when. I have been learning that lesson over and over and over. Post-surgery, I have been as zen as possible given all my life circumstances.

And things have not improved.

Every time I feel like I've conquered some emotional hurdle or put behind me the things I have no way of affecting, something new crops up to challenge and torment me.

Always something new.

New, and never good. Not lately anyway.

M has to attend college to keep his current job (as it is a student employee position). Once he got his Bachelor's, I told him it would be okay to take some grad classes while we look for a job. I get great tuition benefits being the employee of a university - M attends for 20%. But on grad classes, we have to pay taxes as though the tuition we did *not* pay was earned income. So even though I don't pay that 80% of tuition, I do pay income tax on it like it was earned income. That has come around to bite me in the ass big time.

The concept of the whole thing is not new to me. I was enrolled in two master's programs before dropping out to focus on TTC and the same tax rule applied to my tuition benefit. But that was 4 years ago and apparently taxes have changed since then... Tomorrow will be the second paycheck this month which is being docked that tuition tax. It hurt us the first time, its worse the second.

I did this to myself. I probably should have researched *exactly* how much money it would cost us for M to take one grad class a quarter. I knew it would cost us, I just didn't realize how much. No sense looking back now, what's done is done.

Part of me, thankfully, is up for the challenge. Our monthly budget is down by a critical $400? Bring it. I can handle it. I'm savvy with coupons and sales - I can make a dollar stretch. I know how much our bills will be and where we can scrimp up a few extra bucks. We're becoming experts at tightening the belt. And we aren't living on the edge. There's $15K sitting in a savings account. Most families should be so lucky to have half  that. But its *all* we have. And I was raised to be so fiscally conservative that to touch your savings means you have failed. You did something critically wrong and now you've lost the game.

Part of me wants to curl up in a ball and cry. Cry because my husband is incredibly smart, talented, and driven and yet is being given no chance to show his worth. Cry because we are being *so* fiscally responsible and yet I still fear our heads dipping under the water. Cry because I have no way of knowing if or when the tide of unfortunate events will end.

At this point, I'm considering waiting on going back to TTC. We'd be in a world of hurt if we got pregnant. I know our families would help take care of us, but is it fair to willingly charge into a situation we know we can't afford? But at the same time, I just had this expensive surgery done and the clock is ticking on how long the results last...

In my dreams, M gets a phone call tomorrow to schedule an interview for the amazing job on campus. In my reality, that is probably not going to happen.

And now a list of things I am thankful for to keep my head on straight: Generally good health for M and I, Two functioning cars, Gainful employment for myself with no fear of ever losing my job, Comparatively good healthcare premiums, Family that will never allow us to go hungry or be homeless.

I really hope I'm learning the lessons God wants me to so I can eventually move on. 

1 comment:

  1. The money part of this whole thing really gets to me. The fact that this "industry" costs so much makes me feel like they are taking advantage of us because we are vulnerable and desperate for a child.

    If you need to take time to go back to TTC then you should. Don't do something you don't feel ready. Do what you feel is best for your family. Sending you lots of big hugs.