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We got too attached to this house. For someone who had unquenched wanderlust from about age five, who lived in stacks of books because her family couldn’t be bothered to travel more than a few hours away most years, who wished for travel and majored initially in international business (against all logic, mind you), I have become far too settled. Don’t get me wrong. I have my moments of wishing for something new. A drastic change. Some nebulous grass on the other side that’s likely purple.

But…

I really like this house. It needs too much work at this point for staying in it to be practical. But it feels like home. And the work we have done, the touches that make it home, are things we’re getting too old to invest the time in doing again. (At least with full time jobs, mind you.)

I really like this yard. It’s a little bit of tropical paradise to make up for all the trials and tribulations that go with living in other people’s paradise.

I like the beach. And most of the other jobs that are currently available in Hubby’s field are nowhere near a beach. I’m a beach girl. I grew up a quarter mile from the Intracoastal Waterway. My sister’s a surfing yoga teacher and recycling guru. Salt water is in our blood and humidity keeps us from drying out like lizards.

I like my dojo. And our vet. And the little bookshops and restaurants we keep going back to. But we have few friends here anymore. They keep moving away for the same reasons we keep considering it. Or we lose touch because they go one way and we go another. And business aren’t friends.

It’s expensive here. Our mortgage is double what a similarly-sized house would cost somewhere saner. (And we bought before the peak of the boom, years before, yet the place is still underwater because when Florida crashes, it crashes hard.) Food prices, beer prices, thrift store prices, gas prices. We visit friends in other places and marvel at not paying $4-8 for a single beer. We’re paying tourist prices year-round.

The salaries don’t match the expense. And as a teacher, my salary seems to go down every year now. Hubby’s only eligible for a 2% raise now, no matter how much money he saves the organization, no matter how many hours he puts in or how hard he works. That used to be the increase for the “fuck-ups” or those who were trying to stay under the radar long enough to retire. Yet, gas prices have gone up 6% in just the past two months.

And yeah, it’s hard everywhere. “We” (by which I mean the bankers and the politicians wiping their behinds and the corporate liars and cheats and the other scammers and swindlers we keep bending over backward to serve and protect) drove the whole damn country off the rails and it’s been hard trying to steer her back.

And yeah, I need to get out of education because the system is broken and cure being peddled looks worse than the disease.

But, the problem’s Hubby. He’s stagnating where he is. He’s bored. He’s overworked. He’s unappreciated. And he works for a crazy dictator who at the very least is on the wrong meds. And he deserves better.

And I’m at a loss how to support him or what to do about that.

(And it’s breaking my writing brain worrying about it.)

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