Sometimes Life Has Other Plans

Last week, I took one of my pre-planned vacation weeks to use up remaining paid time and do some extra hustling towards my countdownSetbacks aside, I was still determined to forge ahead as planned.

I finalized the sale of my car.  I honed our budget down as far as I could and started strategizing how I’d return to my extreme couponing ways to save even more month-to-month.  I wrote my resignation letter.  I wasn’t planning on turning it in today—I knew I needed to let a few more pieces (i.e. new gigs) settle into place before I could do that safely—but just writing it was wonderfully cathartic.  The end was still near.

Then everything changed.

As I’ve written about before, my husband has mitochondrial myopathy.  Things got especially bad last summer, when we had to finally sit down and have the “some day I’m going to have to go on disability” talk.  We knew it was coming.  I just thought it was coming at least 2-3 years down the road.

Last week, I learned that the time is actually now.  My husband, as is his way, has been smilingly struggling with just making it through each day, not wanting to worry me with just how tough this was becoming for him.  (Reminiscent of another great guy I knew, I might mention.)  I thought things were just “crappy as usual,” which is pretty much what a Fibro sufferer expects each day, but it turns out they were much crappier.  His working days are numbered, and that number is due to run out soon.

What does this mean?  It means we’re reviewing his employee handbook for medical leave rules and contemplating months without half our income/all our health insurance.  We’re setting up initial consultations with Social Security/Disability attorneys so we know what to expect before the day comes when he inevitably can’t work any longer.  (Did you know you need to be unemployed for 12 months before you can even apply for disability (a process that can take 2-3 years on average)?)  It means we’re going into squirrel-before-winter mode and slashing budget items left and right to start putting as much as possible while we still can.

And the day job?  I’m hunkering down to keep it as long as I physically can while still working to bring in extra funds with my freelancing.

The final Quit will still happen.  It’s just on indefinite delay.

 

The Grand Master Plan, Rebooted

So it looks like CCIQ is entering into a new chapter of its adventure, where shit (which I previously thought had just gotten real) gets even realer.

I’m still going to work on my freelancing.  I still plan on leaving the day job.  But my first focus in the immediate future is going to be on triaging our finances, helping my husband navigate the governmental mess of red tape and application processes, and learning how to make it through my own days, moment by moment, without letting my overwhelming idealism and passion for quitting turn me into a disgruntled, ledge-toeing, overwrought wreck.

I know I have that in me.  I can’t help it.  I feel things far too strongly, and I can’t (and, to be honest, don’t want to) turn that off.  But I’m going to need to learn how to transfer some of my gung-ho energies away from making my own dream Happen Right Now Let’s Do This Already, and instead focus them on rocking this radically altered new life ahead of us.

Part of me (after having a good cry/scream and doing a fair bit of selfish mourning) is actually raring to meet the challenge, now that I’ve gotten the woe-is-me-ing out of my system.

I am nothing if not a glutton for challenges to rise above, and now that I’ve realigned my sights to the new challenge ahead of me, I’m ready to take it on like a boss.

Manage a household on half our normal income?  Bring it.  I can out-frugal anyone.

Deal with a 2-3 year process of proving to the government that my husband actually is sick, likely being denied, and appealing?  Child’s play.  I’ve worked for attorneys for the past 12 years—and it’s about to finally do something for me in real life.  I’ve been prepping for a legal battle half my adult life.

Just keep swimming towards the light at the end of the tunnel, even if that tunnel just got elongated like in a fun-house mirror?  Please, bro.  I swim or I die.  Those are the choices.  Which one do you think I’m choosing?

So, get ready for the path to veer into whole new territory.  I promise it will be every bit as quitful, snarky, and everything else you’ve come to expect from CCIQ.  It’s just taking a different path than previously anticipated.

Are you still along for the ride?

Image: Penn State / Flickr

 

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