I am happy to report that no bombs exploded outside my house last night. My environment is relatively safe. I can walk at night with little threat other than encountering a rogue raccoon. Except for the occasional belittling Facebook post, I am not persecuted for being a Christian. And I consider myself to be healthy, despite a constant battle to fit into my jeans. I am blessed to have a roof over my head, a warm bed, food in the fridge and I sincerely thank God daily for these things and apologize for my whining.
Nonetheless, I have had 5 really stressful years in a row. Here is a candid summary of them in a nutshell (a big nutshell like a coconut):
I’ve faced the typical ups and downs of life, while happily raising my daughter in an affluent suburb outside of Seattle. My husband’s asphalt paving business grew by leaps and bounds, enabling me to pursue my passions: traveling, cooking, and owning a kitchen store near our vacation home in an eclectic little mountain town.
We didn’t worry too much about money. We had good credit and invested in several pieces of real estate. We didn’t own yachts or diamond tiaras, but we felt comfortably middle class. Life’s winding road was paved and fairly smooth.
I remember the day it changed and a huge deep dark rut appeared.
It was late September of 2008. I was flitting between the kitchen and the asphalt paving office, which was situated in a detached building behind our home. I was experimenting with a recipe and testing it out on our employees. I believe it was crab salad with pickled peaches…an odd, but tasty combo.
The tv was turned on and as I scampered by with a tray of empty plates, something caught my eye…
Breaking news: Washington Mutual, the 6th largest saving and loan in the country, was going bankrupt. And the stock market was plummeting.
Over the next couple weeks, I sat glued to the TV as corporations teetered, government bailouts began, and the stock market continued to meltdown along with the housing market.
Quickly the squeeze trickled down to our paving business.
So, I closed my beloved kitchen store and joined my husband, Leonard, in the asphalt paving office. He needed my support and despite the fact we took more than a 50% cut in pay, it was our still our main source of income.
We reined in our spending, sold stuff, gathered the wagons, hunkered down and held on tight for what we hoped would be a short, rough ride.
Fast forward 5 years and I am still on that ride and with a lot more than just financial troubles. But, I’m getting used to the ups and downs, hair-raising turns and the creepy clowns that keep popping up when I least expect them.
According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Test, my score indicates a major life crisis. But that’s ok. The whole ordeal has made me toughen up, pull on my big girl panties, seek out new coping methods, reevaluate my priorities, redevelop my skill set (remember, I am not a pioneer woman) and, reluctantly, learn about asphalt paving. I’m still whining and worrying quite a bit, but praying has helped me find some peace.
Amen. That’s it. The last crappy 5 years in a nutshell.
Thankfully, writing, cooking and geneology have become my favorite healthy distractions and the results are the fodder for this blog and my book.
I’m hoping to complete the book by spring 2014 and will be blogging through my recipe testing in the meantime.