Missing family and being away for the holidays

It just doesn’t feel like Christmas for us, at all. I don’t think that will change, especially since we’ve only got a couple of days before Christmas is all over us. I think the worst part is the fact that we’re going to be away from our family and friends for the second year in a row. Last year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had just finished buying our house here in Knoxville, and we were still getting settled, as well as being VERY short of money; it was a given that we’d tough out the holidays being apart from everybody.

This year, however, is going to be the second consecutive year we’ve spent away, which we didn’t really plan on doing. We’re staying home and being particularly careful with money because we’re faced with the possibility that Rick may lose his job. His company has kept him and his co-workers in suspense since about mid-October with several sizable layoffs, restructuring and rumors of the company folding, and I’m here to tell you that this protracted mindfuckery is torturous. Are they trying to wear most of their employees down and make them find employment elsewhere? That would certainly cut down on the number of severance packages they’d have to fund.

And while my hubby is a sterling, valuable employee who brings home the bacon with startling regularity, I am not half as valuable as is he. I don’t have a usable college degree, and the last eight years of my work experience consist of technical support for outdated computer software on an operating system platform which holds less than 25% of the commercial and business marketplace. So it’s a good bet that I’M not going to be able to find a job (or even three or four jobs) making what Rick makes. In the time we’ve lived here, I’ve become very active in dog rescue instead of being employed for a paycheck, and that’s very rewarding to me personally. Rick agrees that this is important work, and he’s glad that I’m able to do it as well as spend much of the day at home with our own dogs–but let’s face it, rescue really don’t pay well. Scratch that–it don’t pay AT ALL, and that’s not helping us to pay the heating bill and buy prescription kibble for the dogs.

So due to our lack of funds, we’re staying home THIS year as well. And we’re not buying presents because we may not have any income after December, so we’re triply knocked out of the holiday spirit. Even the most basic of holiday activities, sending Christmas cards and baking cookies, has no appeal for me right now.

I’m not adjusting well to being away from our family and friends. I really, really, really miss everyone, much more than I thought I would, and especially around this time of year. And with the gas prices and the precariousness of our employment situation down here, we haven’t made it home as often as we thought we would, which makes Tennessee feel even further from Michigan.

And today we got bad news about Rick’s grandpa–his blood pressure and heart rate dropped precipitously this morning, landing him in the intensive care unit with plans to install a pacemaker. Rick’s grandpa has been through a lot of different trials in his life and he’s had some health issues recently, so we were very concerned. Very fortunately, his pacemaker installation went well and he’s now in a regular hospital room instead of in the ICU, but this just underscores the need for us to plan a visit home, soon. We’ve been away too long without a visit. It won’t be in time for Christmas, but we’ll make it home to see everyone sooner than later.

Comments are closed.