Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday's Jeremiad: Trying to stay focused

...on the positive, but the Herculean effort
it takes to make myself believe things will
get better only serves to vitiate my spirit even more
each day. Still no job though god knows
I've been doing my share of looking, interviewing,
sending out resumes, etc. I am more than
discouraged--I am despondent and disconsolate.

Losing money every day which we invested
in stocks and bonds for our retirement and for
our youngest son's college doesn't help matters.

As of last statement, we had lost nearly all of
the earnings from our investments and are
just about to go below our initial investment.

I know CDs don't earn much, but at least they
don't cost you anything. I just cringe every time
I open a statement about our IRAs or mutual
funds or Wes's 529 plan. I thought I was doing
the right thing--the smart thing. And it really did make
sense to do that, then. I believed it was prudent
and necessary to take that money out of a savings
account that was not earning us much and let the money
make money, but like so many decisions I've made
in the last few years, I am beginning to question that one as well.

Although I had good advice about how to invest, the fact
remains that the economy sucks. And the fact remains
that I am old-school and want to go get the damn money
out today and bury it in a Ball jar in the back yard.

My husband didn't want me to invest--too risky
he said--and for a while I thought I had dispelled his
fears as I would show him the statements and the steady,
though not enormous, gains our funds were making.

The investments were doing rather well.
Now, I can't see that we'll have much in there
when that retirement day arrives, and I don't know
what to do. Pull the money out, pay penalities and taxes,
put it in CDs that are safe, but where will that leave us?

And here I am, jobless, after spending years of my life
working and going to school and raising my family.
Jobless. Apparently I wasn't quite as valuable as
I thought I was or would be. Jobless. Having to pay
health insurance every month with no money coming
in. Jobless. While all the others I had worked with
through the years are still working, still contributing
to society--teachers, social workers, psychologists, poets,
midwives, MDs, RNs, sonographers, anesthetists, toxicologists,
academic advisors--all of them still working. Many of
them who, like me, also worked, went to school, and
raised families, but who, unlike me, successfully completed
not only undergrad, but grad school and beyond.

What in the hell happened to me? I was staying afloat
for so many years, lifted aloft at times by sheer tenacity,
and at other times by plain old stubborness. I was going to prove
to myself that I had it in me to set goals and see them through.

I was going to prove to myself that I was not a failure.

But two years ago, I came crashing to earth, a doomed
zeppelin, a massive hole torn in her side. Crash and burn, baby.

Crash and burn.

Can't see the forest for the trees. Hell, can't even see
the friggin trees.

I literally feel sick to my stomach every morning, lying
there in bed after my son leaves for school, trying to think
of a reason to get up and keep going. And though I usually
get up and keep going, I'm not going anywhere except
further down the proverbial toilet.

I feel like I'm in a canoe in the middle of the Atlantic--no
oars, no wind, no compass, little to eat or drink, the sun
unbearable and unwelcome, hope to see land again
diminishing with each passing second.

God I hate feeling like this. God what a pathetic ramble
this is today.

If just one positive thing happened--just one--perhaps
this disconsolate melange of me would rally, would start
to believe there is hope.

But for now, only the thought of getting back in bed
and pulling the covers over my head sounds appealing.

And it is to bed I shall go now.


LKD said...

Maggie, I posted these words at on my blog, but I'll post them again here:

If you go (to the Dodge Poetry Festival), you'll have to give me the full report.

From the sounds of it (I was just over at your blog pondering how to say "buck up, lil' camper, blue skies are ahead" in a way that wouldn't sound frivolous--it's one of my favorite sayings for my friends when they're feeling down and out but some of them get really grumpy if I chirp those particular words at them), you could use a road trip, a short vacation, an escape hatch, some poetry.

Honey, just know that if I could throw my arms around you, or sit and drink a glass of wine with you, or whatever would make you feel better, I would.

Maggie said...

I wish I could believe blue skies, nothing but blue skies, but I am so overwhelmingly sad I can't.

I wish you could be here, too...could use a hug and someone to share a glass of wine with me.

I appreciate your presence so much.