A Story About Paying Off Debt and the Obstacles Along the Way

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Pandemic-Induced Emotional Whiplash

What's New This Week

It's been a rough week. I've been taking notes on what I've done and how I've felt each day, and the words "bored," "lonely," and "depressed" keep coming up. I remind myself over and over again that it's normal to feel these things given all that's happening in my life and in the world. I'm worried about my extended family (my parents sounded low the last time I talked to them, and they're making some questionable choices in terms of socializing), stressed about Fortysomething's job, frustrated by the feeling that I'm not doing anything meaningful, sad that my local friendships are withering due to lack of in-person contact, and sometimes overwhelmed by my kid's school schedule (I'm so glad he's online, but it does come with a new set of challenges that will take some time to address). 

I've toyed with talk therapy and even considered antidepressants (please no advice on therapy and/or medication thank youuuu), but what I think I really need is a change of scenery. I need a vacation. I need to get away from all of this stuff for a week or two. Which won't happen right now because (a) we feel like a pandemic is not a good time to travel, a belief we continue to hang onto despite the fact that everyone else seems to be on the road and (b) school and work are back in session. 

Anyway, point being, just as I underestimated the importance of human interaction in my life, I underestimated the importance of making plans and adventuring for keeping me sane.

Other, less-morose highlights from the past two weeks:

-Finished a workout program (6 Weeks of The Work) for the second time

-Deep cleaned parts of the kitchen

-Made bagels and soft pretzels from scratch (successful on both accounts)

-Mastered the art of my kid's F1 game on the XBox (no more crashing into walls and/or other cars!)

-Went running for the first time in a few months! 

-Started watching the second season of Umbrella Academy

-Listened to a few true crime podcasts

-Worked (but my work has kind of slowed because I wrapped up a project I was working on)

-Applied for a couple of jobs

Speaking of which...

The Job Front

I really need to keep myself busier, so I've applied for a few additional online teaching jobs over the past few weeks. One of them seemed particularly right for me. I was able to tick off all the boxes in terms of qualifications and experience. Plus, in a refreshing turn of events, the job ad offered a comprehensive overview of pay (not great, but not terrible), training expectations, and course responsibilities. The class is already set up; I can tweak it, but the material, syllabus, etc. are all ready to go. I have a Zoom interview scheduled for next week. If I can just remember how to formulate complete sentences, I may have a shot at this!

Meanwhile, Fortysomething received another contract invitation from his side hustle. That makes three contract offers for this fall: two major opportunities and one smaller one. This is great news except that, oh yeah, he still has a full-time teaching gig. The next few months are going to be extremely busy for him if his school decides to keep everyone home through December. We have no idea what they will decide to do. It looks like it could go either way; many parents and even teachers want a return to in-person learning starting in September. We hope to know more by Friday.

This whole whiplash-inducing "teachers-are-heroes-oh-wait-no-they-are-assholes-for-not-wanting-to-have-full-classrooms-during-a-pandemic" situation that's unfolded over the summer has taken a toll on his desire to teach. It's demoralizing. I can tell that what he really wants to do at this point is work for himself, and I don't blame him. Too bad healthcare is so expensive.

Sometimes I feel like we're hastily trying to board up the windows and throw down the sandbags before the storm hits, and crossing our fingers it'll be good enough to keep out the worst of the weather.

This Week's Expenses

Aside from the usual (groceries, student loan payment, etc.), we forked over $75 to rent a camera for the Kiddo's photography class and $50 or so on other school supplies. Fortysomething also spent a chunk of his upcoming contract earnings on a new computer. It's been at least five years since we upgraded our home technology, so as hard as it is to wave goodbye to that money, this investment (that's really what it is - by purchasing this equipment, he has the opportunity to snag contracts that will make a big impact on our savings) needed to happen. 

So that's this week in Coronatimes. How have you been?



  1. After weeks of mentally screaming at everything that just doesn't have to be this way, I've gotten rather brain-hoarse and emotionally numb. It's not great. But maybe it's the right time since we are now facing the fall and start of school and need to get ourselves situated on that front. It's back to a time for coping and not a time for fighting.

    We have so much prep to do before the end of the year, too, my mind boggles if I stop to think about it too long. I have a heck of a lot of lot to get done before then.

    1. I do welcome the structure of school back into our lives. It's good for all of us, even if my kid isn't thrilled to be back in the (virtual) classroom. Past few days have been better so I'm hoping it was just a little slump.

  2. That's a lot going on, friend. Sorry that Fortysomething's job stuff is so stressful, and good luck with the interview this week. Fingers crossed!

    Mrs. Done by Forty and I found an F1 boardgame on boardgamearena: Downforce. Let me know if you guys ever want to try it out! Miss ya. Hang in there.

    1. An F1 boardgame?!? Wow. Hmmm... that might be something my kid would enjoy, too. I'm going to check it out, and I'll let you know!