The struggle is real

Last year, my online courses dwindled to the point of them being useless for paying the bills. Some stayed steady, like Southern New Hampshire but others like Ashland just went caput. I was getting 2-3 sections each 12 week term and the money was good enough that with four schools, I made a good living. The perks were there too: home all the time (with the exception of teaching at the community college but even then it wasn’t a huge time suck), good money, make your own schedule. I was happy doing it too, though I knew it couldn’t last forever. Just like with everyone being home during COVID, I knew it would not stay the same.

Well, when Ashland just had no classes for me and then TCC, the same in the Spring, I went on the hunt. I picked up tutoring at TCC and Varsity tutors online, which made hardly any money and took too much time. I got a job at Belleview online, which provides education for blue collar workers who have it as a benefit. But still, with TCC and Ashland out of the picture, I was really struggling. The tutoring job was measly pay, hourly only, and about 25 hours a week. I was starting to get pretty depressed, especially when I interviewed with the same private company twice, without ever being hired. Summer came and went and I was really feeling awful and so was my husband. He hated the stress and strain this put on us and was almost considering moving so we could afford it all. Then, finally, I got the job here, in October.

Working for the Legislature is like no other state job; there’s VERY BUSY times and rules about how long you have to be in the office. But the perks are there, I just haven’t encountered them yet. I am allowed to keep my online jobs, which makes sense because during the majority of the year, we don’t do, well, anything at all. But right now? And leading up the the sixty day session? Just slammed. I mean, February I earned about 20 hours of comp time and I WORKED hard. Now, it’s a lot of hurry up and wait. I have to be present in case a member needs something now. Difficult to really explain to anyone who has never worked here – and I know because I’ve got friends who have worked here for years and I never got it either.

What I did get was that it was inevitable that Ash would eventually be annoyed by it. I can envision what happens after May 5th but I don’t think he sees it yet. I will have earned so much comp time that I can start working 8-2:30 or 3 each day, allowing me the freedom to once again do things at home like cook dinner. And we’ll take a few weekend trips and our big July/August vacation. The majority of the year, about 7 months, it is like almost all other jobs, maybe with even more leniency. But since we are in the thick of it now, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. I am feeling pretty low now because my husband is being grumpy about it. He knows but it still bugs him and I don’t know why. I can see it being an irritation but I want just a little understanding from him. Especially as I am the one working these long hours. I know I am going to obsess over it all afternoon and put undue strain on myself about it; mostly because I don’t know how to talk to him about it either.

Something you’d think adults would get used to is rolling with the punches when life suddenly gets all wonky. I thought things were going really well and then this happens and I just hate feeling bad about it, you know? It certainly doesn’t help that I’m tired and it’s rainy. Luckily rain washes the pollen away. At least temporarily. And this crazy time is temporary too and I hope my husband’s cranky mood is as well. I don’t like when things are tense; I don’t do well with it. But it’s time to step up and be tough, I know. I just don’t want to.

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