Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Look Behind The Pages

Everyone has problems. I know that. I understand that concept. But what irritates me isn't the fact that people bemoan their issues, but rather that they never think about how good they actually have it.

In today's society, everybody wants more. Bigger is better. You want more money. A better job where you get more for less. A better car. A bigger house. You want to go on vacation, get the latest iPhone or a new big screen T.V. And everywhere I look, people are saying FML because they don't get exactly what they want, regardless of the fact that they have everything they NEED. And when you overlook that fact, always trying to get to the next level of material wealth, you miss out on the simple joys of life. So, I'm going to break down for you the exact situation my family and I are in. Maybe you can learn from it and look at your own life and see how good you actually have it.



We moved into this townhouse 3 days after I had my youngest son Jace (we have 4 children now). He'll be two this October. This townhouse was better than our prior residence, and because we had to move in a hurry, Jeremy had to take out a loan against his truck just so we could afford the deposit. Things haven't been easy here. With rent increases, job loss, having to pay for repairs instead of the landlord paying them, etc, we've found ourselves struggling more than anything. But, we always made it. We've always paid the necessary bills after the children had all their necessities. We saved up just to buy them birthday and Christmas presents. They were never anything big or expensive, they were only what we could afford, and regardless the kids were happy, so we were happy.

Regardless of how much we had to budget, when we could pay the bills and when we couldn't, things have always worked out. We've never been on vacation because we couldn't afford it. We haven't gotten the newest phone, the biggest TV or anything material wise that people so covet. Why? Because taking care of our children has always been the most important thing. Why would we need a new iPhone? Sure, it would be nice to have one, but it's not a necessity. We learned to live without. We had a safe home for the children, even if it was a struggle. Or so we thought.

A week ago, I got a text from my landlord saying that he couldn't do our payments anymore. We had it set up to where every week we would pay a fourth of our rent. Why was it set up that way? Because we couldn't afford the entire 640 at one time. Regardless, he was getting his money in its entirety. We were even doing it a month in advance, so its not like he was losing anything. But, he's one of those people that want what he wants, regardless of whom it screws over. Don't get me wrong, he's been somewhat decent, but the bottom line will always be the bottom line. So, we had to start looking for other places to live.

Now, when you have four children, it's relatively difficult to find an apartment or house to live in whenever you need at least 3 bedrooms and have a set price range that you can't go above, because you can't afford it. Now, affording something to me is probably a lot different than it is to others. Affording something to me is where you can't afford it if it will cut into your kids food supply. You can't afford it if you can't buy diapers. Basically, we can't afford anything but the bare necessities.

I had to ask my father to wire us the money for a deposit on a new place. We had the application in, it was processing, the man who owned it wanted to rent it out to us right away, but the wife was more picky. Hell, she was downright anal about every single detail. But still, we were hopeful. It was bigger than where we're living, had more room for the kids to play. True, there were no washer and dryer hook ups, but I could deal with that. I wouldn't of had a problem with going to the laundry mat once a week to do a few loads. I would have brought my notebook with me and worked while waiting. That aspect didn't affect me at all, because I knew it would be a better place for the children. Safer. I could make due with what I had to, even if it was begrudgingly.

Two days ago, we received a letter in the mail from the finance company we went through two years ago. They're taking us to court on the 3rd, and froze our bank account. What I mean by froze our bank account is we don't have access to ANY of the money in there. They also are demanding that all the money that is in there, which happens to be the money that was wired for a new place for us to live, be forfeited over to them. We can't buy milk, food, or diapers for the children, because we don't have access to the money. We can't give anyone a deposit for a new place, because we don't have access to the money. Pretty soon, we won't even have any money in the account at all because they are going to take all of it. Some of you may be thinking that that's bullshit. That they don't have the right to do that. Legally, they do, and they did.

So all this was running through our minds. Trying to think of what we could sell to get the money for a deposit, what we could possibly do to make this situation better. We were beyond stressed. But instead of bemoaning our situation, do you know what we did? We put on Disney music, and danced around our living room with our children, singing at the top of our lungs (Jeremy did it off-key, mind you.). But they laughed, and they begged for more. One more dance, one more song. So we danced and sang into the night. Taking joy and delight in our children's laughter, and regardless of how bad our situation was, we went to bed with smiles on our faces. They were happy, and that's all that mattered.

Then yesterday, I opened the door in the morning to find another court order taped to it. This time, it was from our landlord. He's suing for immediate eviction, which means that after all of our assets are revoked on Saturday during court with the finance company, on Monday we will be given the legal amount of ten days to vacate our current residence. Ten. Days. Ten days to come up with the money for a deposit. Ten days to  find a place within our price range. Ten days in which to be accepted into a place that's within our price range. The harsh reality of it is, we can't do it. You can look it up yourself. We live in Jasper, Indiana. Jeremy works in Ireland, Indiana. Go ahead and search for a place that has at least 3 bedrooms and is no more than 600 a month. There isn't any. The only hope we have right now is a house in Ferdinand that won't be available until the 18th (if we can even get into it).

This means, that we legally have to be out of here by midnight on the 15th. We will be living in a motel until we can find a place to live. Hopefully it will be that house, which would mean only 3 days in a motel. Otherwise, I don't know when it will get better. I don't know when we'll be able to actually have a home. I don't know what will happen and I honestly am losing hope. I'm scared and feeling an overwhelming sense of loss. The only thing I ever wanted was to be able to provide a stable home for our children. Somewhere they can feel safe and have roots. No matter how had we have worked, how much we have sacrificed, dealt with, and given up on, we have failed miserably.

Life isn't fair. It's hard. You'll find that the good people in this world suffer the most. Happiness isn't easy to find, but it is easy to lose. But still, we will dance. We will keep our children happy. We will make this an adventure. Regardless of how low our life is right now, of how we don't know what will be coming next on the horizon, we will dance. We will sing, and we will celebrate in the sound of our children's laughter and we will love them with every aspect of our beings.

So the next time you're stressed. The next time you don't get your way and think your life is hell: Just dance.