Exactly one year ago today, my wife of fewer than 24 hours and I were on an airplane bound for Hawaii. Right now, as I type this, I’m on my terrace, enjoying the first 80-degree day we’ve had here in Hoboken since September, with my laptop, the leftover kosher wine from Passover, and an interesting Foo Fighters cover on AOL Radio. Hoboken will never be Hawaii, but all things considered, this doesn’t suck.
Marriage after the first 366 days doesn’t suck, either. I’m very happy, and I’ve never had any second thoughts, or wondered, “What if?” The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is picking my spots when invited to events like drinking or games. I can’t just say yes to everything, because there’s another person to consider, so I’ve really tried to carefully choose when to do things apart from my wife if it’s an event she’s not interested in. I try to factor in how many nights I have plans for during the week, how much time we’ve spent together, whether I can afford it, and other factors, and make the best decisions. Have I been perfect? Certainly not, but I think my efforts have been pretty solid.
I’m very happy with our marriage, and while there are things in my life that I would like to see get better, overall, I’m pretty content. The only negative that continues to weigh on me is my job situation.
I absolutely hate the fact that I’m bringing so little money into the household. It has never been a source of friction, and I’m not conforming to the old-school notion that the husband is required to be the bread-winner, but putting in hours that are comparable to those of a full-time job in exchange for about one-quarter of what I was making at my last full-time position is really starting to wear thin.
And thanks to recent events, I don’t see it getting any better. The blog that I had been editing and writing pretty much by myself for nearly two years, WebNewser, was folded into another blog, SocialTimes, at the end of March. A bunch of people write for SocialTimes, and there are only so many stories to go around, so even though I’m putting in the same effort to try to find interesting topics to write about, I’m probably doing about one-half of the stories I used to post. Considering the fact that I get paid by the post, this is not a good trend. I am positive my paycheck for April will be much lower than March’s, despite missing an entire week of March for a short and much-needed vacation to the Dominican Republic.
I’ve had a couple of close calls on full-time jobs over the past few months, but close doesn’t pay the bills. I especially thought I had a job I interviewed for in February, but my hopes were dashed in March. It was the best I’ve felt about a potential position since being laid off in October 2008, but it didn’t happen.
Still, all things considered, the situation could be a lot worse. I really enjoy the work I’m doing, and wish I could carve out some more opportunities. And I’d be lying through my teeth if I tried to say I don’t love working from home. Still, it would make me feel a lot better to contribute more into the pot.
In closing, let me switch gears altogether and say that the tradition of keeping wedding cake in the freezer to share on your first anniversary is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever experienced. The blob of fondant in the picture hogged up much-needed freezer space for a year and, while it didn’t taste anywhere near as rancid as I expected it to, it still lost a great deal of its flavor. Good riddance to the cake, and welcome to the newly opened freezer space.
So, this is where I am, one year and one day in, and counting. Things are great, but they would be even better if this job situation would resolve itself one way or the other. Unemployment or partial employment aside, I’d do it all over again.