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Gratitude with a side of Rant

November is historically - for me anyway - a time of reflection. A monthlong reminder of all the wonderful things in my life. And while this year has been less than stellar for me, I am fully aware of how much I have to be grateful for.

I am so fortunate to have a loving and supportive husband...particularly this year. He works so hard to make sure we can pay our bills and that's been a heavy burden on him this year while I've been unemployed. He never complains - I mean, sometimes he complains about work related things but he never complains about me or having to work so hard. He is constantly reassuring me that things will turn around, even if I can't see it anymore. I know how stressed he must be but he never takes it out on me or anyone else.

I think I found a unicorn.

And thanks to Rob's tireless efforts, we do have a lovely home, if one I often neglect. We have food on our table and we even occasionally get to treat ourselves.

Our boys are all healthy. There have been some trials for them this year, specifically it's been rough on Zach, but overall they are all happy.

I've been blessed with a new extended family, especially a mother in law that has loved and accepted me as her own since the day we met. I'm so glad we have dinner with her every other week...I'd do more but she has a lot on her plate right now.

I even have a bonus mother in law that although we have not spent as much time together, I adore her and I am grateful for her as well.

I have a wonderful support network of friends and even made some new ones this year. Magan who brings a reality check for me on a near daily basis. Misty who checks in on me weekly to make sure the depression hasn't gotten too bad. Susie who is always ready to pick up where we left off.

I took care of some health issues this year - finally got rid of that pesky gallbladder. I'm still working on some stuff but the point is I am not putting things off anymore.

I'm grateful that I began the year with one of the best jobs I ever had, with the best work family I ever had. I'm grateful that I received a month of severance and that I've had unemployment to help lessen the loss of income.

I'm grateful for this outlet, whether anyone is reading this or not. I don't write as often as I'd like because frankly this year has been a lot for me. Even putting it in words.

I have been suffering from depression this year. It is definitely a situational depression but my doctor has finally and firmly urged me to try an anti-depressant. It's only been a week so it's a little too soon to tell if it is helping. And I honestly don't have high expectations. I don't see me getting over this until I have a job.

And here's where the side of rant really comes in.

I don't know what to do. I don't think mortgage is the right place for me anymore. The jobs are few and pay significantly less than they use to - would you do the same job you've had for nearly 10 years for half the pay? And frequently with additional duties?

I've tried applying for anything that is remotely interesting to me. Jobs that I know I could do if given an opportunity. The problem is 99% of those jobs require a college degree...or at least they do per the ad. I still apply, hoping against hope that someone will see beyond my lack of degree. But in nearly 9 months of unemployment I have only had ONE pre-interview.

How does that not depress you?

And I've tried the AI assisted resume generation - and I think it looks great. And I write cover letters when able but not every application gives that option. I've tried all the online work from home resources too.

Still nothing.

The best part? I've run out of unemployment money. I knew that was a thing but I've never been unemployed long enough for it to happen to me. So now I'm not even contributing the pittance that I have been.

You know it's bad when I can't even get a job at Target. And I used to work there - and I left on really good terms. But I couldn't even get a call for a seasonal job.

It all just really bruises the ego.

I'm still mad at BRAKESPLUS for what they did to Zach. Sure they fixed his car - but it took over a month. And while he was waiting for the repairs to be complete, he couldn't drive for Lyft - his main source of income. And they did not provide additional compensation. So he's fallen even deeper into debt and I'm in no place to help him.

And if you think that doesn't add to my depression, you'd be wrong.

Adding to that, his student loan payments are almost as much as my mortgage, so he can't pay it back anymore. We've tried to work out a reduced payment plan but his loans are through Sallie Mae and apparently they would rather get no money than some.

What's worse is Zach was up for a good office job but had the offer rescinded because he is in default on his student loans.


Sometimes life just sucks. You can still be grateful for all the good there is but at the end of the day, if you don't know if you can pay your rent or mortgage next month, it's hard to stay happy.

That's why I put my Christmas up early this year. And I love that Rob didn't give me a hard time about it. Honestly he's unbelievably supportive. And I confess - our house is thisclose to looking like it should be in a Hallmark Christmas movie. It's obnoxious.

And I love it.

This tree is full of so many memories. #itsmyfavorite

We have 4 full size trees this year, one 4 foot tree, and a couple of table top trees. I have my white pencil tree with pastel decorations in the entry. The 9 foot green tree in the living room with all my collected ornaments. We have a 6 foot flocked tree in the movie room decorated in blue, white, and silver - it's our Chrismukkah tree. And the final full size tree is a 6 foot white tree outside by the front door - it's only strung with lights.

That last one used to be inside and was pre-lit but this year I noticed that the branches were turning brown where all the light tips it was headed for the garbage for safety reasons. And I wanted something more for the front of the house and one day decided to put it out front. I did remove all of the pre-strung lights before moving it outdoors.

The 4 foot tree is in the breakfast nook on the sideboard. It's teal and has just a few gingerbread decorations on it. Then I have my small pink tree on the kitchen counter and a little white one on the counter in the guest bath.

Is it too much? Maybe. But they make me happy.

Of course there's garland and lights and other decor strewn about. I have my Putz houses and my Christmas village. And the best part is a lot of all this is on timers so I wake up to lots of pretty lights.

It helps. January will be rough for sure. But that's still over a month away.

Anyway, thank you for reading along. I'm grateful for you too.

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