Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #144 - For Richer or Poorer

Sunday Scribblings #144 - for richer or poorer

Twists of fortune, wedding vows, the woes of the economy, dreams of riches. You might write about what it was like being a poor college student, or what you'd do if you won the lottery. Or about what true riches are, or different kinds of poverty: poverty of the spirit, of the imagination, of the pocket. Have you ever encountered true poverty? How about ridiculous wealth? Most of us probably fall in the huge spectrum in between, but if you've had any experiences with the extremes, it might be interesting to write about that.

I grew up in a typical lower-middle class family - mom, dad and three kids. We lived in a rural subdivision and both my parents worked. We didn't have oodles of money, but there was always enough for bills, food and the ocassional drive-in movie on a Saturday night.

When I married the first time, I was only 17 year old (yeah, I know, I was crazy). The first 6 months of our marriage, I was busy finishing my senior year of high school - after that my husband and I both worked. Then 3 years later, along came baby number one, and I became a stay-at-home mom, because we couldn't afford a baby-sitter. Money was very tight and there was no extra left over at the end of each month. By our 5th year of marriage, we had 2 children and financially, things were going downhill really fast. We divorced after 6 years of marriage - it didn't end well.

For the next 4 years, I was a single mother working full-time at Pizza Hut and going to college full-time to become a Registered Nurse. To say times were tough is an understatement!! Even with working and getting a few scholarships, there was no money. I'm ashamed to admit, I had to sign up for food stamps just to feed my children. I lost count of the number of times my electricity or water were cut off!

But those 4 long, hard years paid off and I began working as a full-time Registered Nurse, making more money than I ever thought possible ($10 an hour - this was 1987). I was also remarried to a wonderful man who treated me and my children like queens! Now we had money and I didn't know how to act.

Unfortunately, during the next 15 years, I had a tendency to spend more money than I should - after all, I was getting paid well and I continued to get pay increases every year. I wasn't as frugal with my money as I should have been, but I guess we all learn lessons the hard way.

After almost 20 years as a Registered Nurse, and after raising 3 children, my hubby allowed me to retire from my job. The stress and anxiety from working in the medical field were taking a toll on my mind and body. I was thankful not to have to work in the high stress environment any longer.

I am starting my 4th year away from nursing. I work part-time as a church secretary and I am very happy. We no longer have any disposable income, but that's okay - I don't have the desire to "keep up with the Jones" like I did. My hubby and I are healthy and happy and that makes us rich beyond our means. I'm looking forward to many more years of retired living.


Linda Jacobs said...

"Healthy and happy" that says it all! you can't put a price tag on that!

Rinkly Rimes said...

How wonderful you found the right man 'the second time around.'

Anonymous said...

i love reading yor blog.. it inspires me so much at times,,, thanks for sharing this :)

bella rum said...

Working full-time at Pizza Hut and going to college full-time and two children - I don't know how you did it. Admirable.

Happy New Year, Bobbi.

gautami tripathy said...

You really did well with yourself. I agree we dont have to keep up with the Jones.

For richer and/or poorer

paisley said...

you are a living story of success and happy endings... you have been thru some rough times,, but you never seem to wallow in them,, as i am so guilty of doing... press on my girl... pres on!!!

Little Red said...

Good for you!!

I went through school without kids, and I have no idea how people can do it with kids! Especially single mothers. They have all my respect!

And, I'm like you, I'm content with the things I have.

floreta said...

your story is inspiring. i don't think you should be ashamed at all for having to use foodstamps. i'm glad your 2nd marriage is doing well and you have the richness of a satisfied, happy and contented life.

harshabadbad said...

loved ur blog!!!simple n sweet!!!

"Sunshine" said...

Bobbi--loved the post. This is very inspiring to me (if you have a chance to read mine, you'll see why ;) )

I'm pretty content with having time off (and I'm extremely grateful that my parents allow me to continue living at home rent-free).

As a person who has done full-time college and part-time work, I will second Bella Rum's comment--I honestly don't know how you worked full-time, attended college full-time, and raised kids all at once. You must have only slept by napping in between waiting tables or something--I don't know! Anyway, sorry for the long comment--I really loved this post, and I'm so glad to see a happy ending to this story :)

Happy New Year!

Tumblewords: said...

Good job! Happy and healthy - goals to attain, for sure!