I really appreciated all your thoughts on this post. Resentment and imbalance is never good in a relationship – it’s downright toxic – and it was seriously cathartic just to purge the thoughts swirling around in my head.
One great idea raised was to simplify our expenses. I think I’ve got that pretty much down to a T. Each paycheck is split into rent, bills, groceries, and the rest (if any) divided up for fun, gas, cell phone and if needed, clothes and personal care kind of stuff. (Proper budget post coming up…well, ‘proper’ as by my definitions).
Another asked what T does during the day, apart from comb job postings? Sleep. Sometimes cook. Go to the park to shoot hoops. Sometimes visit his sister/family (she’s a SAHM). Sometimes hang out with friends (after they finish work, or during the day – some are still students, or if it’s bad weather, because some of them work outdoors). Oh yeah, and it also affords him plenty of time to be sucked into various family crises on any given day – enough said.
He’s also spent a fair amount of time on car-related crap – namely calling around, driving all over the city, finding parts and getting it up to scratch for our recent warrant, plus dealing with the recent accident and following up on that. Happily, our car is finally back to normal and hopefully we can keep it that way!
Now, other income streams: One thing he’s mentioned before is getting equipment and making things like go-karts, but aside from the initial outlay, we have no garage or workshop, and that stuff has got to be done inside. And personally, I am sceptical about the market for that, although he insists there is demand. Another thing he mentioned was possibly setting up as a service to help people procure parts for their cars (ever tried it? It’s a bitch). He took part in two market research sessions last month, but I think they’re drying up a bit now. So that was helpful too.
I’ve been trying to communicate more with him on the matter, which seems to be really helping (surprise, surprise). He feels bad about ‘living off’ me and occasionally has really down days. Either way, as one reader said, I need to deal or not deal. In my mind, I’ve set a deadline of the end of the year. Something has to change, in a significant way. And on a smaller scale, something’s also gotta change in the next couple of months. Many of you mentioned possible PT work – I totally agree. And I have been keeping half an eye on those kinds of jobs, although to be honest, his work skills pretty much only lend themselves to full time work. He’s only been looking at FT work – aiming high? – but even PT money would help (and keep him occupied…and would be a boon if he ends up going back to study and needs a casual gig)
As to courses, he’s already taken a foundation course so he can get university entry – that covered a lot of subjects, mainly in the arts faculty. (It didn’t set off any lightbulbs for him, but it was definitely worth it.) There’s no point rushing into any course this semester – so I’ve told him he’s got six months till the end of year, by which he’d need to settle on possible degree pathways and figure out the application requirements.
Getting trade certified – like an apprenticeship – requires an employer to take you on. That’s something he was on track to begin before layoffs at the end of 2008. Might it be worth him taking a welding course? That gets him a ‘ticket’, which is a certification that lasts a certain amount of time, and might open up more jobs for him. Still, a lot of those will be only fixed term but it’s something to consider.
We’ll keep trying to think of other ways he might be able to bring in some cash and see how it goes, really. One thing we both had our hopes pinned on (although we’d never admit it) was a possible apprenticeship opportunity. I think that fell flat this week, spurring him on to start talking about enlisting with the police. Next thing I know, he’s filled out the forms, got in touch with one of our friends who’s a fully fledged officer, and talking to another friend who, it turns out, wants to become a cop too.