So, my husband has a Real Job now. The kind of job you hope you get after grad school. Because it happened so fast (an emergency vacancy after a tenured faculty member quit in what can only be described as a huff), the university had no time to do a proper search, so this is a temporary appointment for now and he will have to go through the whole search process this year. That means there’s quite a lot of uncertainty about what will happen for next year — but since my husband is currently revamping the curriculum in his area to help this school meet the standards of the national accrediting body, we’re hoping that that will help him get the inside track for the permanent position.
I’m unemployed. I haven’t been unemployed since I was fifteen. So far I am LOVING IT. For the first time in our marriage, I don’t have to panic about making the rent. I am planning to start recruiting some private students, and I am looking into getting on the sub lists for the nearest orchestras, but if it takes me a while to build up a studio we STILL won’t have to move in with my mother. Any money I earn can be … wait for it … saved.*
I’m not trying to be a jerk here and I understand that lots of people are doing much, much worse over the last few years due to the economy — but honestly, the economic downturn did absolutely nothing to us because we didn’t have any assets to begin with. I was lucky enough not to lose my job, and we muddled through. But now, for the first time we have reached a place of (temporary) security, and I just can’t believe my luck. We are still years and years away from things like buying a house, but I can see IVF or adoption as realistic possibilities within the next 2 years.**
I am grateful. Now that I am here and the moving expenses are finished, I’m going to start working on a budget that includes giving back. My husband has already started by contributing to the symphony and the local chamber music series, and I’m thinking I can increase my Amnesty International contribution as well. This brings up all sorts of thorny ethical issues — as in, how much do we keep in our savings? How much do we give, and to what causes? What exactly is our responsibility to society, and what constitutes selfishness?
But those are questions for another time. For now I am just grateful.
*Yes, kids, apparently some families earn more money in a month than they spend on basic expenses. This surplus can be “saved” in a “bank account.” More research is needed.
**Can you adopt if you don’t own a home? This is a serious question — everything I’ve read so far suggests that we would never pass a home study due to our lack of assets.