Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Clover

As it turns out, jumping off a cliff together is terrifying, especially when a few of your parachutes don't open. We've had, since we've moved, a string of bad luck. Our house still hasn't sold, and the opportunity to make a good bit of income has dried up. That income was meant to carry us through the next few months and give us a bit of cushion and allow us to move into a place of our own.

Stress? What stress?

Luck is a funny thing. I've been thinking of it that way--as a string of bad luck. A month or so before we left, on a picnic at the park, Sam found a five-leaf clover. He wasn't trying to find it. We were in the middle of a stressy conversation about money, and he looked down, and there it was.

Our Clover, pressed and preserved in a book about Paris gargoyles.


I did a quick Google search to see if five leaf clovers are good luck, or if it must be four, and Google said they were even rarer, and therefore luckier. We're not people particularly prone to symbols of this kind, but it seemed hard to ignore. Our stressful conversation dissipated. We finished our dinner, laughing at Henrietta's enthusiastic crawling and interest in the grass, and went home hopeful.

We've tried to stay hopeful, tried to think things will work out, but it's difficult. Sam sometimes thinks we've just made a mistake, that we shouldn't have made the leap, but I had such an unmistakable impression that we were supposed to come that I don't usually think that. Don't get me wrong, I'm terrible to live with right now. I alternate between hopeful and happy, when I can muster my internal and spiritual resources, and sad and pouty and catatonic and downright mean, when I can't. We've had the worst fights of our marriage in the last few weeks, our relationship buckling under the pressure. But still, when I think about our situation, I'm certain things will settle out somehow. 

We're learning patience, here. A slow, plodding, endurance sort of patience. I'm remembering how important diligent spiritual practices (prayer, study) are to my sanity. We're learning what is essential and what is not, and what becomes unessential when it has to be. We're living monastically, sometimes not leaving Sam's mother's house for days, trying to finish writing our books and hammering out the freelance work we can get, and passing Henrietta back and forth and following her around while she laughs at the cats and claps her hands, practicing her new walking skills. We've zeroed out our expectations for our futures and our careers, rethinking everything, imagining new business ideas and going back to school and applying for various jobs and whatever else we care to think of, as seriously or unseriously as we're inclined, because there's nothing we have firmly in mind to do next. 

I'm worried. I really am. But underneath all of that worry, I'm thinking and hoping that this is the sort of drastic life change that is bound to lead to a breakthrough. Something new is coming, as we muck around in our unlucky situation, trying somehow to manufacture our own luck. I don't know what the something is, but I'm sure enough that it's on its way. 

9 comments:

Emily said...

I wish I had scads of money so I could hire you to write stuff like this full-time. Thanks for sharing. You guys are so brave.

Karen Henry said...

I believe it, Deja. You have to hold fast.

Karen

belann said...

That's kind what I pray for...something beautiful just around the corner. Hey, it happened with Henrietta.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I feel like life usually has to nearly fall apart for something truly amazing to happen. Not sure why. I hope you find your luck soon!

ginger said...

I so hear you on this one. We've had an insanely turbulent transition...but 18 months later I think we've got it together. For the purpose of inspiration, here's how it has gone:
Live with folks while unemployed for three months.
Get contract that should last three years and get our own apartment too.
Contract ends after four months.
No income for three more months, but I start some classes.
Get a six month contract.
Get a permanent job offer somewhere else...accept it...then decline it...the salary is low and there is a possibility the current contract will turn into a permanent job...and you know what they say...a bird in the hand was just dropped by the couple with four kids...or something like that.
I am now working very part-time.
Landlord decides to kick us out so he can move back in. We have until two weeks after the contract ends.
House hunting without permanent employment.
Fingers crossed.
Still no permanent job.
4 days left to get a house under contract and be able to close before we must vacate the apartment.
Find perfect house...but still no job.
Make an offer and go under contract.
5 days later get a job offer two hours before mortgage application is due.
Get approved.
Get health insurance and vacation with new job. Yay!
Close on house and move in.
Celebrate a child's birthday the next day.
Clean the apartment and turn in keys.
Spend the last three week in the glow of new homeownership bliss (esp. since we didn't get any water in the house last week)!

Seriously, it was pretty grim there. Our family of six spent 6 of the last 12 months with no income. Doubts swirled, but we cobbled it together and couldn't be happier now. I have a feeling your little clan is going to come out on top too. Hang tight!

Terry said...

"I'm remembering how important diligent spiritual practices (prayer, study) are to my sanity.". For many, this comment is so hard to understand.

For me, I am learning (yes, still learning) that constant prayer and regularly scheduled time in the scriptures is key to calm and to desperately needed inspiration.

Deja said...

Thanks, Em. I wish you had scads of money, too. ;)

Karen, so kind of you to read and comment. I appreciate it.

Ginger, I actually really love your story. Thank you for sharing with me. Here's to happy endings!

Janae @ Bring-Joy said...

Oh Deja!

I feel for you. I really, really do. Financial uncertainty is up there on the major stressors of life.

I know you probably don't want to hear this, but as I was reading everything that you guys are learning right now, I thought--wow! They are really going through the refiners fire, going to emerge stronger, better, wiser.

It sucks though. I know. I lived that uncertainty for pretty much our whole marriage (8 years). Then everything fell into place & now Joseph has a career that he loves & that actually pays (good) money. It's amazing.

You two are so talented, smart, & capable (& I mean, between the two of you don't you have two PhD's??). Things are going to work out. You absolutely have your head on straight about keeping your spiritual life intact to keep your sanity. I know God sees that & will bless your efforts.

Many, many hugs. ox

Amara said...

I love Ginger's story --thank her for me! You guys will make it through somehow. Thanks for the reminder on personal devotionals. So easy to skip or skimp.