My husband, my kids, my future

My husband was so sweet to me about my failure to make the job work out. I told him I was going to look for more freelance work because it’s a slower-than-normal month on that front but he told me I should probably try to rest and recuperate for a few weeks because the FT job took a lot out of me. He had to go into the office yesterday and even brought home an iced latte for me because he knew I was disappointed and discouraged about the job.

Why can’t he be around forever? My life is made so immensely better because of him.

My youngest son also gave me a hug when I told him the job didn’t work out. At first, he just gave me a side hug, then pulled me in for a real full hug. He even asked me a couple hours later how I was doing because I had seemed pretty bummed about the job and he wanted to make sure I was okay.

I’ve been thinking about the (hopefully distant) future when my husband is no longer around. In a weird way, that’s become a coping mechanism that makes me feel better because it lets me envision myself being able to be happy again someday. I know that his death and all that leads up to it are really, really going to put me through the wringer, and considering what possibilities may exist for me after is more pleasant to think about.

My middle son said that if he’s still living with me, he’ll be open to going pretty much anywhere that I want to go, though he still doesn’t plan on living with me permanently.

My oldest and youngest kids, however, may be more likely to stay in the local area, in which case, I can’t see myself wanting to leave them. That does still present all the concerns I have about staying in Texas, from being unable to afford to buy a house to how actively hard this state makes life for the poor to our horrible leaders. I guess I’d cross that bridge when it comes time for it and maybe hope for a real estate crash that would allow me to buy a house.

But those thoughts aren’t fun enough to distract me. And I know that established adult kids often have less and less time for their parents. So instead, I’ve been on a hunt to expand my horizons.

If I have a guaranteed income and some money to put down on a house, where would I want to be? Assuming I’m free to go wherever I want and the kids are fine with it, I’ve started turning my focus to places where I’d actually want to live. My main criteria are that the areas are warm, predominantly liberal, and you can still buy decent houses for well under $150K. And it turns out that there are a lot of such places.

Of course, the point of these exercises is to let my mind wander to happy places, not necessarily set plans in stone. Like I said, I may very well end up staying here (even though it’s less than ideal) if all my kids are still here and they’re actively involved in my life. Nobody can predict now what will actually happen in the future. For now, we’re just trying to weather this crisis together as best we can but no one knows yet how things will be in the after.

To be clear, none of this is wishing my husband gone any sooner. I would still give absolutely anything to keep him around forever. But daydreaming about possible good things I could still do with my life seems like a positive way of dealing with the uncertainty and stress of the current situation. It keeps me from crying, at least, and it also keeps me from spending money unnecessarily.

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