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Monday, June 20, 2022

Embracing Change: Overcome the fear to find the positive

Change is scary. And the older we get, the harder change is for us. We become set in our ways, comfortable with our routines and schedules. It's really so much easier to just keep things as they are rather than mess things up, right? Sure. But change can be good, too! Let me share a little story with you...

My husband is an owner-operator truck driver, and he makes good money. In fact, just months before the pandemic hit and the world went into lockdown, we purchased a second house. It was directly across from where we lived, and we decided we'd convert it into office space for the both of us. We also used it as a guest house for when family visited from NY, and when my husband and I needed a break from the kids, we'd spend the night at our office. 

During the worst of the pandemic, my husband and I started to spend more and more nights at the office--having this extra space really helped all of us keep our sanity while quarantined. The kids stayed in our house, and we stayed that the office. We'd essentially fully separated our households, and in doing so, we gave our kids freedom and responsibility. Overall, our familial relationships improved in ways I never could have imagined. Was it weird no longer living with our children? Of course. Was it difficult to explain this to strangers? You betcha. But we all felt really good about our new normal, and that's what mattered. The only downfall was that we were now financially responsible for two households.

Life progressed, and we were continuing to do well... Until we weren't. 

With the current economy being what it is, the cost of fuel has skyrocketed, yet the price people are paying to haul freight has remained the same, or in some cases, has gone down. What does this mean for my owner-operator husband? His income has essentially been cut in half! The life we'd grown used to can no longer be sustained. We knew what that meant:

My husband began to look for jobs that offered a steadier income and that didn't require him to shoulder all the expenses of operating. Unfortunately, most of these jobs just couldn't meet the salary requirements to match or exceed what he could make as an owner-operator. 

Our next step was to sit down and go through our finances with a fine-tooth comb. What could we cut out? What could we shift to make things more manageable? Well, we had some ideas, and like before when we'd "moved out" of our house and across the street from our children, our idea was a tad extreme. But the more we thought about it, the more we realized just how well it could work. So, we sat our children down and had a long talk with them. 

Our daughter, who is months away from 18, had been talking about moving out when she became a legal adult. Her plan was to move in with her boyfriend and their close friend. And our son is now 18--almost 19--and is starting college classes soon. Our youngest daughter is only 14, so we're stuck with her for another few years, but this actually works to our advantage in a way we hadn't really considered before.  

After a lot of discussion and planning, we've decided that our son, daughter, her boyfriend, and their friend will move into the house and rent it from us, covering all the bills that go along with it. Our youngest daughter will move into the office with us, and now we're back to supporting just one household as opposed to two. My husband will keep his job as an owner-operator. We'd found some relief and a sense of freedom we hadn't had in well over a year. Sure, it's another big change and adjustment for everyone involved, but I'm confident this will be the best for all of us. 

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because while this is a huge change in our lives, and it's scary as all get out, it's also exciting! There are so many wonderful positives that will come along with this, and personally, I can't wait to see what the future holds. Once I moved past the fear, I found all the wonderful stuff beneath. 


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