I'm almost there.
In the months that have past since I've last posted, my life has become a flash. A flash of day, night, and everything in between. Let me explain.
I am an elementary assistant principal this year. Essentially, I am the building principal. The "principal" is housed in another building and doesn't really run my smaller building. Things are going great. I knew it would be busy and stressful, but I also knew it would be rewarding. I love seeing the kids walk down the hall and wave or give me a hug. I love how they're excited to share happy things with me, and I embrace the times we have bad things to talk about. I've had furious parents and thankful parents. One thing I knew about but didn't know just how much was how busy my schedule is. I'm out the door a little after 7:00 AM and there are multiple nights I'm not home until 8:00 or 9:00 PM. I basically sleep at our house and that's it. But I knew that when I signed the dotted line. It just comes with the job.
This is suffering. My weight is out of control. I am 7-8 pounds from my highest weight. I don't exercise. I don't eat right. Many nights, I grab drive-thru on the way home because it's already 7:30 and it would take too long to prepare something. That's an excuse, I know. Frankly, most of the time, I'm so tired, I just don't care. It's starting to show. My pants that were once loose are closing in on being tight. My arms are so big and flabby. My stomach is rounded out. My legs have the chubby look that's cute on babies and just sad on adults. My double chin is back with a vengeance. I haven't exercised regularly in well over a year. I get on a kick every once in a while for a few days and then my schedule throws it off and a month or two goes by. I am unhappy with myself and I feel like I'm stuck in a trap.
My husband has been an elementary PE teacher in a rural district for the last two years. The state of Iowa has a two year probation license for brand new teachers. In those two years, those teachers must prove they meet all eight Iowa teaching standards and then their principal signs off for them to get a standard license that is good for five years. If a teacher does not meet some of the standards, they can be given a one-year extension to try and prove themselves. To make a long story short, my husband's principal felt he didn't met the classroom management standard, citing two isolated incidents that occurred. Problem is, my husband was not approached by the principal about these incidents to know they were an issue, let alone a reason not to get his standard license. My husband went to the education association (union except they cannot strike) and basically came to the conclusion that it was the best interest of my husband for him to resign if the superintendent would sign off for him to get his license. What it all comes down to is that this is this district's shitty way of getting rid of teachers without having to pink slip them. My husband has gone through a range of emotions from sadness to anger over this. Because now, he has no job next year. A benefit is that there is always substitute teaching, but it's not always consistent and you get paid on each individual district's pay schedule. This doesn't always align with our bills. Which leads to the next section...
With the questionable stability of a paycheck from my husband next year, we're in panic mode with finances. I don't get the salary an assistant principal should get. I get paid $42,500...about $30,000 less than the other two assistants in the district. I knew this when I signed my contract, but I don't know what the possibility of getting that large of an increase in the next year will be. We pay $800 a month in student loans (which is more than our current mortgage payment). We don't have credit card debt, so that helps and our cars are both paid off. But....we still live paycheck to paycheck right now. Unless a consistent job opens, my husband interviews and is hired in the next four months, I don't know where we'll be financially. Which leads to...
I struggle being self motivated here. I perform much better being in an exercise class where someone is instructing and I can use the other participants to be motivated. The problem with this is that gyms/boot camps aren't cheap and with the financial questionability for next year, it's hard for me to fight an argument that I need to join a gym when paying our regular bills may be more difficult starting in September.
So, this is where I'm at. I'm not at rock bottom, but I'm almost to the last edge. It hurts. It hurts badly. I don't know where to go from here.
For those or the one person or anyone still reading, how do you come up from this?