While babies are still a few years off, Matt and I are embracing the stereotypical lifestyle of young adults. Hanging out in bars and drinking too much? Yeah, occasionally. Living paycheck to paycheck? Yeah, some of that too, but what I'm really talking about here is transience and instability.
I read somewhere that young adults today have an average of 8 different jobs between the ages of 21 and 30. Gone are the days of working your way up in one company and retiring from the same place you began as mail clerk. I'm already up to 4 at age 25, though short-lived school-year and summer jobs are to be expected while one is in school. Matt is on 4 too, I think, if you don't count freelance writing (which is an unstable job by nature, of course, but a highly respectable one). I'm all about embracing the character of one's generation (Matt and I are right on the cusp between X and Y--I'd say we fit more with Y) but being a person who's not a big fan of change, this instability is getting me down, and is affecting Matt too, though he's more of a roll-with-the-punches person than I.
As I said several posts ago, the funding for my job will expire on March 30, which means that if I do not secure another job soon, I'll be packing up my office four weeks from today. I've had a couple interviews, and they've gone reasonably well, though I'm not sure I would want some of them, even if they were offered to me. So I'm stuck between the fear of being unemployed (especially for these couple months before Matt will have a full-time salary) and the fear of accepting something I would not really enjoy doing.
There's also the issue of Matt's appointment, which compounds the instability of our little family, as we don't know where he'll be working, or where we'll be buying a house (assuming I have a job, so that we can afford a mortgage!) Matt doesn't even officially know if he'll be "commissioned," as they call it in the UMC, meaning that he will no longer be a licenced local/student pastor, but rather a probationary elder, a status he would maintain for three years until he can be fully ordained in 2010. There is no reason to think he would not be commissioned, but as it's not certain for two more weeks, he's still nervous about it.
With all these things--his job, my job, our potential home-buying--up in the air at the moment, it's easy to feel anxious about our future. I'm thankful it hasn't affected our relationship, as I hear money issues and stressors like unemployment are big causes of marital discord, and if I don't find a job, I could see lots of "how dare you buy the name-brand orange juice?! We can't afford that!" (that would be me to Matt, I'm sure). We are actively trying to stay positive, comfort each other in our anxieties, and have faith and hope that everything will work out. I truly believe that God takes bad circumstances and makes good things come from them. I believe that praying and keeping my focus on God will help things turn out for the best (even if that's only because I'll be more hopeful and positive). True, these assertions open a whole can of theodicy questions, but I do not claim to understand how God "works," just that God is.
I've never been good at staying calm and fighting the anxieties that plague me, but we're trying hard, and I have faith it will all be okay. I'll keep you posted.