In talking to people I've realized that some know what our plan is while others are kind of fuzzy. So, I thought I'd let you all in on the excitingness (so NOT a word) that is...finishing our work with Hilton!
Well, not quite finishing completely.
Ever since Ray started his job with the city back in September he set a goal for us to work a combined 1000 hours for Hilton to put towards debt. As of today we've been working towards that goal for six months. We were squeezing in four 6-midnight shifts a week, plus Sunday afternoons & after the meetings on Sunday and Wednesday nights. We took Saturdays off completely so that we could spend time together. (novel idea, don't you think?)
In all honesty, we were a tad miserable with the schedule and the time was dragging on to get all of the hours completed. Ray calculated that if we work every night from 6-midnight we could
So, we've been working 6-midnight, Sunday-Saturday, since the beginning of this year. Yes, every night of the week. So, right now, one of us works every night from 6-midnight, we just alternate the nights worked (this week I'm working Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights & Rays' working the other nights 6-midnight; next week we'll switch) plus Sunday afternoons and sometimes Sunday morning before church. For me, that really creates a a feeling of...droning on. It feels like there's never really a break, a breather. I can't quite explain it. Ray is going on super minimal sleep since he leaves for work at 6am & usually gets home anywhere between 4:40-5:55 in the afternoon (depending on if he takes the bus or not).
We now have 2 weeks left until we reach our goal, so, we've been doing this rotation for awhile now, I just haven't been able to bring myself to blog about it.
After these two weeks are up we'll have completed our 1000 hours and then we have a week of paid time off from Hilton. Ray will still be working his "real" job but we're going to have nights off! And the weekend! At the end of that week we're taking a family weekend vacation to Fort Meyers.
I'm so excited about having that time off. I'm really looking forward to this change, but, I'm a tad nervous about it as well. We've become so accustomed to not seeing each other and not doing things together that I think it's going to be a bit of a shock for us.
That being said, I'm SO looking forward to spending time together now; eating dinner together as a family every night, putting the kids to bed together, going to the evening meetings at church together, staying up until midnight only if I want to, not because I have to, that kind of thing. For now, in the spirit of making the best of the situation and not sitting around moping, many times on my nights off I'll go out to the mall or somewhere to relax (after the kids are in bed). Or, I can watch whatever I want, read, clean...basically be completely selfish with my time since it's all to myself. I have a feeling changing that is going to be an adjustment for me.
Don't get me wrong, I can't wait to have a more "normal" family life, but, change is always difficult (which usually means it's a good opportunity for personal growth!)
The past few weeks have been tough, and the longer we go, the tougher it gets. The not seeing each other or being able to parent together really gets to me some days & l feel like breaking down & crying. Knowing this is short term has helped, though, and makes it a more bearable situation. That was one reason I was on board with "the plan" - if this was going to be an unknown extended period of time I probably wouldn't have agreed!
One of the really difficult things for me is not being able to parent together. It's not as if Rays' not here all of the time, but, when he is here our time together with the kids is sporadic and can be calculated in minutes. There's also the issue of keeping them quiet while the other person is working. Since we work in the office at home we're required to have silence. Plus, the calls are back-to-back many times so there's no visiting with the family while working. Everything combined creates a bit of stress. (for me at least!)
After that week of paid time off we're not sure what we're going to do. As of right now we plan to both keep working at Hilton but majorly scaling back our hours - only booking a few & giving away what we can. Mostly, we'd like to keep a few hours at the job for the extra spending money & the free/cheap hotel stays. One of us might quit, we just don't know yet. I do know that we will finally get to spend time together again, though!
I'm really excited about this but, Ray is even more so! It's quite cute, actually, everyday he goes on & on about how little time he has left until he meets the goal. A few months ago he measured the time left in hours but now he's been measuring it by how many nights that he has left. I love seeing him so excited about it!