Stuck In The Middle

Life for a 48 year old American just isn’t easy sometimes.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’ve been busy. Traveling to visit family. Getting my oldest daughter home from an Alaska internship. Getting her back to college. Getting my youngest daughter off to college for the first time. Getting my son into Jr. High. He’s running cross country, so we’ve had those practices and meets.

And going up north to visit family. It was more desperate than I thought it would be.  My mother’s health is so bad right now. Her financial needs are many times more than what her social security check can hope to cover. It is gone before it arrives. My in-laws are no better off. They have enough money to make it to about the 18-20th of every month it seems.

And so, Traci and I are stuck in the middle.

We have kids who have financial needs. Josh needs braces in the Spring. The girls in college have financial needs. There are health and dental checkups that need to be done. College to pay for. The daily needs of a family of 5 in America is a major issue all by itself.

Our parents have so many financial needs. We already pay for my mother’s property taxes, life insurance, cable TV, and a couple other bills that are from past debts.

We are stuck in the middle, and the squeeze is getting tighter.  You know that scene from The Empire Strikes Back when Luke, Lea, Han, and Chewy are in the trash compacter and the walls are closing in… yea… that’s how we feel.

We are neglecting our own needs. Traci and I both need dental work. Traci needs to go get glasses. I need health insurance. Our one vehicle has 182,000 miles on it. This 2005 Toyota minivan needs work. Actually, we need a new vehicle to replace the van, and get a second vehicle. Our home needs some repair work. We have some wood rot which needs immediate attention. We need new windows and carpet, not to mention a new fence and some other updates. Our furniture is sadly getting more and more worn.  None of this is to mention wanting to be healthy, eating right, wanting to enjoy a meal out now and then, having our clothes get worn out and out dated, etc. etc. etc.

For Traci and I, being 43 and 48… we are sandwiched, squeezed, and stuck in the middle of two needs. I know we are not alone in this.

The answer is NOT that our kids are fine let them take care of themselves. I can hear one or two of my sarcastic friends spout off on that. My mother is confined to home unless someone takes her out to a doctor visit, so I am not going to take away her one and only pleasure in life – watching TV.


Solutions???? I don’t know.

  • If I could quadruple my income, maybe the trash compactor would stop and begin to retract.
  • Maybe I could neglect my mother and my kids and just focus on my wife and I.
  • Maybe I could step up my investments into the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery and cross my fingers.
  • Maybe I could get a 3rd and a 4th job, go back to school and get my PhD in business and get hired as a CEO of some amazing company.
  • Maybe I could donate blood and plasma every other day, get a paper route in the morning, and deliver pizzas at night.

I cannot continue to neglect our own needs or there will be nothing left to squeeze.

Anyway… nothing more than sounding off today. It’s tough. We’ll figure it out… somehow.

Living the dream!!

Leave a Comment