Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Phew, where does the time go?
It's been an interesting few weeks here in Finn-land (hahaha, yeah, I said it).  I sort of realized after the last post that I was basically having an existential dilemma - I was making a decision that dealt with what kind of life I want to lead.  Essentially, the question was do I want to let others make my decisions for me, or do I want to take the reins on my own life? One of the reasons we moved back to Vinalhaven was because of the sort of life we wanted to lead. I think I just got overwhelmed and afraid and lost track of the big picture. I don't want to have to go back to work for less that what I'm worth, and if and when I do go back, I want flexibility. I'm not really willing to compromise on those two issues, and am extremely lucky that I don't have to.  Within the week or so between deciding to apply for the bank job and hearing back from them with an offer, four other jobs fell into my lap that
a) paid better
b) were much more flexible
the result - I can buy and pay for my OWN health care plan with the new jobs, work fewer hours, avoid paying for child care, and make my own schedule.  If I had taken the bank job, I would have been at work three full time days a week and would have paid 60% of my insurance premium. With the money they offered me, I wouldn't even have broken even - I would have had to pay another $120 per month to take care of child care and the insurance premium. In other words, I would have had to pay to work there. 

I've noticed in my life, particularly recently, that when I really need something, I get it. The past year has been a whirlwind - getting pregnant, leaving my job in England, moving back to the States, having Finn - but I think that once we made the right decision, everything fell into place.

I'm so happy - life is good.  That doesn't mean that everything is perfect every hour of every day, but I have absolutely everything I need and so much more.

In other news, Finn went to the Medical Center last week and seems to be thriving - I guess he must be getting some nourishment, even though it all seems to be coming back up.  I swear, this kid is like a puke fountain sometimes. Sorry - that's not the most pleasant image is it?

So here's a much nicer image to leave you with- funny to think that a year ago, I was less than a month pregnant, and now I have no idea what my life was like without him.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Catch 22

So I've recently started this job as the director of a non-profit. It's awesome. I love it. I have flexible hours and can work from home. I like the people I get to work with, and everything his pretty much hunky dory.
However, things aren't about to be hunky dory anymore. Throughout my pregnancy, delivery (thank God!), and the first few months of Finn's life so far, we've been on state health insurance. We qualified when we moved back, but now that I've got this job and Chad's working more than we expected, we're not going to qualify for it again, and that means as of January, none of us is going to have insurance. Now, I honestly couldn't care less if I have insurance or not. I'm youngish and healthy and don't engage in dangerous activities anymore (like, for example, when I was a carpenter). 
I most certainly want Finn to have insurance. He's going to be going to the doctor pretty regularly for well child visits for the forseeable future, and if he's anything like I was as a child, he'll have his share of not-so-well visits also.
I also really want insurance for Chad, who is working as a carpenter and uses his body in a pretty rough way. He'll likely be hurting himself, even being as careful as he is - things happen.
In addition to all of this, we're looking to buy our first house next year and have our eye on a few in town...AND we really want to start saving for retirement. We're both in our early 30s, but I feel like we're behind and need to shake a leg.

Enter an ad I saw in the paper this week - a position for a part time teller at the bank has opened up. Even for part time employees, the bank will pay 40% of the premium for health insurance for an employee and the employee's family. The bank also matches any deposits made into a 401k by the employee. This all sounds really tempting, but I have to say it kind of pisses me off.  Let me explain:

If we signed up for health insurance on our own right now, it would be over $1000/month with a $10,000 deductible. There is no possible way for us to take care of the health of our family without being completely cost-prohibitive. I just don't understand why I could visit any doctor anywhere in the UK and it was compltely free, but here, I have to go bankrupt just trying to get our basic care taken care of.

If I take on this job, I'd be spending 24 hours per week away from my son, not to mention the time that I'm already spending as director of the non-profit. If I send him to day care, I'll pretty much be tossing my paycheck every week away on child care, which means I wouldn't really be able to put any money in that 401k I'm so keen to start, AND I'll only have 40% of my insurance taken care of, which means I'm responsible for 60%...that means all the money I make working at the bank would take care of insurance and child care.
So really, it would be better if I hadn't taken my 12-15 hour per week totally satisfying job, which would have put us under the income cut-off for insurance and stayed home with my child.   WHY are we getting punished for making a contribution to society, rather than sitting on our laurels collecting state aid?  WHY isn't there a reasonably-priced insurance plan that we can buy into as hard-working individuals who just want to make a living?
And then I watch the news and see all of the Republican candidates talking about how they're going to repeal "Obamacare", my only hope for a way to take care of the health of my family. 
Thanks a lot.