We Can Once Again Travel To Races
The fact that my smiling face has not been up here in a while was not by accident. As most know, my life took a dramatic turn almost two years ago when I lost my job in January of 2013. After only seven months into our new marriage, I found myself unemployed for the first time in my life. To say I was devastated would be putting it lightly. I focused all my efforts on getting a job in my chosen profession as a graphic designer and came up empty.
As I was still trying to get a designer job, last September I chose to take a “survival job” in an area that was one of my hobbies – decorating cakes at a major grocery chain. Although the $12 an hour brought in a little income, it wasn’t the income I needed so much as a purpose. I now had a reason to get up and get going every day.
The trouble was, even though I was considered “part-time”; I was working about 38 hours a week. Sometimes I had to be there at 5:00 am to open up the bakery. I was also guaranteed to work every single weekend, usually both days. I would get home late afternoon every Saturday and Sunday and collapse. I had no energy to watch races or football games with George and lost touch with almost everything.
George works normal hours through the week. I was sometimes working 12 hours per day on weekends. We did not see a lot of each other and when we did, I was exhausted. We essentially had no weekends.
This past May, I asked off for the three race weekends at Indy and they laughed at me. They said there was no way I would get three weekends off in one month – especially after giving me a weekend off to go to Barber in April. I was asked which weekend I wanted to give up, so I chose the Grand Prix weekend forcing George to go it alone that weekend.
When we left Indy on Memorial Day Monday, we both knew our personal racing season was done for the year. George didn’t like being alone that Grand Prix weekend (at least he says he didn’t) and we knew there would be no more weekends off for me.
With no time to look for a real job, being physically worn out on a constant basis, and no weekend travel or leisure time to spend with my (relatively) new husband; life looked bleak.
But late this summer, that all changed. I heard about a job opening with a company that is contracted to Wal-Mart that sends me around to teach Wal-Mart bakery employees how to decorate cakes. It provided a company car and a great salary. Best of all, I was to have every weekend off and vacation time. The only drawback was there would be overnight travel. It sounded too good to be true to marry one of my passions with a professional, high-caliber job.
I interviewed several times and actually got it. I kept waiting to find out what the catch was. But after more than three months on the job, I still have not found the catch. This time, “too good to be true” didn’t turn out to be the case. It was true; all of it. I’ve been given a brand new Toyota Rav-4 to cover parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia. Some weeks I’m out a few nights, other weeks I’m home every night. And I’m off every single weekend.
Finally, we are free to travel to a few more races. That’s good, because there are many we’d like to see. Starting out, we are traveling to New Orleans to the new race there. Two weeks later, we’ll be at Barber. Two weeks after that will start the three weekends in a row at Indy. Those are carved in stone.
George has also said he wants to go to Milwaukee and Pocono since they may not be on the schedule after next season. I’m hoping we can go to at least one of those. Our budget may or may not allow it, but at least we have the flexibility to do it with our schedules. He also has mentioned Toronto as one of the races he wants us to hit, but said it may be better to wait and see if a double-header returns for 2016.
That shows how far removed I’ve been lately. Until he explained it the other night, I didn’t know it was not a double-header for next year. Who knew?
But now that I’ve gotten three months under my belt with the new job and see that it’s truly what I thought it was, I’m ready to travel and so is George. Personally, I wanted to go to St. Petersburg since we spent our honeymoon not far from there. But George wants to save that one for another year. He seems really concerned that Milwaukee and Pocono may go away after this year and he really wants to focus on them. He says we can do St. Pete any other year. Whatever. I may now get a little more time to write here and give George a little bit of a break (not that he needs it).
Anyway we’re both very happy that after two racing seasons with my job situation in limbo that things are now settled and we can start taking trips. Now let’s see if I can pull the unthinkable and actually see if he’ll go on a trip that isn’t to a race track.