My husband talked me into starting this blog around April of 2012. We were on vacation in Florida and brainstorming all kinds of money-making ventures. Eventually the conversation turned to blogging since we both enjoy writing and he was reading a lot of frugality blogs at the time. His thought process was that if other people could do it then we certainly could too. And it made sense. Greg had a certain amount of technical skills and experience building websites and we were both willing and able to write on a regular basis.
I won’t bore you will all the ridiculous site ideas we came up with while on that vacation, but suffice it to say that some of them were awful and terribly dumb. We really dodged a bullet with a few website ideas we almost did. Yikes. Anyway, we ultimately came up with our site name- Club Thrifty- because we thought it was cheesy and fun. And so it began….
The Next Twelve Months of Blogging
At first, blogging was mostly a fun and carefree experience. We didn’t have time to try out all of our ideas, and I was *so excited* whenever anyone other than my mom commented on our site. Then the blog began to grow, as did my other online endeavors. We both worked full-time (or more) so I was constantly using breaks at work to respond to comments or comment on other sites.
After six months, our lives started to suck. We were both working at least 40-50 hours at our jobs and putting in another 15-20 hours online doing everything that needed to be done to keep this thing afloat. I wanted to quit so many times, and I actually did.
But, you know what? Greg never quit.
Each time I took a hiatus from blogging, he would just pick up where I left off, continuing to do both of our jobs while I got myself together. And each time I came back, he said he was proud of me for not giving up. He told me that, if we kept trying, I would one day be able to quit my job and work from home full-time. It all sounded too good to be true, but I had no choice but to believe what he was saying. What other choice did I have?
A Life of Chronic Pain
A lot of people don’t know this, but I had two serious spinal fusions when I was in my early 20’s. They worked for a while but my chronic back pain resumed once I had kids. After trying different kinds of medicine and physical therapy to no avail, I had no choice but to just live with the chronic pain that relentlessly followed no matter where I went. And it was awful during the work week for a few reasons. First, I had to wear uncomfortable dress clothes and do a lot of repetitive motions. And second, I was completely stressed out which seemed to exacerbate my pain.
As we continued to work 50-70 hours online and at our jobs, the stress and my back pain only got worse. I felt like I was constantly in a state of panic, with various deadlines constantly piling up all the time. And I no longer felt like a good parent either. How could I? I was a stressed-out ball of nerves half the time, and I had no social life. All we did was work…and work….and work……
The Hard Work Pays Off
At a certain point, our online income became consistent and I started to wonder whether it was time to quit my job. “Just keep going,” Greg would say. He was always so positive and supportive, and refused to give up on the prospect of saving me from the chronic pain that was ruining my life.
I waited a few months to see whether our online earnings were just a fluke, then finally quit my job in May of 2013. It was such a relief to walk out that door for the very last time and know that I no longer had to live that way. I also hoped that my back pain would go away for good.
It’s crazy to say this, but I haven’t had any back pain in over a year now. I’m still stressed out from time to time, but working at home is just……different. First, I’m not constantly reaching for the phone or bending over to get something out of the same filing cabinet all day long. Second, I’m able to sit anywhere I’m comfortable- whether it’s on the couch, in my office, or in bed. And third, the fact that I no longer work with the public means that I am much more relaxed and laid-back. The bottom line: I no longer live in pain. I can play with my kids, exercise, and do day-to-day activities without having to sit down or starting to cry.
The One Who Never Gave Up
My life is now better than I ever thought possible, and I owe it all to my husband. He’s the one who never gave up- the one who always encouraged me to keep going even when I was frustrated, tired, and ready to throw in the towel. I can’t imagine what my life would be without his support, his compassion, and his ability to always believe in me and what I’m doing.
And now he’s at it again. He’s started a new website- Travel Blue Book– and has an entire business model built around it. He gets up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. to work on it every day before heading out to his 9-5 job, and he works on it nearly every night after the kids get home. I am in awe of how hard he worked to create a job where I could work without pain, and continue to be amazed at how hard he works for our family.
I realize that this is off-topic for today, but I just wanted to share how proud I am of my husband and all that he does to make our lives better.