I so do not have my stuff together. This week was one of those off the wall weeks that made me sit back and evaluate where I am in my life. I was surrounded by a group of hot messes everywhere I went. I began feeling like I was slipping into one of those rough grooves we all occasionally hit and have to work through, and yet, once we work through the toughest parts, life is easier afterwards, and seem like small stuff in retrospect. From my kids' school to our personal life and finances, to my faith, it all was thrown at me like a fast-pitch fire ball that I was only capable of bringing to a smoldering, bothersome, keep me awake, type of annoyance. My ovaries are partly to blame, but I'd have to say, even without that issue, I would have still had to deal with these issues, and might have done it was slightly less emotion. Which is something that a close friend of mine says she has always admired in me- my male-like brain of addressing things without emotion. *I didn't speak to her this week, and chose to not respond to her text. I didn't want to shatter her image of me. Or, tarnish it more.
Either way, I allowed the week to get to me, and while it was rough, come last night, I was able to sit next to my husband for Friday Family Fun Night and NOT want to ask him if he knows how many times he was dropped on his head as a child. It was the first night in about a week- not counting the countless years before that when it was a mere breathe away from spewing off my tongue. While I have one friend who admits to thinking she is some sort of crazy, she goes to a therapist and laughs at the partial crazy diagnosis she had suggested for her. Another girlfriend came over and swears she is so in touch with her body that she even knows which side she ovulates from each month. Sometimes I sit down to pee, and get up, and didn't even know that I poo'ed. I am so not in touch with my body. And lately, I don't want it to be touched either. Hard to work through some serious life issues when you are not even aware what you are doing when you sit to pee. Right?
So, every few months I freak out over finances. I will be honest here. Geoff makes very little, and that is not the problem. The problem is, we are being bombarded with how to spend it. We are in no debt other than our mortgage, which has been paid a month in advance since the day we built it, in 2003. We own our two cars. I didn't get a real cell phone until ten months ago. Both us us had a pay per minute phone, and Geoff still does. We do not have a home phone, and actually, cancelled our home phone and TV over two years ago, so no bill for that either. We pay under $30 a month for our Clear Internet, and I have been cutting every one's hair in my house since Geoff and I started dating. I have never had a manicure or pedicure, went for three, $15 hair cuts last year, and decided that cutting my hair was a ridiculous expense, so now I have long-ish hair again. I buy regular liquid hand soap, and dilute it with water in reusable foaming hand soap dispensers. I recently found an amazing and inexpensive home made laundry detergent recipe, and no longer go through tons of money on that. I clip my dogs nails and bathe him in the yard. We don't eat out regularly other than splitting the $5 foot long subs at Subway about twice a month, and our $12 pizza a couple times a month if the kids are wanting Bagel Bites. We have taken ONE vacation in the almost ten years of marriage, and that was last year. We knew we wouldn't be able to vacation again, and even at that one, we did it as inexpensively as possible. No movies. No date nights. No babysitters- ever. (My parents have watched the kids on occasion, but not really for us to go out. I think three times maybe, but not like a regular thing.) Charlie and Shay each have the opportunity to earn one dollar each week that they are in school so that they might buy a Duck for a Buck on Friday mornings. That is the most extravagant $8 in the budget.
And yet, I decided that it was time to really sit down and try to figure out how we are going through our money, and what we really have left over, after the fixed expenses. Geoff says he budgeted $400 for monthly groceries when he sat down to work up the template. When I did it, I found $270 left for groceries, medicines, toiletries, napkins, incidentals that come up at school, car maintenance, etc. Ummmm, well...
That is not so comforting, but made me laugh to see that while my husband and I had issues with finances, and I was losing my mind over other things in life, I realized that I had a life to live, and we have our health and each other. We have a willingness to work hard to make it all work. Our finances, our love, our family. And less than a mile from my home, is a family that is fighting for mere moments to be together. A father who is a local hero to so many, is fighting to just get home to be with his family in his final hours. Before I lose you here... Please remember that love never dies. And while I think of the grace that I have seen in the darkest time for this family in our community, I think that maybe I can get it together for the small stuff in my life. I just might not know what end is up or what is happening in the end.