I know I’ve been talking about money a lot lately.
I’ve been doing that for a couple reasons.
It helps me relieve the stress of not having it a little.
Okay. Not a little.
Financial burdens weigh heavy on your shoulders.
And it’s embarrassing. Although I don’t really know why I think it’s embarrassing.
I guess I feel like people are judging me.
Well, why did you have 7 kids? Didn’t you think about that? How irresponsible of you…
You aren’t working hard enough. Why don’t you just get another job?
I got over that a while ago. People judging me. Our financial problems don’t really have that much to do with the number of children we have anyway. And I don’t know many people who work harder than my husband and me. Walk a mile in my shoes before you judge. You’d be surprised.
Someday soon I’ll write about how we came to be in this situation.
But not yet.
Anyway, putting it out there has taken some of the load off.
No secrets to carry around makes a big difference.
That’s another reason why I write about it.
Because I know other people are going through the same thing.
And things can start to feel really, really hopeless. If you are there, I totally get it.
In the past few weeks, the situation has been worse than ever.
We are having tag sales to put food on the table.
I have to fill out financial aid applications so my kids can (hopefully continue to) swim on the swim team.
I am returning cans and bottles to the store so that I can go in and buy a pack of diapers.
I still haven’t bought all the supplies the kids need for school, and I just had to email Number 3’s teacher and tell her that we have no money.
My pride went out the window a long, long time ago.
But you know what?
I think this has been good for us.
This situation has forced me to reexamine what is really important in life.
Sure, a new pair of shoes would be nice.
It would be nice to buy a pair of jeans that fit me.
I’d love a babysitter.
Or a housecleaner.
I could really use a vacation.
I want to be able to sign Number 5 up for dance class.
Or have the luxury of buying something at the grocery store that isn’t on sale.
To be current on all my bills. That would be nice.
Looking out the window to see if that truck in the driveway is the guy from CL&P, and he’s about to come shut off my power?
That’s no fun.
And I could focus on all that.
But you know what?
I have a lot of friends. A lot of people who are there to support me.
One of those people emailed me. She sent me money through PayPal, along with this message:
Sign me up for the next 10 Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous Sessions!
Ha. I haven’t ever met that person, although I consider her to be a pretty good friend.
She has done a lot for me.
Another sent me this message:
Your blog…it helps me face emotions, process feelings, look hard at choices; and believe me when I say that I’m an emotional “runner,” that I’m a record holder. So while your blog never fails to entertain, and frequently illicit laughter and/or tears, it cuts to the emotional chase and nudges me each day to do the same. Thank you. I’d like to send you a check- don’t say no. It’s not charity, it’s gratitude. No strings attached.
You know what? I accepted.
Without a second thought. I’ve never met her either.
There are some good people out there.
So the money problems have given me that reminder.
But they have also taught me to be resourceful. Number 4 had the best birthday ever the other day.
If I had a big, fat, bank account, that wouldn’t have happened.
I would have dropped a hundred bucks (or more) on some piece of shit present for her.
I would have missed out on an amazing experience with my daughter.
So, I am grateful for this lack of money right now.
Because it gave me that day with Number 4. A day neither one of us will forget.
I don’t buy birthday cards anymore.
Those things are so expensive.
And the ones I receive from other people?
I hardly ever read them. I mean really read them.
On Wednesday, my parents gave me a card for my birthday.
I actually read it. I read this part:
And then I read it again.
Maybe I don’t have all the things I want.
But I do have all the things I need.
My kids are healthy, and so am I.
I have a husband who loves me very much.
My parents are amazing.
I have people I’ve never even met sending me words of support and encouragement.
Want what you have…
I may not have money,
but I do have what I want.
All those other things?
That’s just stuff.
I used to have a kick ass wardrobe.
Tons of shoes.
I could buy shit at full price.
I went to Puerto Rico every spring.
Oh yeah, and I was smoking massive amounts of weed, and I ended up in the nuthouse for a while.
I had a lot of stuff, but none of it was making me healthy or happy.
A change in perspective.
It may be the most valuable thing you can get for yourself.
And you know what?
It doesn’t cost a penny.
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!