Almost Christmas… My tree is small, my bank account is empty, and I can see the back of my cupboard and freezer… money will come soon but it’s definitely tight right now. I wonder why I put myself here and realize I really didn’t. Life has been difficult for the past several years. The ex has been slow on everything. When I moved out he refused to pay child support (and the mortgage) for three months, so credit cards went crazy high… Then with the kids relying on me for everything (and my inability to say no yet) what money I did have went to them and their lives… No one knew how tight things were and no one understood why I would say no sometimes. I can’t blame them, though. I didn’t tell anyone I was out of money. I didn’t tell anyone that I couldn’t afford to pay for their gas, or their dining out… I paid for the wedding that wasn’t meant to be and now I am stuck with more bills than I can pay.
Now what? I wait. I wait for more student loans to come in, I wait for graduation, and I wait for a job. I remind myself that this time is limited. One day, one day soon, I will be able to pay all of my bills. I will be able to say yes to my kids without worrying. I will be able to live my life on my terms. I look forward to those days.
In the meantime? I still live. I make the most of what we do have. I remember we are extremely well off. We have a roof over our heads, heat, clothes, cars and pets. We are all in good health and are happy. Sure, it would be nice to be able to answer the phone (the bill collectors are beginning to get angry). It would be nice to go out to eat whenever we want. It sure would have been nice to have a big tree this Christmas. My younger two kids just couldn’t quite understand why we had to stay small. That was hard. But, we are all learning. We are learning that things are just things and that it’s OK to eat leftovers and to eat at home. We are learning that the house looks better when we stay home.
I could get upset, and sometimes I do. But I remind myself of the good things and that this life is mine. I remind myself that I don’t mind going home any longer. I remind myself that I have made it the sanctuary that I had only dreamed of. I remind myself that our lives are so much better, happier, safer, than they were a short three years ago. Yes, being broke is hard, annoying, especially around Christmas; but it’s worth it.
thank you for reading,