Money Too Tight To Mention

Unfortunately we did have to mention it to someone who could help us out of our current financial crisis when we asked for help last week and unfortunately we got completely dragged over the coals, interrogated and thoroughly criticised for nearly all our life choices including but not limited to – choice of jobs, choice of hobbies, child care arrangements, activities in which our children are involved, the things we eat and the list goes on.  I’m the first to admit I am not perfect by any means.  My house is messy, we’re eating too much take-away and sometimes I sit down and play on the computer or knit something when perhaps I should be doing housework but is was just awful to have just about everything we do turned into a negative.

Suffice it to say, we didn’t chose to get into a financial mess and we’re sure as heck going to make sure we never do again.  This time has just been an unfortunate melding of council rates, car registration, massive tax bill, power bill and a range of medical expenses occurring all at once along with the normal end of year things like school book orders, piano lessons, chess lessons and the list goes on.  I’m ona much reduced salary compared to teaching and it just hasn’t worked for us.  It isn’t like we are going out every night or having caviar on our crackers.  We spend very little on clothes and entertainment of any description.  Now I sound like Im trying to justify our spending which I shouldn’t have to do.  We make choices – some are right and some are wrong but ultimately they are our choices.

I never want to go down the path of needing to ask for help again from the source we used last week. Never, ever.  So I’m taking baby steps to regain some control of the situation.  I’m going to to ring and try to organise some sort of payment plan for the hideous tax bill.  I’m selling my wedding dress.  I’ve started the process of frogging a garment I knitted a while back but decided that I would never wear.  The yarn is too good to wastes so I’m re-claiming it all and knitting coffee cup cosies to sell on e-bay or etsy.  I’m also looking into what I can make rather than buy for Christmas presents.

I’ve also got huge amounts of stuff that can all eventually go on e-bay – clothes, toys, baby things, furniture etc etc etc.  It will take a long time but I will do it and I’m sure I will feel better to having a less cluttered home.

I felt dreadful about this whole situation until last night when I sat down and started unravelling knitting.  Then I felt I had some tiny measure of control back.  Hopefully that feeling will grow.


Expectations

I have reached and passed the milestone called “Forty” whilst travelling a roller-coaster of varying emotions mainly due to me having unrealistic expectations and of course there’s nothing like a little health crisis to shake one’s feelings all around.

I was back at work by halfway through the week of my birthday even though I was still on anti-inflammatory medication and wasn’t supposed to be doing any “heavy lifting”.  This meant that even though we were in preparation mode for a major event at work, that I had to be very selective about which tasks I took on.   I was doing some “mental heavy lifting” though because at that time, even though I didn’t realise it I was carrying a large load of expectations about celebrating birthdays in the workplace.  Having worked in the education system for many years I had always previously been in the situation that no matter what day your birthday fell on, you turned up for work and in most school settings one’s birthday would be celebrated with colleagues to some extent.  You had to be there if it was a week day and working in the Catholic culture with a good dose of “pastoral care” thrown in usually meant that there would be a cake at morning tea, perhaps and announcement made and some sort of recognition.  If it happened to be one of those “zero” birthdays and especially if you had worked at the same place with the same people, for many years you could multiply the possibilities.

Suffice it to say that in the public service, and I’m sure in many other occupations, the situation is entirely different.  Many people arrange to not be at work on their birthdays and if they are, their work doesn’t take up so much of their life that they feel the need to celebrate anything with their colleagues.  In some places there are indeed ways of recognizing such events but if someone has only been with an organisation for a short time there should be no expectations.

Then there is much less risk, of disappointment, tears and making a total and complete fool of oneself in front of one’s colleagues.  My birthday ended in tears and I ddi the best the wipe it from my memory banks.  The bits I’d like to remember are the beautiful Pandora bracelet from my family and a beautiful floral arrangement delivered to my workplace from some very dear friends.