Monday, 13 August 2012

When life feels like a house of cards

Hello, you gorgeous Planetarians. I had planned to make this another 'Sunday-splendour-on-a-Monday' post. But I'm not feeling so splendid right now. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Ours was too busy with more rushing and nagging than desirable. By the end, I didn't feel that we'd achieved much. Again.

Our weekends have been like that for months now. Rushing against the clock. Rousing the pixies to make it to soccer for 9 am starts on almost frozen fields. Forgetting Joshua's water bottle in our dash out the door. Realising it when he reaches for a drink after great exertion. Cursing that we're not more organised. Zooming home to get the washing on the line to give it half a chance of drying before day's end. Squabbling. Chastising. Raised voices. Rinse, repeat. Finishing the weekend tired and not refreshed. Trudging into the new week.

Hmm, it's not much fun at all.

It's been a long time since I last wrote one of these 'keeping it real' posts - remember 'running on empty'? That's where we're at. Some of the same things in that post are bothering me right now. Some are new. But I won't list them as it'll make me (and you!) feel worse to see it all in black and white.

But life on Planet Baby feels like a precarious house of cards right now.

Why? Well, Mr PB has been working how two jobs for some months now. He's exhausted. He's more than exhausted. He's spent. Yes, we're back here again:
But for the moment, he is soldiering on, just to make ends meet. He is my hero.

But this crushing financial pressure we're under can't continue for much longer. It's completely unsustainable. Something has to change.

Today I was talking to a couple of my closest bloggy friends about it all. We shared stories of where we're at right now and there were so many similarities, it was uncanny. There was a lot of "What? Me too!" exchanged. Whilst it was upsetting to realise that other friends are also going through tough financial patches, it was also reassuring to know that we're not alone.

But the thing is that not many bloggers talk about this stuff. Have you noticed that? There's a lot of air-brushing in Blogland. And that can leave you feeling rather alone, I've found.

It's a tricky issue to post about, though. As my friends and I observed, there's a fine line between being more open about life's challenges and protecting one's privacy. That's especially so when your family and friends read your blog. As do mine.

So we filter what we write. We gloss over it. We allude to it. But we rarely tell it like it is.

This post has been percolating in my head for ages now. I've been trying to find the right angle to use, worrying that it could be interpreted as self-indulgent. Crass, even. After all, talking about financial stress is hardly deemed an acceptable topic of conversation. It's such a first-world problem, isn't it? And I guess I've worried that some might perceive it as the bleatings of someone who doesn't really have much to complain about. So I haven't written this post.

Now I'm doing it. Why? There are two reasons.
Firstly, I need to draw my mental 'line in the sand'. Enough is enough. As a family, we can't continue on like this. I'm worried about Mr PB's health. We're passing like ships in the night. We're not spending any time alone together. Tempers are frayed through sheer exhaustion. The pixies are picking up on the stress and playing up. My hand is now recovered. It's time to hop off my Pandora's box and see if some butterflies will escape.

Yep, it's time to walk the walk. To open a new chapter in my (paid work) life. Watch this space.

And secondly, in the spirit of encouraging and supporting other bloggers, I hope this post might help some of you feel less alone in battling on a tight budget. Know that there are so many of us finding life financially challenging right now. We should be able to support each other. Even a single kind comment to someone struggling can completely change their outlook, maybe for a moment but maybe for even longer.

So, I'm going to hit 'Publish' and head off to bed, a little trepidatiously. Goodness knows what response I'll find here when I wake tomorrow. If there's fallout, I'll deal with it. But I have to write this, come what may.

So, are any of you in the same boat, finding life a financial struggle right now? Do you find it hard to talk and/or blog about? Or is your blog your 'happy space' where you don't like to mention some of life's challenges? I'm intrigued to see what you all have to say.
PS If you also feel like your life is like a house of cards, you might find this post helpful.
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