I’m not doing so well of late. I put on a brave face for my kids and my husband, and I’m not a danger or anything, but I’m super stressed. Mostly money woes, because while the cost of living has increased dramatically and the price of everything from our power bill to our daycare expenses has increased, my salary has been frozen due to the hard times and my husband’s sales salary is dependent upon, well… sales. People are being frugal of late, and I can totally understand why because we’re doing it too, but it hurts the pay we bring home, and while I get it, I wish I could change it. Unfortunately, I may have to make a phone call to my dad, who has always had my back whether I needed advice, a little stern direction, or money. He lives too far away to get a hug over the phone but I try to anyway. I hate the guilty feeling I have calling him for help, though. Seems when it’s advice I have no problem asking, but if it’s money, I hesitate. He is usually happy to help. My mom isn’t always. For her, money is a sink or swim issue, to a point. I don’t want to give the impression she’s a greedy Scrooge, because she’s very generous. She just gets more irritated over it more than my dad.
But there have been other things on my mind, too. I accidentally backed my father-in-law’s minivan into a retaining wall, and while the bumper did that cool pop-back-out trick like it was supposed to, there are some nasty scratches in the paint and I’m very mad at myself that despite the extra care I was taking with another person’s vehicle, I still managed to fuck up. If you knew my father-in-law, you’d also know that he’s the most picky, particular person on the planet about the care of his belongings. He’s never got a hair out of place; he never wears a shirt that has a stain on it; he has a place for every single tool in his house and fie on you if you put it back somewhere he can’t find it; he’s a list keeper and crosses things off the list with regularity; he cuts his grass with a riding mower, then gets close to the trees with a push mower, then gets the edges with an edger, then whacks the tight corners with a weed whacker, and finally finishes up by blowing the grass bits off his driveway with a leaf blower – he owns a small fortune in lawn implements. But you get the idea. For a man who has a standing appointment for a hair cut once a month, pays hundreds of dollars a hear to have someone detail his vehicle and has been known to take it to a repair shop to have a loose screw in the dashboard tightened, it was hard to imagine him not blowing off the handle about the paint scratches. Not to mention that when I did it, he was out of town and I had to wait until he came back to tell him so as not to ruin his trip with him stewing about how bad it was.
So from Sunday to yesterday evening, I couldn’t sleep well, and not just for the fact that my bed was missing my husband, who was traveling with my father-in-law. I was honestly terrified he would scream at me about respecting other peoples’ property and that whatever the cost was I had to pay it (I would have anyway). Turns out, though, he was totally cool with it. He said as long as no one got hurt then there was no harm no foul. He was even going to have another scratch that was already on it from the previous owner buffed out (see about the particularness of his stuff?) and he’d have that worked on, too. He offered to have it traded for having Mike mow his lawn, and since Mike mows a steep hill for him every week anyway, it’s not much of a trade since there’s a high likelihood it would have happened that way anyway. He gave me a hug, told me to forgive myself because he wasn’t even mad, and I shouldn’t be so upset because he wasn’t.
Cool or not as he was, I stressed hard over it. I had bad dreams about it. It haunted me.
Another thing on my mind is a potential work opportunity. I can’t say much, but things at my current workplace are less than savory and it’s causing more stress. I get up in the morning hating that I have to go to work when I used to love it and look forward to it. But since my awesome boss retired last year and his replacement is… um… green (and that’s the most I’ll say about it) and then there’s The Crazy who is going to get her own voodoo doll knit for me to pummel when I need to, things have rapidly deteriorated. I don’t want to go from one bad situation to another, so I’m trying to be very careful about the opportunities I’ll consider, but it’s hard to be choosy in this economy.
I often wish for a fairy godmother to come and grant my wishes. And as greedy as it sounds, it always comes back to money. I just want to pay my bills and buy birthday gifts, and take trips to see family, maybe eat out occasionally and have no trouble with my conscience when I buy yarn without having to think too much about the balance in the accounts. I don’t need a flashy car, big house, exclusive wardrobe or private school for the kids. I would even like to have enough that one of us didn’t have to work. Daycare for us now is nearly $1000 a month. That hurts. This month is particularly brutal because we have to pay the sales tax on the truck, and I just don’t know where it’s going to come from. It’s enough to make me cry, stay up worrying at night, juggling bills and looking at the ever growing grocery list thinking how long do we have before I can’t put it off any longer? I fucking hate this. Couple that with my worries about work and the salary freeze and there’s no relief in sight. And the thing is, I’m one of the better off ones in this economy, so I’m very grateful for what I’m able to do, but it still comes with so much baggage. So much baggage. And I’m barely coping.
Anyway, even knitting hasn’t kept me from over thinking things and fretting. It just give me more time for my wheels to spin. I did finish my mom’s herringbone socks (pictures to come) and I love them, now that I don’t have to fiddle with that pattern anymore. I started a small pair for Son over the weekend and I’m already working up the leg on the first one. But it’s still not enough to relax me. It’s still not enough to keep the demons away. Even my to do list of knitting is weighing me down, and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be an outlet, and I’m letting it feel like a chore.
I don’t know what I need. Besides a boost at the bank. I just know I can’t sustain this. So I’m really hoping this other opportunity works out and I can eliminate some of my woes. Because carrying them around is really weighing me down.