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Uncomfortable

Since the divorce, I dated a bit in the beginning. I gave that up about a year ago. It was hugely disappointing, and frankly took up too much of my time and energy. Precious resources these days. Since then, I’ve settled in my new home. Went through a bout or 2 of depression. Started a new job. My son is now old enough to do sports, and he wants to do ALL. THE. SPORTS. My finances are finally settling. I’ve made a few new friends, but haven’t been much of a friend. I keep more to myself than i used to. Since my love tank is completely empty and damaged, I’ve built up some solid walls around my heart. And, since i’m an overachiever, added an extra layer or 2 of padding around my midsection. Thus guaranteeing zero interest in anyone wanting to date me. In the time since I’ve called off dating, I’ve gained 40 pounds. Ouch.

The thing is…. lately my clothes have been rather uncomfortable. Due, no doubt, to the dramatic weight gain and lack of exercise in the past year-ish. Except my clothes weren’t uncomfortable a month ago. I was okay being me. Being fat. I was content, i told myself, just being me and doing my own thing. I started a keto diet over the summer and lost 10 pounds. Then promptly went back to not caring and gained it all back, plus interest.

Perhaps it’s the Christmas season. Maybe it’s the Hallmark movies of love and romance. It could be the cold lonely bed I crawl into every night. It may be due to the fact that this year is quickly coming to a close. But something has changed. I don’t want to be me. This me that I am. Lonely. Sad. Bored. Unfulfilled.

Perhaps being incredibly uncomfortable in my clothes is a symptom of something bigger. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m uncomfortable with my life. Maybe it’s a sign that I’m ready to move forward. It’s very uncomfortable taking these thoughts and writing them down. And it might be because I want to move forward. But it’s scary.

I’m truly at a crossroads of emotions. Stay inside where it’s safe, but lonely. Or put in the work and be the best me I can be and put myself out there. In the world. Ready for the next adventure. The next chapter.

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Fighting for FI

I read a lot of personal finance blogs. Like…. a LOT. I have about 40 of them bookmarked in my faves list and i cycle through them. Daily. I love reading everyone’s philosophy on personal finance. But more importantly, I keep looking for the “secret”. The magic thing I need to do to achieve financial wellness. Freedom.

But here’s the rub.

If I read ONE MORE ARTICLE about maxing out your 401K (keep in mind that is $18,500/yr) to be a millionaire by the time your 65 and how I should have simply started saving $1,000/yr when I got my first allowance at 8 yrs old, I am going to seriously VOMIT all over my keyboard.

Folks.

No shit.

Who are these people that can seriously set aside $18,500 EVERY YEAR??? That’s almost DOUBLE what I pay for my mortgage every year. If I could save $18,500 every year for retirement, I certainly am not reading your blog about clipping coupons and downloading apps to save 15 cents wherever I can.

Also, hey, just spend less than you make and save the rest!

OMG> No kidding!

But what about the rest of us? The ones who don’t have a gap? That’s what I call it. The money left over at the end of the month when you tally up everything you made and everything you’ve spent.

I don’t have a gap. I track my money. Every penny. I have an entire workbook devoted to my finances. And someday I’ll share it with you.

For now, I’m just figuring out how to survive. Here are a few things I have going for me:

  • $10,000 emergency fund in a 1.85% money market account. I don’t touch this. Ever. I can’t.
  • I have one credit card with a $1,935 balance at 0%. If I continue to pay $100/month it will be paid off by end of promo period. I keep telling myself that’s $100 that will become part of the gap. Right now it pisses me off that I have a balance/payment at all. I abhor debt.
  • I use a credit card for EVERYTHING. All of my utilities are set up to auto-pay on that card. I buy all my groceries, gas and everything else on that card. I get 1.5% rewards cash and it’s an easy way to track spending.
  • I do not use cash. Ever.
  • I always pay off my credit card in full. Sometimes I make payments every week to keep the balance small. I can’t afford to pay interest.
  • I recently invested $1,000 in lending club. It’s an experiment. But every month I will take the money I receive (principal + interest) and put that money towards extra principal payment on my car.
  • I have a few thousand dollars in an online investment brokerage. This adds about $14/month in dividends. It’s not huge, but it’s a start. Right now this broker is transferring everything to another online broker. Dividends are not being reinvested. Instead, I’m pulling them out and putting them towards the principal on my car.
  • I need to pay off my car loan ASAP. This will help create a gap. Only $11,700 left to go.

Although I am a single mom, I won’t allow that to be my story. There’s no room for pity. Just action. I want to be successful regardless of my relationship status.

Because I don’t have someone else to bring in a second income, it scares the crap out of me. I don’t have room for error. There is no safety net. I need to create several passive (or active) income streams so that I have breathing room. And someday, financial independence. To have enough passive income that I don’t have to worry about the economy or my job. To give me choices.

 

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Ground Zero

Today. Today is the deadline for my ex. I know the day will come and go, and nothing will happen. And I will have to take him back to court. Again.

Today I’m exhausted. I tired of fighting. But instead of feeling sorry for myself, I feel anxious. Anxious to do something about it. But I don’t know what.

So I thought I’d make a checklist. Of where i’m at in life. And figure out where to go from there. Like a scatter plot. Maybe there is a trend. Or a pattern. Or a rorschach test. Maybe i can see soemthing… myself maybe? My life? Maybe if i can see where i am…. i can see where i need to go.

Let’s see:

  • single – check
  • mom – check
  • mortgage – check check
  • work full time – check
  • volunteer – check
  • love life – crickets
  • supportive and loving friends – check, meh… some crickets
  • vindictive ex – check check check
  • stress – check check
  • happy son – check
  • roof – check
  • full bellies – check
  • car repair – needs attention
  • eye twitch – check (ughhhh)
  • positive pants – MIA
  • anxiety – check check
  • tenacity – check

Okay…. I think this is a good start.

Sooooo…. now what?

My ex owes me a lot of money. Like, a LOT of money. Money that would ensure my son and I live a comfortable life. My salary will provide for us. But it would be a very austere existence. And that’s okay. But i WANT my child to have a wonderful and memorable childhood. I want him to be able to experience life and go places.

So. Obviously, I will take my ex back to court. Again. And hopefully the judge will force his hand. Again.

But in the meantime…. i need a plan B. And C and D. And F and G3 and M4a. Cuz I’m a planner. And a do-er. And I know that life is not a fairy tale. A knight in shining armour is not going to adorn my doorstep and save the day. My fairy godmother is flat out of pixie dust. Nobody is coming to rescue me.

My happily ever after is up to me. And me only.

I just don’t know how the hell to move forward. How to write my next chapter. Perhaps I just need to work on this list for now. And evaluate where I am. My ground zero. And then start drafting a plan of what I need to do. To address what i NEED. What i WANT.

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3 wishes…

Usually dropping off my son at daycare/preschool is not a pleasant thing. My son loves preschool, but prefers to stay with me. All the time. He gets very sad when i drop him off, as though it’s punishment, and i simply don’t want him. Which, of course, isn’t the case at all. We’ve talked many many times about why it’s important for him to go to school and for mommy to go to work.

So, this morning on the way to school I tried my best, once again, to have a fun light-hearted conversation and laugh a bit. Hoping that would help ease the pain of the drop-off. When I slowed down for a stop sign, his backpack tumbled off the front seat and onto the floor. I laughed and said that his backpack was so excited to go to school it was trying to get there ahead of us. My son laughed and laughed. And added that maybe his backpack thought the floor mat was a magic rug and would get there fast.

So, we talked about genies and magic carpets and wishes. I asked my son if he met a genie in real life, what would his 3 wishes be. Without hesitation, he said his first wish would be for his daddy to not be mean. His second wish was that Lizzie girl would come back to life. And he had to think hard about a third wish, and couldn’t come up with anything.

My heart stopped after the first wish. It makes me SO SAD that my son is afraid of his dad. And that he’s mean all the time. To the point where he makes a wish about it. My son is so sweet. And loving. And it breaks my heart that his life is the way it is. I want nothing more than for him to be happy and healthy and have a wonderful childhood. I make such a huge effort to create a happy life for him. A happy home. Lots and lots of affection. Being present. Listening. Having lots of friends and family around on a regular basis. Making sure everyday that he knows he’s special. And loved. Loved so very very much.

I wish that his dad made an effort to create that life for our son as well.

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Let it be…

Last night I hung out with a dear friend of mine. We just sat and listened to records and talked and drank. It was wonderful. This friend happens to be my best friend. He has become my everything. I have never in my life had such a close friend that I feel so comfortable with and trust my heart with. I love him dearly and am grateful everyday that he’s in my life.

One of his finest qualities is to gently and lovingly talk me through my crisis du jour. This divorce process has broken me in so many ways I’ve lost track of the scars. Over the past year and a half, my life has been a roller coaster of emotions, and truths, and struggles. I cannot verbalize how much I appreciate having someone to talk to. Someone who intimately understands my pain, and can offer sage advice. Because he’s been there too.

One of the messages that keeps popping up, and I’ve been dodging, is to just… let it be. Let it go. Focus on what’s good, and let go of the bad. The sad. The frustrating. And I know he’s right. He’s 100% right. And yet…. I sabotage myself. Why? Why do I choose to hang on to the hurt? Why do I keep circling back to the injustice of what happened to me? I cannot answer that. But I realized this morning on my long drive to work that I must make a valiant effort to do just that. I need to let it be.

By clutching the hurt, the negativity, the sadness… I am unable to receive the good, the positive, the happiness. And what strikes me just now is the memory of why i did this. I told my ex that i deserve better. I deserve to be happy. And that is why i want a divorce. And yet, here I am today making myself miserable.

No more.

Today. Today I will no longer feel sorry for myself. I will no longer focus on what happened. Instead, I will focus on the future. What I want my life to look like. What I can do to create the happy and fulfilling life I deserve. No more wasting tears and emotional energy on a person who never deserved it in the first place. Fuck him. Fuck them.

Let it be………

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The beginning is near

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 months since i said i wanted a divorce. So much has happened in that time, both good and bad. And now it’s the final stretch. We have a final hearing date. Although, I don’t expect the divorce to be final that day. He’s going to fight me on some things. Big things. And i’m terrified. I’m simply not strong enough to deal with his vindictiveness.

In the past couple of weeks we’ve had to put our beloved dog to sleep, our dirty laundry was aired on the front page of the local paper, i started taking anti-depressant/anxiety meds again, and got an IUD just as my sex life dried up. ha.

I’m a hot mess.

Fortunately, I’ve been blessed to meet some really great people along this horrible journey. I’ve also made much deeper and meaningful connections with some friends and family. I honestly don’t know where i would be without each of these people in my life.

But it’s still hard.

I’m trying so hard to be a grown up. And make good decisions. And be strong. And be a good mom. And yet i feel myself getting swallowed up in anxiety. The other day i drove 25 miles in the wrong direction – had no fucking clue. For 25 miles. I can’t remember shit to save my life. I’m confused. Simple words escape me. And now, in the last week or so, i find myself out of breath for nogoddamnreason. I’ll just be laying in bed or whatever and suddenly i feel like i can’t breathe. i just can’t get a breath of fresh air. That shit scares me. And i don’t want to tell anyone because i don’t want my soon-to-be-ex to use it against me. Claim that i’m unfit or unwell enough to care for our son. I need to shut this shit down. How to do that, i don’t have a fucking clue. Half of my hair is gone. It’s so thin now. My ponytail used to be so heavy that it would give me a headache. Now i have to wrap the band around 4 or 5 times to get it tight enough to stay.

Nobody tells you how lonely you’ll be. Fuck. That might be the hardest part. The other stuff like figuring out how to support yourself and keep a roof over yours and your baby’s head and food in your bellies is tough, but workable. The notion that you’re going to be forever alone, unwanted, that’s tough. And there is no action, or plan. You simply can’t make people like you, want you, love you.

Some days are better than others. I’m normally a pretty upbeat and positive person. A problem solver. Nothing’s impossible. Love to make others laugh.

And some days i can’t get off the couch. This past weekend, i realized my son was wearing the same pajamas on saturday that i put on him thursday night. That’s simply unacceptable. I need to pull myself together and deal with my life. Like the grown ass woman i am.

My friends are the bestest. I have 2 really really great friends that i trust my entire heart and soul with. My girlfriend i’ve known for years. She knows everything about me and is such a caring and thoughtful person. My guyfriend i’ve only known a few months but it feels like years. He’s travelled a similar journey and is in a similar situation so his perspective is invaluable. He’s a really great guy and so sweet and caring. These 2 people are my lifeboats, whether they know it or not. I’m so incredibly grateful to have them in my life.

I guess one good thing that has happened from all of this is that i’ve learned to open up and trust others. I was always a very reserved and private person. Keeping my business and my feelings to myself. That hasn’t served me well. Life becomes so much more meaningful when you have others to share it with.

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what the FUCK

You throw me away like yesterday’s garbage. Trade me in like one of your trucks. For 20 years i stood beside you. stood up for you. stood behind you even when i didn’t want to. and now? you won’t even fight for me. for our family. whatever you’re going through…. you don’t even care how it will effect our son. just throw him away too i guess. i mean it’s not like we walked through hell to have him. and now you just let it all go. and you can’t even tell me why.

you broke my heart. you ruined my credit. and now you toss me out. can’t wait for moving day. even though now my options are nil. what the fuck. seriously, what the FUCK is wrong with you. we used to be partners. teammates. we were each others person. what the fuck happened to that. and still….. i love you. what the fuck is wrong with me?