Saturday, January 26, 2013

Feast or Famine

Last night I wrote a blog post that was so full of anger and self pity that I didn't dare publish it. Thank God for the "save as draft" option! Today is a new day and I just want to move on and deal with my new reality - which is debt, no savings, and a tight belt for the next 7-8 months.

One thing that's made me feel better is checking my "house projects" list I keep on my phone. You know what? I have accomplished nearly everything I wanted to do in this house - from the attic space to the pool to the fireplace to the bathroom to the landscaping. Oh there's always repairs and upgrades and re-dos of things done wrong the first time around, but for the most part I just have small projects left, like changing out light fixtures and fixing window bars, etc. So really, any savings I would have had won't be needed for any more dream projects around here. I've done them all.

And I won't need savings for travel - as noted, we're (mostly) grounded until B is old enough to travel well, which could be years. So any savings I would have used for cool international travel wouldn't be useable for a long time anyway, well long enough for me to pay this debt down and start saving again.

Apart from a few small expenses - printing and mailing of fliers, B's birthday party - I have no major expenses between now and my event. Taxes may be an issue, but I did pre-pay a bit back in September and maybe by April I can borrow some (or put some aside, since this year I know to expect a big increase unlike last year where I was caught off guard).

I went absolutely off the rails last night when, still reeling from this giant sewer line bill, I went to the mailbox and got a bill from Kaiser for $606. From the birth last March. Apparently various labs/drugs etc that they originally covered they have now decided, a year later, that they aren't covering. I immediately called and opened yet another grievance. So, now I've got two going (one denied), and this bill will remain unpaid, which puts my credit in jeopardy. Oh, and then I got my gas bill, which normally at this time of year is about $80 or $90, which is really expensive. This month's was $253.

I hate that my life is so feast or famine - famine the first half of the year, feast the second. I hate that despite how well I budget and prepare I always get socked with some ridiculous unpredictable thing that I never could have known was going to happen. I hate that after fifteen years in business I never seem to do any better. I hate that I always, always get screwed by the system. I hate that I never seem to be able to catch a fucking break.

But. I did choose this life. Everything from being a single mother to being a homeowner to running one event a year and trying to live off of that. And there's a lot of insecurity and potential for disaster at every turn in my line of work. I'm lucky I have not yet dealt with some of the potential hazards in the event planning world - a terrorist threat or attack shutting down airports and rendering my event impossible; a major earthquake; a major lawsuit (well, I did have one of those). An IRS audit. Major competition nearby that could shut me down. So far, so good.

And this, too, shall pass. I worked on various of my calming techniques last night because I was so distraught - I got B & myself into a nice warm bath as a distraction, practiced some deep breathing (it really did help), and tried to remind myself, "it's only money." I don't know why but that phrase does make me feel better. It's not a race - the person who dies with the most stuff does not "win". Yes, it sucks that I can't save any money for a long time. It doesn't make me feel good or safe, especially not with a baby. I hate that I'm having to deal with all this unfair crap right now. But last night I hugged him to my chest and felt very secure with just us - we're ok. We're going to make it. We have each other.

1 comment:

  1. That is crazy about Kaiser, how is it legal to decide a year later they aren't going to cover something & just bill you. Sounds so wrong! & unfair.