I’ve always loved the idea of having a Rainy Day Fund or as my folks say Funny Money, which is an awesome way to say “here’s a few bob. Let’s treat ourselves!” Myself and Papa Bear don’t drink, smoke or pop any drugs stronger than paracetamol for the migraines that come our way. Alcohol is something neither of us are bothered about and I hear we’re saving a tonne by skipping it all together, although the odd Lidl wine has said to be a bargain and there’s something to be said for making your own moonshine! Even so, we like to splurge on our favourite vice – food! Little Miss has a saying which goes something like, “Can we go somewhere nice to eat?” So Lord knows we gotta save for these little treats now that we’re down to one income and a bit!
It’s been almost two months since my anxiety “blip” which left me floored for two weeks with intense frustration, anger and anxiety that I lost control of. I wrote a letter to my Fricking Flamingo and kicked it out of the door. Before this blip I thought I was ok, in the safe zone, and had let life jump back on board making me forget about the ways I manage my anxiety.
Or rather, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated is pretty much the best any parent can hope to achieve. I have to admit, and I should be embarrassed as I say it, but my health is not at the top of my agenda. Since quitting my job and having two kids run rings around me, earning money and putting clothes on their bums is what keeps me going. So writing is my wealth but with that stupid attitude my health has taken a nose dive. Stress, anxiety, yada, yada, yada, we all know the drill. But to be good to my kids, I have to be good to myself.
Lately I’ve found myself talking about relationships a lot. And it’s not because Papa Bear and I have hit a personal milestone. It’s more to do with the fact that being a family of bears takes its toll on even the most stable of relationships. It’s hard. We know that. We’re up against quite a lot when kids come along. Intimacy, conversation, time for each other stalls. And Hollywood doesn’t help. The Hollywood Ideal lures us into a false sense of security, almost as though it’s not necessary to work on our relationships daily. But we do, oh we really, really do.
It somehow feels justified and appropriate to use a boot in what felt like ten thousand feet of snow as the image for this post. Just like #Snowmageddon, this post feels endless with the potential to fall and get stuck in it. Or at least that’s what I thought when I saw the very lovely Ross from The Stented Papa had nominated me for the most god awful, ridiculously long and painfully torturous blogger tag 100 Questions, 100 Answers. Thanks Ross! But since my brain power has melted somewhat with the snow after four odd days of being snowed in, it’s a good way to get my blogger mojo back. So here we go, endless questions and real answers. There may be something in here about me that you don’t know yet!
I sound incredibly pretentious and righteous with the title of this post. But the fact of the matter is, myself and Papa Bear are together 17 years last week. We must be doing something right. I was a teeny, tiny 17 years old when I met him, meaning I now literally know him half my life. I’ve thought of this day quite a lot over the last almost two decades. Knowing, and loving him (get a room!) for half of my life feels like such a huge achievement. He has been by my side for so long and I can’t imagine life without him. We were young when we met, young when we married and we’re still young. And we’re still together. Against the odds. Because everyone figured there would be odds. That we were too young. That we wouldn’t last. Well, we did. And we are. And I put it down to three things.
A polite, intelligent and sobering letter to my Fricking Flamingo to please exit stage left immediately.
I remember when I was on maternity leave with Little Miss, I felt very out of the loop with colleagues and friends. I was taking the standard 26 weeks maternity leave, which in itself is an incredibly short time. I would be back to work in, what now feels like, an instant. But for those five or six months with little contact from colleagues, I felt very isolated from work and it was odd heading in on that first day back. There was a sense of unnerving questions despite being excited to get back into the fold. Was I missed? Have things changed much? Can I still cope with the workload? Now that I’m not going back at all, feeling out of the loop is an understatement. I feel kind of blurred, like a nomad, forced to find my own way and a new center. And being dependent on myself to provide that centre is even more daunting.
I’m broke. Ok not broke but this freelancer lark may just break my mind if I struggle to be able to afford to meet my friends for a coffee every now and again. Worst part of freelancing? Wondering if and when the money will come in. Only one month in and I already miss being a trigger happy credit card swiper. It was so easy. Thoughtless. Effortless. Until the bill came in. But now? I can’t wait to see a triple figure bill. Will I even make triple figures in a month? Who knows. Thinking twice, and figuring out how much surplus cash I have for coffee splurges, if any, has been a big change for me. But oh I’m learning tricks! I have to really. The biggest, is how to avoid the supermarket.
I’ve had quite a few people contact me about quitting my career and taking the risk of freelancing since I published the post Why I’ve Quit My Job. Some have wanted to do what I’ve done but have been too scared. Others are desperate to do the same but lack the confidence. I’ve been told that I’m brave, that I’m strong and that they admire me for doing something I’m clearly very enthusiastic about. It’s been an ego boost and a positivity rush which, I’ll be honest, I’ve needed. The past few weeks have been up and down, a rollercoaster of dear gods, what nows and general wonderment and worriment about whether this decision has been a good choice. At the end of the day, it’s done now. So what’s a girl to do? Feel the fear and do it anyway as my mum would say. Which is probably the best advice I can give to everyone who has asked me in recent days what steps they need to take to make the same jump.