"...Ain't Nobody Can Say No"

The other day I decided to finally sit down and look at the budgeting spreadsheet my soul sister had sent to me, the one she uses religiously to record and track all of her expenditures. I had left financial stuff up to my ex for years, and, without laying blame anywhere (because I don't want to have the same argument for the millionth time), let's just say that did not go well for our financial health.

I sat down with all of the bills and went hog wild on that spreadsheet. What I discovered was that if we just stop unnecessary spending for the next few months, we'll have plenty of money to fund our move back to the mothership -- I mean motherland. I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I had done this years ago, but I believe it all came together this way for a reason.

It was such a good feeling sitting there and getting a clear picture of what's been going on with the finances, getting organized and feeling on top of everything. It was just me and my daughter all day, and when the ex came home he had to go straight to his room because he has a cough and was able to get tested for The Plague, so until those results are in he has to stay isolated. Honestly, it's so much better that way, hahaha. He is a nice person, but I had such a good day with my daughter yesterday, and I write this not out of mean-spiritedness, but because it helped me feel a lot more optimistic about the future. 

So she and I were own the whole day and it was really great. I managed to work out, do the budget, take care of a bunch of business like that, had a video conference call for work in the afternoon... "The Elf" (my child) was really cooperative and did some of her little reading and writing workbook stuff, voluntarily took a nap (what?!) and gave me time to do what I needed to do. Then like, when the ex came home and took to his bed, I was worried that I'd be burned out and wishing that he could take over with childcare duties, but actually I was fine. I made dinner, did everything for her bedtime by myself, and we had such a nice cozy little day together, just the two of us. I know that every day won't be like that, but it was still empowering.

One of the last things I've been worried about regarding the divorce and finally getting the remaining strands of our married life squared away has been finances. I know he's not going to battle me over child support or anything like that, and I also know that I'm going to depend on his help for a while after we move. But I had this fog and worry about money, how I would manage once we're living in separate homes and we've separated our money out completely. But after going through that lovely little spreadsheet (never thought I'd be saying those words with any sincerity), I felt so empowered! Now I know that, even though I won't have as much money once I'm fully on my own (at first), I'll still be able to manage my own finances. I'll know how much I spend and bring in and there won't be any surprise expenditures or charges dropping that come from having another person dipping into the same bank account and the right hand not knowing what the left one is doing. (Again, avoiding the blame game, just we were both really unconscious and unconscientious about our money). 

And I'll be able to have fun with just my little girl and me. Because, you know... I feel like some people want to believe that it doesn't matter who you're with, that if you're with someone for a long time, then you should just stay with them no matter what, because of like... I don't know, I guess just for the sake of continuity? Actually, according to this one couple's therapist I know, it's because if you were drawn to them at one time, then you're supposed to just stay with them forever no matter what. And if you don't want to, then you should pay hundreds of dollars for her weekend workshop and find out what is wrong with you so that you continue to be with this person who is no longer the one you want to be with, for the rest of your lives, no matter what. That same therapist and her husband have such horrible vibes as a couple that even my ex-husband and I fully high-fived each other for getting along better than they do the last time we saw them, and we're not even married anymore! 

She is wrong, and I will not be taking her workshop. Because you know what? I'm not perfect, I'm certainly flawed and have my share of issues and idiosyncrasies... But I'm not crazy. I had started to believe that if I couldn't be happy in that marriage, that I'd never be happy. That I was just too depressed, anxious, and difficult to function in any relationship. But that's not true! There absolutely is such a thing as a right and wrong person for everyone. It genuinely feels better to be alone than to be with the wrong one. As much as I know that my ex is a good person, and he's always been kind to me, we're just not meant to be for the rest of our lives. Speaking only for myself, I feel kind of cramped and crowded when he's home for a long time. I like it when we all hang out together as a family, for a few hours. Then I start getting claustrophobic and irritable. I check out mentally and feel lethargic, I'm not fully present. I start kind of drifting, taking every chance I get to go off by myself. And that's not the kind of mother I want to be. When it was just me and my little girl all day, and I knew he wasn't about to be in the common spaces of the apartment with us, somehow everything changed. It wasn't a conscious choice, I just noticed that I was suddenly so much clearer and calmer and grounded and just felt, like, solid. Capable. Sunny. Present. I got to really be in the room and not feel a heaviness stressing me out. I could just be... me.

And I'm remembering that more and more. 

Not too long ago (or was it? I'm already bad at time, now you add shelter-in-place orders to the mix and who knows?), I asked the Creator to help me mature and grow me into the woman I need to be in order to be the best mother to my child, the best friend, sister, daughter, partner in any future relationship, and so on, that I can be. Help me because I've tried to do it myself, and I do all right at first, but then I stumble, and I just can't get off this merry-go-round. Well, the Creator was listening. Or maybe They already had this in the works and it was just my job to finally ask for the help so that I could become aware of my growth and level-up in my consciousness. Maybe both? Who knows how it works, quantum physics is weird and life don't make no sense, except when sometimes it makes perfect sense. Maybe both?

I'm getting stronger. And I'm ready to stand on my own two feet again. 

This morning I woke up and the ex was working from home to monitor his symptoms. Once again, I felt that lethargy, the heaviness in heart and solar plexus, the desire to just linger in my bed as long as possible. But I finally got up, determined to have a good day again. So I told him to please get back in his room because those are the rules of staying home sick during this virus. 

Once the door was firmly shut behind him, I made coffee, sat out on the balcony, meditated a bit, breathed, read a little, with frequent interruptions from The World's Cutest 4-Year-Old, of course. It makes all the difference to start the day off like that, for me, anyway. (That's what's so great about having a preschooler, because they're more independent and you can actually do that stuff again. It's harder when they're little, unless you get up at the ass-crack of dawn while they and their "My Parent Is Taking Time For Themselves -- Engage!" radar are still fast asleep.) I prayed and just asked for guidance and help and things like that. 

Long story short, I ended up looking at some more changes I could make in my financial realm, discovered that my credit score had just gone up, waved a magic wand, and now I am well on my way to building my own credit back up again! 

And! I figured out what I can do for work once I move. A few years ago, I was going to work for one of those companies where you teach English online to children in China. I got started in the hiring process, but I ended up not moving forward with it, because the time difference between Texas and Beijing was too great, my daughter was too little, and I didn't have the space to be able to work in the middle of the night (because of the time difference) without waking up the whole house. 

But I looked into it again, and the time difference between Beijing and Reykjavik means that I would be able to work during their peak hours, which happen to be right smack dab in the middle of the school day. So she wouldn't even be home, and I could even work a full day if I got enough students. I also found out that there are multiple reputable companies like that, and you're allowed to work for more than one at a time, so you can maximize the number of students you teach (and thus, your own income). 

So now I have a plan for working as soon as I get there! I can start bringing money in right away! Woo-hoo! And the way things are going in the world, I think online teaching is going to be a part of our lives for a while. With that in mind, I'm going to make the most of this time home from my school job and work as hard as I can on getting my Texas teaching certification done, so I can earn more money and possibly find legit home schooling or virtual learning options in other areas. I'm so excited! Working at home is not my favorite, I prefer to be able to leave the house, but I think this is the right path forward at this time. The sooner I get financially independent, the sooner I can get my own place in The Land. 

I was so excited about it that I texted my soul sister to thank her for sending me her budget, because as a result my credit is already improving, I feel more empowered about being able to stand on my own two feet, and I figured out how to make money once we move. And to think, if she hadn't listened to her intuition back in September and started looking for me to get back in touch, we wouldn't have been brought together, she never would have taught me her tips and tricks for improving my credit and saving money, and I wouldn't have figured out how easily we could afford to fund this move and how I could work right away. (Well, maybe I would have, but it would have been a lot more difficult and stressful.) Isn't that wild?

All right, on that note, I gotta hit these books while Mini-me is taking a little snooze. 

In the words of Beyonce... 










And for those of us who remember Mary Tyler Moore and one of the best theme songs of all time...





















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