I ended my evening yesterday on news not encouraging. In the middle of priceless treasure discoveries, rich givings by life itself, my life has consisted of obstacles overcome, setbacks redeemed and yet more to overcome, plow through. And even, to re-do. It’s not an unusual story, in general. Though it’s even fairly typical as “hardship” goes, it has its unique and uncommon elements. There’s never been any solid financial wealth. Mostly it’s been a story of poverty well-dressed and holding her head above water, appearing on the verge of wealth or even consistent sustenance, taking hits from waves created on distant shores. And that is it. Nothing to whine about. It simply is. A richness of soulful knowing, growing awareness of things more precious than gold serves me feasts in dark nights, feeds me strength in bleak times. Without the struggles, would I know how sweet it all is? No. Know what, though? I’m tired of the stark contrasts. (insert whining tone here, immediately cough and clear the throat. moving right along. no more whining allowed. it will be okay!!!)
Life dishes some struggles more daunting lately. ( Two steps forward…three back? Um, wait a minute. That’s not even remotely fair! Hey! Look at all these people with me in this same seemingly rigged journey! I wonder if we’ll discover the secret.)
I rely on whatever paltry sum freelance writing can bring me at this time in my life. Believe me, paltry is a generous notion. I often feel like Jack came home with the beans and I should toss them out the window in outrage, hoping for mythical giant smashings, landing golden solutions at my doorstep. Then I laugh at myself. How silly. How delusional. Where’s the beef?! : ) So, I dig around for more opportunity but the restraints on my life make that digging a limited endeavor. I’m the childcare, and gladly so, in a separation soon heading for divorce. And amicably, kindly so. No ugly nonsense going on here. I am thankful for my feasts! Being the childcare is more affordable, on so many levels, than the alternatives that will cost me heavily in health, in peace, in so much. I did the full-time mad woman working and picking her kids up at 6pm every night. I almost died (okay, not literally). CFIDS relapsed, smashing me back to my hearth and home, wimpering like some lost child. But what I found of myself because of that disaster is priceless. I came home on levels I’d not been able to do before. Home to being mother, to being woman. And my body has been mending.
Now what? Do I go back out to full time in the wake of yesteday’s bad news? Smash me into compliance with “the way it is?” We rely on one income here while I manage it, budget up to two years and include the financial arrangements that divorce will bring. The not-ex-ex is thankful for that. The goal is to get me through college and onto a job that won’t toss me into CFIDS reruns, a job that will solidify futures. Many moons ago I put him through college, paid the bills, got increasingly more ill and crashed into motherhood. Somewhere in there it hit me that the marriage never actually happened. (Not for lack of effort here.) One year of college, years of work and then over a decade of mostly parenting with part-time and some full-time employment. All the while writing,writing, writing and going through changes epic. Here I am. It’s an oversimplification of an arduous journey. But it suffices.
The bad news? The not-quite-ex may have to take a cut in pay or worse. So…college in the fall? Or…a job at Walmart? I kinda doubt there’s much more than that. Where? How? What? When you look at the possibility that dreams will never come to fruition, you are forced to fall back on that intrinsic, that innate, that basic enjoyment of being in skin, of breathing deeply the smell of life after rain, of feeling intensely every ounce of life’s sweetest gains, of sunsets surreal and healing, moon’s ushering quiet calls…however fleeting, however seemingly small. These can never be thwarted, stolen or otherwise laid off. (A piece of cake is nice, too!)
And while you fall back on it all, watch the bloom of night’s horizon, you refuse to release the dreams. Even if they never reach their fullest glory. They are the balance between living and merely existing (for me, anyway).
At least…that’s how I feel today. And I’ve suddenly run out of things to say. On with the quest…
12 thoughts on “Dreams Delayed?”
Heading out to get some work done. Will check in at lunch time. Can you go sit by your river and see if the answers may run more clearly there?
My river is in Georgia (it begins here where I live in NC…hmmm…that’s a thought.). I’m going to send you an e-mail Gin. Thank you…
also…please take your time getting to this…i know your world is full and demanding.
I wish I could help more, just be there to bounce things off of. I’ll be around all weekend, in and out of the cabin, write me direct if you need to as well: email@example.com
I send you a huge hug, my new found sister.
Ah…thank you…great medicine.
Yikes. I’m sorry. I’m delayed in checking in here, and glad I finally did.
I agree with Ed. Whine. Scream. Pull out your hair if you want to. FEEL it! That’s what life is about. It’s what makes us who we are and leads us ultimately to where we need to go.
I am a crazy optimist at times, but can’t you all feel that maybe this is an awesome time of growth and new beginnings for Ruth? The serpent sheds her skin, the phoenix dries her wings…
Where will you fly to?
You say no frosting is fine with you, but ah, look at the cake the very next day? Ha! What beauty lies with in you than now can spread her wings and fly!
Thank you Gin…I knew you’d have beautiful perspective. I’m at such a crossroad here! There’s a part of me inside yelling “What is best?! What is best?! What should I do?” This weekend is going to be spent making decisions. Your input is inspiration supreme.
Ruth – Your creative mind will only allow you to reflect for so long before it begins it’s journey. Take that time to love and appreciate what you have and find the positive energy surrounding you. When you are ready, figure out creative options and focus on the things within your control. Soon to be ex’s sometimes say things for effect and play on your fears in order to acheive their desired result.
Be careful not to become dependant on a settlement based on anothers ability to pay…that is not true independance. School can be an incredible resource and as HPGirl said, have programs that help single mothers (financially).
Do not worry about your ex’s problems…they are no longer yours. Talk to a counselor at the college or university you are attending and they will provide you with all your options. Full time school is best option for any woman who has become indigent based on a divorce…state and federal financial aide will get you through and become your “cake”…your soon to be ex’s child support and alimony will be the frosting…you can live without the frosting unless you allow it to be the cake.
Much love and support…your friend, Ed
Thanks Ed…found out last night that the words were not idle. He’s already taking action to get out of his apartment in order to free up income (cut in pay effective immediately). Our agreement was to support me while I go thru school (CFIDS makes the load more complicated. It’s not that I’m one who wants to rely on ANYONE financially but I’ve had to take the time to get better. This whole illness twist began over 15 years ago when I got pneumonia. Haven’t been the same since!) full time, possibly working part time. School was going to start full time this fall. From the looks of it now, school will be part time, work will be full time and I may or may not be able to go full time in the spring. That’s the struggle. If I go full time, more likely to get financial aid. But if I do that, I can’t work full time. Round and round I go. But what this is doing is making me willing to lose the house, to lose a ton of things in order to find a way to get that degree. That may mean I move to Georgia (hate GA!), to receive the support of my family there. Tough times. I’ve told myself that as much as our debt has us tied together, his problems are mine. But…I’m even willing to let bankruptcy happen. It’s that bad and I’m that determined.
I’d rather not have child support or alimony. No frosting is fine with me! That’s part of what makes this whole thing so frustrating. Meanwhile…the encouragement is deeply appreciated. You’re right. We do need our times of screaming. And what rich descriptions you give of your beautifully colorful ups and downs! I’m glad I whined a bit just so I could read that glimpse of you. You quoted me…”prepare for the worst, hope for the best…” that’s been my mantra for the last 48 hours. It actually helps me to puke this out. Puts it into perspective more. There IS a solution. And it doesn’t have to mean I compromise independence. In fact, this set of events may be what puts me there faster (just not as neatly or as attractively!). Trying to protect the kids can sometimes turn out to be what cages me. Life is insisting otherise, it seems.
Big hugs and much thanks…
I have been knocked down and kicked, gotten up only to be knocked down again. I have been drug by a horse through 10 acres of woods…stabbed myself in the eye removing the name of an old girlfriend from a tree. Hit from behind by friends and suffered the wrath of women scorn.
We are all entitled to moments of self pity. Sometimes it is healthy to scream and cry in frustration.
When it comes right down to it…time is going to pass and with it the problems we are having today.
Tomarrow will bring different problems that will test your character in a different way.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. You haven’t failed until you quit!
There are lots of options besides Walmart! You could get school loans and/or scholarships. I’d start at the financial aid office and see what’s available. What kind of degree are you looking for?
It’s cool that you do freelance writing. What kind? But I certainly understand about the paltry pay for that. Those in the editorial business seem to think you should feel eternally grateful if they accept your work for Nothing. But maybe that’s because there’s such a low margin in the business, to be fair minded.
Degree, at this point, in psychology. But we’ll see where it ends up. I’m not giving up on this, just very aware that it could be more complicated than I’d hoped. There are only so many things I can do “at once.” Full time job and full time school load? Ha, no. But I’ll get there even if it means I go longer, do school part time. Financial aid may pan out. That’s not so much the issue as what will be required of me if the ex loses his job. But I don’t really know. I’m not too panicked this just hit me hard. Feels like I’ve been tossed into the pressure cooker!
Ghost-writing is all I’m managing right now. The pay is appalling. I wouldn’t even call it “pay!” The market is flooded right now with people out of work and madly searching for the at-home income. Crazy times.
But it’s all good… Sometimes you need to vomit up the frustration. : )