Yesterday was payday but for the first time ever, my husband did not get a paycheck. We knew it was coming. He is the financial guy at his small consulting company so he had a good read of how much cash was left and how long it would last in the year since the original investors pulled out. He and his two partners keep plugging away at the office. There are contracts on the horizon that could keep them enjoying the benefits of self employment but there are also resumes out to other companies, temporary work being lined up.
We have savings for days like yesterday. We've been cutting back over the last year building up even more of a cushion once they decided to make a go of it on their own. We can make the mortgage payments and buy groceries and gas.
But I skip Starbucks and we eat at home more than we enjoy. We find cheap activities to do over the holiday breaks from school. We are remembering why we hired cleaners as we now scrub down the showers and toilets ourselves. We put off summer camp plans. We put off plans altogether.
I am writing all this not to ask for sympathy or for help, at least not yet, but because this stress that has been hanging over us is impacting this space.
My body reacts to stress most often by shutting down. I have been worn out tired these last few months. My mind is empty, except for the contingency planning I find comforting. I am distracted and forget things easily. I am so caught up in my own situation that I am having trouble being a good friend. Which is sad because our situation is really not bad at all. On the scale of things that could go wrong in life, this is an easy one.
And yet all I want to do is climb back into bed and close my eyes.
There are things in my day that have to be done and done well. Once school is out, I have kids that need me to pick them up from school, to help with homework, to shuttle them to practices and games and music lessons. They need me to listen about their days and to share stories of my own growing up years. These things I do. I shut out the stress of the future and focus on the now.
But in the mornings, when I am alone, my time to write, I just can't seem to do it. Not right now.
And so I climb back into bed and close my eyes. I rest. I lament. I escape.
I do these things so that when pick up time rolls around I am ready.