Life is like a river…

15 Apr

Life is like a river, flowing smoothly at times and rapidly at others. The trick is to swim when you can and float when you can’t.

For those of you that don’t actually know me, here’s a bit of background. I am currently a mom of two teenagers. I am separated from my someday soon-to-be-ex. I moved out of our home last July after several long years of unhappiness. I love where I am now – granted, my life has been turned upside down – but really, in the grand scheme of things I am very happy.

Along with the impending divorce, is an impending personal bankruptcy. My bankruptcy keeps soon-to-be ex in the house basically mortgage free for another 18 months or so. Long enough for my girly girl to finish up high school. Which is my main concern at this point. Keeping the kids as relatively stable as possible.

So on this new journey of mine, bankruptcy (which I still owe $1000 on to complete the filing…word to the wise, don’t wait until you have $0 to file bankruptcy…you need some money to do it), single income, two kids to support, 11 year old car that is rusting out faster than I can duck tape it together, living day to day is the only way we can go. Make it through one day at a time. I find my paychecks disappearing faster and faster. And the days leading up to the 15th and the 30th are becoming more and more of a challenge as I juggle whether to get half a tank of gas to get to work or feed the kids.

This week was no different. We were scraping change together and I was really counting down the days until Friday. Payday couldn’t come soon enough. I had activity fees to pay for the schools, trying to make up a down payment for girly girl’s choir trip in the fall, graduation fees, utility bills I am behind on, the list just goes on and on. But today, the 15th, I could finally get a bit more caught up and have some breathing room.

Instead, when I went in to work this morning at the day job, I received an email saying our payroll would not be direct deposited today. There was a snafoo with the payroll and it didn’t get approved and wouldn’t be going out until Monday. I lost it. I was already overdrawn on my checking account, my daughter’s account had a whole .10 cents in it, and I had just written $75 worth of checks to my son’s school the night before in anticipation of my pay check being there today. Now what was I going to do? I had $1 in my wallet, a few coins in my car, and less than 1/8 tank of gas. It might get my back home, but today I had to pick up my son at track practice, pick up the girl, take girl for something for dinner on the way back to school for a dinner theater play that the boy and I were supposed to go to.

When I found out we wouldn’t have a paycheck until Monday, I lost it. I felt really bad about it too, but I just sobbed. I went outside and sat on the steps and sobbed. I didn’t know what I was going to do. How was I going to make it through today and what was I going to do this weekend? I had to drive my daughter to school again on Saturday and go to a neighboring town for her state choir competition. And I was supposed to be out at the schools today for the day job delivering some equipment. That was not going to happen now that I didn’t have any gas, and had no money and no paycheck to get any.

I went back inside, closed my door, and had another good cry. Took some aspirin, and got back to work. We did end up getting paper checks in the afternoon, but alas, I was not able to get any cash from the check since my account was overdrawn. Great. Weekend with no money and no prospects of cash until Wednesday now when the check clears. It was just going from bad to worse. From the bank I went to pick up my son at school. And my daughter from the old house to take to get a burger before her play. Between my $1 and my son’s $1 we got the girly a McDonald’s burger and deposited her at school.

Then my son and I set out to figure out how we were going to get some cash and some food. Tried the ATM with my business account, but no go. No cash. So we went on to Arby’s to see if we could get some food. I was really nervous ordering food not knowing if we were going to be able to pay for it. I did have a gift card that I received the day before as back payment for some work I did the last couple years taking pictures at some school dances. But it was a Visa gift card and I know those have issues when being used for gas or food – the two things, the only things, really, that we needed. So we ordered food and waited anxiously as the manager swiped the card multiple times.

Success! We were able to get dinner. (And I was super hungry since I didn’t have lunch today!) Yea for food! I relished every bite. From there we went to the school to see if we could get tickets to my daughter’s play. And that would be a big negative. Cash only, and cash, it seems is the one thing we can’t get. So unfortunately, we were turned away from the play. But in the meantime, my son and I did some window shopping and played games on our phones. We have a great time together and he really makes me laugh. He made me feel much better. We just have to remember that being broke is a temporary situation.

I spend so much time worrying that I am a disappointment to everyone. So worried that my kids will be disappointed for the things we lack. For constantly scraping for what we have. For boiling chickens instead of roasting them (did you miss those Facebook comments? 52 of them…). But I am continually amazed at the resilience of my kids. And how much we pull together. They make me feel so much better.

So my resolution to tonight is that we made it through. And we had a good night. Even after my day of worry and sobbing. Even though I wasn’t able to get any cash and we missed the play. We are all together. We are loved. And I know others care about us. When I got home tonight a friend took me to fill up my gas tank and make sure I had gas to take the girl to competition tomorrow and make it through the week until my paycheck clears. And this friend gave me cash too. To make sure we’d be okay. And we will be.

We will be.

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