Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pleasure.

...when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt — this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.
-Elizabeth Gilbert

Today, I realized that I have very little pleasure in my life, and I haven't for a long time. I am in a financial mess because I'm waiting for my husband, the madman, to fix himself and get back to work. I've waited too long. It's time to start fixing my financial mess myself.

I have a lovely, artsy, freelance and fun job, but it's a job that just barely pays my bills. I get my paycheck, I pay my bills, and then the money is gone until the next paycheck. If he would work, then there'd be enough money for some joy in my life: some yoga classes, some nice meals out, a movie now and then, an expensive coffee, a new pair of shoes. Right now, there is nothing extra. He's not going to work. I'm going to have to find a new job.

I'd thought of having to get a new job before, but it felt like something I wasn't ready for yet. Today, it came to me with that pre-packaged, fully formed, fully processed feeling that means it's not my decision anymore. What praying I've been doing to try to figure out how I'm going to get out of my financial bind has worked: I'm going to start looking for another job. I'm going to find a job that will give me some paid time off, some health insurance, and all those other wonderful accoutrements of adulthood.

Even if I get a lame-ass job, a suit job with shitty hours and a shitty boss and all kind of shittiness, it will be a job that will pay my bills, and I'll stop dawdling in this desperate financial quagmire. I'll get myself back in control of my life, and I'll fix my house up a bit so that I can sell it in a few years, and then, I'll go back to school.

Something inside me feels pleased to have this plan. A plan is good, and it's my plan that has nothing to do with him. He's welcome to come along for the ride, I guess. Tonight, he's welcome to come along for the ride. I'm tired of spinning my wheels here, and I hope that making some moves will mean that there will be good things coming.

In doing my fourth step inventory, I've realized that one of my biggest character defects is impetuosity. I'm hoping that having a plan with a bit of scope...I'll get a lame grown-up job and keep it for a few years until I get my finances squared away and am able to sell my house, and then I'll go back to school...will keep me from suddenly deciding to become an astronaut or a ballerina or a lawyer or a flight attendant or any of the myriads of things I often scheme up when I'm feeling desperate and in need of an escape. I don't want to escape anymore. I want to change, but I want to change in a way that's lasting, permanent, and right. I want to grow, not just run away.

12 comments:

serenitynowdammit said...

You go, girl! Becoming totally self-reliant when it comes to $$ issues was an important piece to my own serenity. It's difficult to detach and concentrate on your own journey when you're distracted about how in the hell you're going to pay the damn electric bill! Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Get your basics in order, the rest will follow. Trust your HP that it's going to work out. Once I started trusting that $$ would be there, it WAS there.

Wayward Son said...

Bravo! Plans are great beginnings, I think. Especially if you decide to be an astronaut which is neither an impetuous decision nor something beyond your abilities (it would just require a plan).

And just because you might feel the need to rein in your impetuosity (which is my new favorite word), I hope you will not rid yourself of it completely. It may feel like a character flaw but when coupled with a plan, it's magic.

Mr. Junky can recover and you can still have the life you want and are entitled to—all at the same time. I am thinking it would be a good thing to show Mr. Junky how it's done so he can do it too.

What I have learned from reading your blog all this time is that life is up, then it's down, then it's up again and back down. No matter what, it never stays the same. Better for us to brace ourselves for happiness just like we try and brace ourselves for unhappiness. It's all just around the the next corner.

Jade said...

Your plan sounds wonderful. Sometimes a plan can mean the difference between giving up on everything and seeing your own beautiful future. Your plan is a means to assert your own worth, your own value, and your own individuality. I like that you've embraced this plan as your own expression of self; it's something you have that exists outside of your husband, outside of the problems you're both wrapped in. It is yours, through and through. And at the end of the day, if you ever feel like you have nothing left, you know that you have this goal as your very own and nobody can take it from you.

Strumpfkunst.de said...

Seriously, I love your plan.

You are not giving up on something, you are getting something that is essential... financial peace. Only when you are not stressed about the bare essentials can you concentrate on what is really important to you...

After years in the fast lane, I am currently looking for a simple 9-5 job that doesn't drain my energy. No more management, no more employees, no more weekends and nights spent working, being available 24/7 when needed. Possibly customer support - anything that ends when I go home at night.

I am giving up big bucks... and I am finally getting my life back.

Those are my essentials - as long as I can eat, take my ferrets to the vet when needed and pay my mortgage, I am happy.

You will be, too. I know it.

bella said...

Even if the plan takes drastic turns or changes all together, having a plan is a starting place. And then you can take it as it comes.
Being financially independent and stable sounds like a life giving pursuit. I wish you nothing but success. And some pleasure along the way.
As always, I'm riveted by your words and awed that you share your journey here with us.

beans said...

Hi - I surfed my way to your blog today when I was supposed to be working, and I spent quite a long time reading. I found a lot to think about, and a bit of inspiration as well. Thank you for sharing your words.

Polly Kahl said...

Remember the song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Don't Dream It, Be It.

Inmatez Wife said...

Your blog shows how much courage you do have, how you have the most patience of any woman I have ever read, and you have a wonderful love and understanding of the horrible nightmare your husband is in right now. With all of that, all you have been through, you can do this plan with one hand tied behind your back. I can just tell that much about you, you are a strong woman, strong enough to pull you both through this. It may not be fair that you have to do this, but again, it is what us wifes (and husbands for that matter) do when we are married to addicts. I am praying for you and for him. Stick to your plan, it will work out for the best. And hey, flight attendants fly for free!! Dont give that up either--LOL

longvowels said...

Yay! Plans for you sounds great. At least this part of your life, you can control it and do something about it. That way whatever you choose to do, you don't need to feel stuck.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I think a job that takes away some of the money anxiety may take away some of the resentment as well. I am going to e-mail you about the job thing...

Rae said...

Great inspiration here. I have realized in doing my own 4th step work that I'm a big baby that doesn't want to be treated like a baby. Learning to be responsible for myself and my own happiness is a slow process, but you sure hit a lot of nails on the head here. Good for you, and good for me for reading.

Jennifer said...

I hope you find a job that will provide you some feelings of security.