Last night I organized my Tax folder. It needed to be done, so I didn’t really feel a lot of stress about it. As I was getting started, M walked into the room and said, “Obviously nothing that I have done has been successful, so this is just a lesson in futility and has no meaning. I don’t want to force you to do it, so just drop it if you want to. If you have any suggestions about how we should live our lives I’m all ears.”
I wrote down the yearly totals on a notepad with plenty of space in between so that I can write in what bills I was paying each year, etc. Remembering where I was and what I was doing year by year has not been easy, but I’ve come to some very valuable conclusions: I made really good money when M and I lived apart. I had a lot of fun doing things that were important to me. I went places and had friends and fun, my creative juices were flowing and I was making all sorts of things. I never had thousands of dollars saved up against a Rainy Day, but I wasn’t stressed about it because my work was steady, rewarding and it paid well. I had no Great Crisis befall me, no disasters, no unexpected huge bills, injuries, or anything that couldn’t be handled as it came up.
I did not worry about next year because it seemed prudent to worry only about tomorrow or next week. Not borrowing trouble, ya know?
I was happy, even raising a teenaged son who was, quite frankly, a nightmare. I think it’s significant that I really want that life back.
I don’t think this little exercise is going the way M intended for it to go…
I finally made him admit that money is the only thing that makes him feel secure. He told the story again about how his grandparents lost a 160 acre farm because they couldn’t pay the property taxes and how that is his worst fear – having to leave his house and getting nothing out of it to live on. All these years I have been under the impression that they lost the farm when he was a child, that his whole extended family had been out on the street for a time and it was a huge emotional scar for him. Nope. Turns out his grandparents lost the farm during the Great Depression, more than 20 years before M was even born. He never saw the farm, his parents barely saw that farm. And he’s carrying this scar? How absurd is that? Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people lost everything during the depression. My family was no exception, but I’m not carrying any burden about it. Sure, you can draw parallels between then and now, but really?!?
This is all smoke and mirrors and stinking bullshit. What’s next?