I have just been chastised by my very young but very wise daughter. While I'm lamenting the fact that I have no money, can't afford to go out, my sister doesn't understand me, my brother is selfish . . . she has laid it on the line. "You just have to get up, tell people how you feel and make the effort to go out and meet people. It might not be the first person you meet but they might know someone who knows someone and then you have a new circle of friends". She's right.
I am a homebody. I have a small but tight circle of friends - three or four here in Australia and a few overseas whom I've only ever visited once or twice. I should go to the pub on Friday's, they're a good crowd and only two of them know that I'm wearing the same gear I wear to work. They meet, have a couple of drinks then go somewhere for dinner, usually cheap ish. Vietnamese, Chinese or Italian . . . I should rekindle relationships with my far flung but valued friends. And most of all, I should tell my friends and family how I really fee and what my circumstances really are, in no uncertain terms. Hard to do without sounding like a pathetic whinger but they need to know.
I am expert in providing advice to others. My life experience has equipped me well to advise the young and inexperienced but when it comes to advice for myself - hopeless.
Apparently, I'm like a high maintenance girlfriend who intimates and expects her boyfriend to totally understand the hints instead of laying it on the line. I expect that when I tell my sister that I can't afford to go out to dinner, she will believe me . . . but she doesn't because everyone says "I can't afford it". I expect when she looks in my treat-free pantry that she'll understand we live on staples not Tim Tams . . . but she doesn't. I expect that when I ask the farrier not to bank the cheque until next week that she'll get an inkling that I'm on subsistance until payday but she doesn't. When I say I haven't bought a new pair of shoes in 2 years, she simply doesn't believe it. Why am I so financially challenged. Half my income goes on insurance, Income Protection, Trauma, Life, Health . . mainly to service my debts in the event I can't work and because in the past I've had two children to support and need to ensure they're financially secure if something happens to me but now that's not so much the case. The balance of my pretty good salary by the way, goes on normal deductions, rates, electricity, phone, food, car and of course a bottle of champagne each night (Not real champagne but cheap Australian sparkling at about $6.00 a bottle - even the local liquor store gives me a discount because I'm regular.) And of course there's the fags. $12 a packet. I simply can't afford it but addition is a hard thing to break. I probably spend about $500 a month on cancer sticks alone. That's about 25 Thai dinners!.
I am in the fortunate/unfortunate position of having quite wealthy friends. It's nothing for them to spend a week at the National Golf Course or swan up to the Sunshine Coast for someone's wedding or 21st or a trip to Melbourne to take advantage of the fabulous shops or go skiing in Japan or holidaying in Italy, visit the French Open or even eat out two or three times a week and I've felt the necessity to compete. Since I can't, I choose to stay home and save myself the embarrassment of scrounging coinage.
Clare is pretty financially independent, Adam is still at Uni but has potential. (I'm still paying his car insurance because he doesn't seem to think that a week's community service is a problem if he can't pay for repairs when he runs into a Mercedes). So it really is time to start looking after me. It's tough, I'm not a push over, in fact I'm pretty assertive but when it comes to my own needs, I'm a pussycat. Thanks ClareBear . . . you're the only one who can tell me off with love in your voice, I appreciate it. I am prepared to change things. Slackers of the world unit - Tomorrow