So far, 2013 has been a year of introspection.
Yes. I realize it's only day 11. Still. Introspection. Work with me here, people.
On Sunday night while putting away clothes in my cramped closet, I felt a pang of disappointment, regret, and loss. It was, on the surface, for my old closet in my old home -a walk in with more room than I needed.
I stared at my tightly packed clothes and thought to myself, "It will be years before I can afford a house big enough for a bigger closet."
The thought was utterly demoralizing.
I plopped on the bed located less than two feet from the closet door and thought, sadly, of how far behind I am, how far from my goals I am, how very far I am from a three bedroom, two bath house, from an Airstream, from exotic vacations.
I wallowed for a few minutes.
Then something formed in the back of my mind; a little thought bubble that burst with an awareness and perspective that expanded until I couldn't ignore it.
No. I don't own the house. But it's mine. My home, my clothes, my bed, my furniture, my garden, my chickens, my small appliances, my large appliances. Everything in my home is mine.
Granted, when Chad moved out, he didn't take much - some pictures, his clothes, some furniture. He left behind the washer and dryer. He left behind the bookcases and TV. He left behind our bed and took the spare. He left behind a garage full of things I need to deal with, to sell.
Still, it's been nearly two years. Two. Years.
A lifetime and yesterday.
And in those two years, I've done what I needed to support the kids and myself. I got a better job, a job that allows me the money to provide birthday parties and Christmas gifts and food. I make enough between my freelance writing and "real" job that I don't worry about paying the bills and I don't need to ask Chad for money.
I should be proud of myself.
I am proud of myself.
I don't want to detract from the support I get. My friends and family are, beyond a doubt, amazing. Chad is an involved parent and the kids have involved grandparents without whom they wouldn't be able to take gymnastics or be in soccer or have swimming lessons.
Still, for the most part, I've done it on my own. Chad contributes what he can. Sometimes it's more than I make with my freelance writing. Sometimes it's less. A few times it's been nothing.
Stop! He's not a deadbeat dad. He's very involved in the kids' day to day life and we're getting a solid handle on this co-parenting thing, but financially he's not able to support us.
So I've learned to stand on my own two feet and support the kids and I. I make my car payments on a fuel efficient car. I provide them with medical insurance. I pay my portion of the daycare bills. I buy most of their clothes and new shoes and socks and underwear and birthday gifts for their friends. And I try to save a little for vacations and trips.
Some days, I get angry and frustrated about it all, about how much has fallen on my shoulders. But, sitting on the bed Sunday evening, I realized it's not something to cause anger. It's something to cause pride.
I don't need someone to take care of me.
I'm doing just fine on my own, thank you very much.
16 hours ago