These past few weeks, happiness has felt like trying to catch a salmon as it leaps and darts upstream. It’s shimmering and elusive, constantly slipping out of my hands.
Worry keeps sleep at bay. I wake weary, daunted by the prospect of fishing all over again.
I feel ashamed of my struggle. I have friends battling major health issues, failing to find work, recovering from losing loved ones.
And then there are those like my brave friend Corrine, who has written about her mental health issues and how she feels she’s failed again.
It’s particularly chastening when my last blog post was a ra-ra “I’m happy 95% of the time” manifesto.
People have been so kind over the past few days – inviting me to lunch, inviting me to dinner, inviting me to their birthday party, inviting me to drinks, inviting me to cool off in their lovely pool.
I tried to banish the “resting sad face” and do my social tap dance, but there were moments when I sat at the lunch/dinner/party/drinks/pool and felt desperate exhaustion welling up inside me.
I talked to a single mum friend on Saturday about how tired we both feel. Physically, emotionally, mentally. So many bills, decisions and battles to fight on our own.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
I spent decades getting all my ducks in a row.
My mortgage was getting smaller, my kids were getting bigger.
I was poised to enjoy the easier years.
Then my husband left and the ducks were shotgunned.
But I am resilient – I started putting new ducks in a row.
The past two years have been bloody wonderful – so many awesome memories made with DD. But I’ve been living like it’s the easier years and it’s not. I’m a single mum earning a third of what I once did.
And now it’s crunch time. I need to face reality and get my shit together.
Step one: file tax return. Step two: ditch rip-off mobile phone plan. Step three: get financial settlement from ex. Step four: eat less rubbish. Step five: drink less booze. Step six: pop lots of evening primrose oil. Step seven: live within means (actually, maybe that should be step one).
Meanwhile, there ARE joyous moments – like checking out my spunky boyf’s shapely calves at sunset after we’ve been for a dip in the sea …
Now there’s a catch of the day.
Song of the day: Vance Joy “Mess is mine”