This time of year has always been really tough on me. It’s a combination of winding everything down, paying for gifts and all the other Christmas who-ha, my birthday (which is really more of a hassle than anything else, especially since the lovely state of Kentucky likes to make your car taxes and tags due on the last day of your birthday month. Happy birthday! pay taxes), stressing about money we don’t have, and wrapping up all the business stuff for both of our businesses. We usually spend almost the entire month of December looking forward to the next year and how much better IT will be because it must be better than this year. This year hasn’t been much different, in fact, this year has probably been the most stressful year we have had yet. From what I understand many people are in the same boat we are in. From hours being cut, surgeries (which kept me living at the hospital for almost 2 months), stepping down from my position at work, the wedding, kids, being pregnant with our fourth, dealing with breaking down and getting government aid, and adding this project on top of everything (which has really kept us sane), I don’t know how I haven’t completely imploded. Somehow I have survived. Not only have I survived, but this has been the best, most productive December in a VERY long time.
I have been losing a lot of sleep in the past two months. All of the stress of everything, mostly money, has kept me up from about 3-6 most every night. I pace the house, watch tv, blog, and work on the budget during that time. Oh, and have massive heartburn. It’s not pleasant and i wouldn’t wish this sort of insomnia on anyone.
About a month ago I wrote a list, i like lists, i tend to write a lot of them. This was a different list than I have written before. It was a “Things that keep me up at night and stress me out” list. I wrote down everything that I need to have resolved by the end of the year. This was the list:
Things that keep me up and night and stress me out:
- The divorce (my attourney sucks and has taken close to 2 years to finalize my very uncomplicated divorce)
- Get our marriage license (we NEED to file taxes as married next year)
- C’s job (either make more money or get a new one)
- file for partial unemployment
- SNAP benefits
- Fix baby girl’s insurance
As of Christmas eve EVERY SINGLE ONE of these things had been taken care of. I wrote a very nasty email to my attorney about how she had assured me multiple times that the divorce would be final by the end of the year and (at the time) there were only 16 days left, half of which were holidays and I needed to know what she planned on doing about it. I hate being stern with people, or threatening people, but sometimes you just have to grow a set and take care of it. Three days later the divorce went through. The following day we went and got our marriage license, and on Christmas eve the certified license arrived in the mail. C had a second interview on Christmas eve and got the job which is such a relief for the both of us. We received our SNAP benefits which allowed us to eat for this month. C applied for partial unemployment, which he only has to take advantage of for the month of December. Lastly I spent about an hour talking on the phone with 3 different people to fix baby girls insurance. She should be able to see the doctor again after the 1st of the year which is a HUGE relief for us.
Every time something got checked off the list we would joke about how it was a “Christmas Miracle!!”. I told C today that it was a God thing. I know that not everything is going to work out for us, in fact looking at our track record nothing should work out for us. When it does I give praise where I feel it is deserved. We also have to thank our friends and family that have helped us along the way too. We couldn’t have done it without them. We still have a really long journey ahead of us, but this gives me hope.
I know I have said this before but I’ll say it again, stress IS NOT healthy. A small amount of stress is healthy, we need it, but not the kind of stress that I was suffering from. Don’t let yourself go through this. Making that list of all the stressful things in my life has made a HUGE difference in my mental and physical well being. I think I am going to continue to do this. Make a list of the six things I need to have completed by the end of the month and work towards those. Please don’t let stress get to you like it got to me, figure out how to break your stress down and work on it piece by piece. We are told at work “eat an elephant one bite at a time”, and it works. it’s so much better to break things down instead of looking at the giant picture.
Also we currently have $700 saved towards our goal. I know it’s not quite our goal for this month but it’s better than $400, and based on how this month has gone I’LL TAKE IT!! Plus we have 5 days left, and 5 days is a long time.