Worrying about the future. That’s what I’ve been up to. This post is over a week old. I’ve been too scared to share it with you. It’s a post about worrying about the future and what that looks like. I couldn’t bring myself to hit the publish button. I thought you might think I was a big baby. A mardy scaredy pants. And then I remembered my promise to you -that I would always tell you the truth. And so here it is. My diary from ten mornings ago. Written at 7 am after having spent half the night lying awake worrying about the future. Worrying about our big adventure. To leave everything behind and travel the world for a year.
My Morning Diary to Show You What Fear Looks Like.
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I also wanted to share this post with you because now, ten days later, that same fear isn’t prominent and I feel entirely different. But I know it will come back. Of course, it will. I don’t think fear ever goes away. It just sits in the back seat sulking because it isn’t getting the attention it is demanding. Well, this one’s for you fear. Stick this in your big lying pipe and smoke it. I’m pressing publish…
10th October. A month before we give the house over to the family. Six weeks before we leave everything and go around the world. Five days until Brian walks away from his business that he has worked hard to build up for the past six years, and then, we are unemployed. Him and me.
Brian and me. I haven’t worked for the past nine years, so it doesn’t feel alien to me. And, I’ve always had that money pop into the bank account every single week. It has always been enough. Although some weeks are tighter than others because we go and buy a stupid juicer or a new hoover, but still, thankfully, there’s always been enough money.
And in 5 days? Nothing. And it was all my idea. And now I’m fr*gging terrified.
The Kind of Things That Have Me Worrying About The Future
What if we spend all our savings within the first six months? What if things are really expensive? We struggle saying no to the kids at the best of times, what if we get to wherever it is we are going (where are we even going?), and we need to spend loads of money to keep from going off our heads?
What if we spend the whole time arguing with each other? I can feel the tension building up already. I snap at the slightest thing at the moment, and so does Brian. On Saturday night, he turned the potatoes over that I was cooking, and I nearly bit his head off. Its funny now (sort of) not really, but it wasn’t on Saturday night. I could have smashed his face in. That’s not normal, is it?
I’m almost relieved when he goes out of the door at 7.45 every morning. At least then, there isn’t that tension and expectation from each of us. It gives us that space that we both need. Lucky for me, I can stay here in my lovely house that he’s made for us, but not him. He is going to work and dealing with all the added stress that’s going on at the moment. And that makes me feel guilty for wanting him to go.
I’m scared that after Friday, we will just sit there. Staring at each other. Neither able to go and do what we have been used to doing. Independently.
But you love it when you are together! Try and remember that, Liz. Holidays are the best. The café, emigrating, Whistler. All of those times when you’ve overcome so many problems together and worked as a team. They are the best. Don’t forget that. That’s when you are your strongest. Stop doubting yourself.
I’m just scared that we will each lose our independence. I’m worried that we will be joined at the hip and both hate it. I’m afraid that the kids won’t get on with their schoolwork and that people will blame me for homeschooling them and destroying their future. I’m worried that I won’t be able just to go and sit and browse google for 2 hours when I’m supposed to be doing something.
I’m worried about the future, and it hasn’t even happened yet. How pointless is that?
Worrying About Money
It’s the money. Everything we spend as from next Monday will no longer be replenished. When you’re earning and spending $300 on a rucksack, that seems ok. But how can I justify a haircut when we no longer have wages? And I don’t want to confess to Brian how worried I am because I’m the one who spouts off about how ‘money isn’t important and how ‘we’ll manage’. And we will. I know that. But now I’m scared.
Worrying About Renting Our House
One month until the renters come and take over our house for a year. I haven’t heard a thing from them in the past two weeks. What if they are thinking of pulling out? They won’t. They’ve signed a contract. Yes, but we haven’t got a deposit or anything. All this bloody rain is enough to send anyone back to England. Contract or no contract.
I can’t begin to think of all the jobs we have got to do before they move in. In a month. Brian reckons that when he finishes work (clench), he will spend every day getting things sorted. I don’t want to get to my mums in a state of frenzy. Close to a divorce, continually arguing. He wouldn’t even give me his opinion on whether or not Sonny could stay at that party all night. I had to phone Mum. Just because he was busy finishing the passport applications online and he couldn’t stop for 5 minutes to talk to me.
And there is so much to do I don’t know where to start. Is there any point in emptying the pantry? We are going to be here for another month. I’ve got to make a conscious effort to eat as cheaply as possible from now on. For God’s sake Liz. You’re not on the breadline. No. I know I’m not. But if we can save $100 on shopping bills every week for the next month, that’s $400. It pays our tickets into Disney land.
I’m worried about America. I think it’s going to cost a fortune. I’m concerned that because the kids have been there before, they will expect the same sort of experience. They are such good kids. They’ve said they don’t want anything fancy. They just want to see their Aunty and Uncle. But Tess did ask if we would be going to Universal Studios as well as Disney Land. I wonder if I can get a free ticket if I do a post for them?
I woke up and cried this morning. I read my China book and felt better. Learning about the terracotta army made me excited to see it for real. Just lately I wake up every morning with a feeling of enormous dread. I’m dreading leaving my bed. Brian’s back is playing up at the moment and I just can’t imagine going around the world, sleeping in shitty hard beds and him being unhappy. He never complains about his back, but of course, it affects his mood.
Worrying About The Future And The Kids
The kids have finally agreed that they are ok with sharing a bed if need be. How long is that going to last I wonder? Or will it even start? I can’t imagine them going in the same bedroom and chatting with each other, let alone getting into the same bed as one another. And then I picture these big arguments. With me, left shouting in the middle of it.
The kids. Not getting on and it not being this rosy perfect family trip that I’m expecting it to be. It’s not going to be perfect; it’s going to be an adventure. It’s going to be challenging. It’s going to be living.
Why did I instigate all of this?
Because you were all ready for a change Liz. Don’t forget that. Staying as you were would have been fine. Yes, things were passing happily along, but the years were just ticking by. And Brian was not happy in his job.He never saw the kids. What’s it all for then? That’s why you instigated it.
What if the renters pull out. Look. You are worrying about the future, and it hasn’t happened yet. You are inventing a future and then actually believing that future to be true. If the renters pull out, there’s nothing you can do about it. You will find someone else. You will put the rent down. If the worse comes to the very worse, it will cost you an extra $15,000 on top of your trip.
It’s getting worse.
One month to go before we leave the house and go and stay with Mum for a fortnight. Or maybe more. I don’t know; we haven’t even bought our tickets yet. Perhaps because Brian hasn’t signed on the dotted line to say that the business has been sold and he will get his money. I won’t feel comfortable about booking the tickets until the money goes into the bank.
So what will you do if it doesn’t go through then? It will.
Some days I am so excited and sure of myself. Last week when I’d cut my hair (far too expensive but worth it for the way it made me feel) I felt as though I could take on the world. Today I feel as though a couldn’t take on an ant.
Events that have caused me to feel worried about the future.
Is it any wonder that you are both feeling like this?
We’re selling the business; we’re not selling the business.
We’re selling the business but for nowhere near as much as we initially thought. We’re not selling the business.
We’re selling the business, and now we don’t give a shit what we get for it, just let Brian finish.
We are renting the house. The people who are renting the house have moved in temporarily up the road. They drive past our home every day. They see that the grass hasn’t been mowed and that there are too many wine bottles in the recycle. What if they pull out.
We are telling everyone we are going around the world. But we haven’t even booked one single ticket, and we are supposed to be leaving in 6 weeks time.
Kids, tell all your friends we are leaving! No, don’t tell them, we might not be going now. Yes, ok, you can mention it. No. Ok. Just say we ‘might be”.
I’m supposed to be this wonderous adventurer, and up until this morning, I thought the terracotta army was in America. Isn’t everything in America? Oh well. At least it should be cheaper to go and see if it’s not in America.
While I’m Worrying About The Future, What About Christmas?
What about Christmas? There’s no way we will be able to get presents for the kids, and that will be a first. Firstly, we can’t carry anything, and secondly, it’s not in our budget. People keep saying ‘They’re going on a trip of a lifetime, THAT’S their Christmas present!’ and I know that. Of course, I do. It’s just that for 16 years they’ve always had a pile of at least
50,000 seven or eight pressies. We are going to see Brian’s family, and we can’t wait. But let’s face it. If anyone celebrates Christmas big time, it’s the Americans. We are all so excited to be spending Christmas with our family in America, but I can’t help thinking we might resemble the brother in law when he turns up to visit Clarke in the Griswalds Christmas vacation.
Oh, I’ve just remembered how much I love that film. It’s the best Christmas film EVER. If you want to buy it you can do so by clicking the image. When you watch it, think of us when the clapped out RV turns up in Clarkes drive.
Ok, I’m going to go now. As you know, I do like to laugh at my own jokes. And I feel better for writing everything down. I highly recommend it. Verbalising your fears. It works wonders. By the way, a friend of mine wrote this post on what it looks like to hit the menopause. While we are on the subject change this is well worth a read.
Before I go, I want to recommend something to you. I am a big reader, but I am very particular about books that I read. I tend to find a handful of favourites and then read them over and over, and this book is one of those. If you find yourself worrying about the future, doubting yourself, wondering if the real you has been buried under the pile of washing and carrier bags, please, read this Book. It looks ancient from the cover, and it was written about thirty years ago (bloody hell, I sound like my teenager) BUT. Don’t let that put you off. Its written for women just like you and me. You only have to read a page a day (its written as a daily post) and so only takes you ten minutes max. I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think you’d love it. Let me know what you think.
Worrying about the future is pretty pointless. You are worrying about things that haven’t even happened. I’m making a stand, and I think that you should too. Tell fear to fr*g off. Tell it to sit in the back seat ’cause you’re driving today. Just say “You’re welcome to come along fear, but just sit in the back and let me do the navigating.”
You can do this Liz. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to give it a go. Otherwise, you will never know. If you run out of money, you come home. If you argue with Brian, you will say sorry. If the kids argue.
Bang their heads together talk it through like a sensible adult.
Up you get Girl. You’ve got this. Put your seatbelt on and let’s go on this journey.
Are you coming with me?
All these doubts and fears are perfectly normal my princess, Take a deep breath and relax, you are all going to have the experience of a lifetime and good times or bad you will be sharing them with the people you love most, and what fantastic memories you will be able to share for the rest of your life.xx
Ps.. I’m still not coming into the airport with you to say goodbye!!!
Thank you, Mum. We wouldn’t be normal if we didn’t have the occasional wobble, would we?!
I think you’re one of the most ballsy Mums I know Liz and you certainly take life’s opportunities when they come. Not many parents would be brave enough to travel the world with their kids but you’re going to create so many amazing memories and experiences that you and your kids would never experience doing the humdrum 9-5, here we go again day in day out, life that most of us feel we must abide to. I’m such a worrier but you’re inspiring me to try not to worry about the future. I’m trying oh so very hard! xx
Thank you so much for this comment Suzie. I try to be as brave I can but sometimes my quivering wreck twin sister raises her hand and says “Er… Excuse me? Can I just say something here?…”
You are an inspiration to me all in yourself Suzie and you are an incredibly talented writer xx Thanks again, Liz x