Sunday, April 24, 2011

Paying the Price

I have been so worried about money.  I cannot even tell you how worried about it I've been.  I must dream about it at night because I have been grinding my teeth so hard, I have aggravated a bad tooth and have a horrible toothache as a result.  But, of course, that just makes me worry more, since only one of us is working, and we don't have health insurance as a result (ironic for a woman who supported health care reform).  But, moving across country is one level of pain, maintaining two households is another.  I cringe when I walk out to the mailbox everyday, wondering which utility is going to be in there for me today.  Greg is down there in Texas spending money to update that house to put on the market, I'm up here trying to fix this house after more than a year of being vacant for one and being decorated by an older woman with a clear love for floral for two, and we're burning through cash like we've got not only a money tree but an entire orchard out back somewhere.

My stockbroker was shocked when we reviewed my finances the other day.  I know she thinks I am nuts to have done this to myself.  I tried to explain to her that I wasn't getting any younger; if I was ever going to pull a trigger and make a dramatic move, it had to pretty much be now.  But, she's right, I know, financially, there really wasn't much more of an idiotic decision that could be made.  Of course, I realized yesterday, as I obsessed over this expense and that one, trying to scheme a way to pay the deposit to put myself on the Penguins season ticket waiting list, all of this that we have spent is less than a month of residential treatment would have been for Kelsey.  And, in calculating the cost of trying to find some peace of mind, isn't just about any amount of money worth it?

Plus, I know my job in the family is to be the worrier.  I've always worried about money.  I figure somebody has to, or we wouldn't have any.  I'm not starving, neither are Greg nor Marissa.  I can take it down a notch probably, but it is just not really my nature.  And, at the end of the day, after I painfully queue up all the bills to be paid and try to budget for the next round, when I ask myself if I regret the decision to come here, the answer is no.  I would do it all again.  I just wish I could tell my subconscious that so I could relax my jaw.

Yet, the real cost of my moving, as it turns out, has nothing to do with the green I burn, and I am not the one who pays it.  It's the people I should be present for back in my old world and am not.  It's a steep one too.

I knew when I left that I was leaving some people behind that were in the process of or on the threshold of going through some major life changing events.  One of my dearest friends had a family member struggling with cancer, and she knew the long-term prognosis wasn't good.  I just hoped, as I pulled out of town, that things would stabilize enough that they wouldn't have to face the inevitable for a while, and when it did finally come, I could come back there for her.  That, alas, was not the case.  My friend lost her family member this past week after a trying, horrible last few days.  On Monday she takes one of her dogs, who is violently ill, to the vet, and I could tell she's not too optimistic about the outcome.  I should be there for her.  I can call her, text her, email back and forth, but sometimes, at the end of the day, you just need a big hug and someone to look you in the eye and say, "It's okay if you cry.  You can do it on my shoulder."  Yet here I am, 1,400 miles away, and it's not even remotely possible that I could fly back to be with her.

Early this morning, I had a horrible dream where I was trying to cover up two separate capital crimes, the whole time trying to justify to myself that I wasn't a horrible person because there were reasons for what I did.  Right before my mind cut me some slack and let me wake up to the happy reality that this was, thankfully, just a dream, Dream Me came to the realization that no amount of rationalization could change the fact that I was just flat out guilty.  As guilty as sin.  As I walked Cheyenne around the block in the quiet of the Easter morning, I tried to shake it off and wondered what in the world my brain was trying to work out with that one!  Then it hit me.  I feel a pervasive guilt at letting my friend down.  Should I?  I don't know.  Can it be wrong to try and start again, out from the shadow of The Beast who engulfed us all?  But can it be okay to walk away from people who rely on you in the process?  What I do know is I probably ought to stop watching Law and Order right before I go to sleep.

Eventually, there will be other situations like my friend's.  At my age, many of us have aging parents.  Some of us are beginning to develop health problems of our own.  And, as I have learned all too well, things just happen in life that none of us can predict, and some of them are horrific.  There will be other times where people I know and love will want me there, and I will be here.  All I can say is I love you all, and will support you as well as I can from wherever I am.  I can only hope that will be enough.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle says I need to stop worrying about money so much, let you be the worrier that you have given yourself the title of, and, ironically (for the order of this post, anyway) she says I need to "realize that [I] am worth the money for food." Irony: "I've always worried about money. I figure somebody has to, or we wouldn't have any. I'm not starving, neither are Greg nor Marissa." ha. ha. ha.....?