“We owe five-thousand dollars,” my husband whispered. I clenched my teeth, and stared stupidly.
“But how?” I squeaked.
“We made too much money this year, got bumped up to a higher tax bracket.”
“But….” my voice trailed off.
Mentally, I protested.
“But, we don’t have five thousand dollars.”
“But, don’t they understand how much we pay in student loans every month?”
“But, we’re relocating in a month, and I won’t have a job..”
“How are we going to pay for this?”
“Are you sure the accountant calculated the taxes correctly?”
My chest felt heavy. My temples throbbed.
This was certainly not the first time life had clotheslined my husband and I in the chest. In the almost five years we’ve been married, we’ve dealt with our share of financial hardships, serious medical conditions, a maternity leave fiasco, a very, very difficult first year with our daughter, death in our family, heinous work commutes, and challenges at the office.
I grew up feeling sorry for myself when anything negative happened to me. It wasn’t until after my husband and I married that I began to “pick myself up by my bootstraps,” and deal with unfortunate situations head-on. “What can be done to make the situation better?”, I would ask myself. The psychologist in me always examined each situation for the positive. Usually, there is a little light in even the darkest of corners.
But when life repeatedly knocks you down, it becomes more difficult to get back on your feet. At times, I’ve wondered when my family and I will get a break. I’ve wondered what we did to deserve the difficulties we’ve experienced. I’ve wondered why life is so unfair.
Intellectually, I know that s**t just happens. I’ve learned that life isn’t fair; the world doesn’t owe me anything. If I want to better my situation, I have to fix it. I can’t wait for it to fix itself. Ruminating, questioning everything, and complaining will only serve to keep me down. So, I will smile, decide what I can do to ameliorate the situation, and press on. I want to make my husband proud, and show my daughter how to deal with upsets.
As a kind, smart, fellow blogger told me, even if I fall apart, the world will not.
Life will go on.
And so will I.