“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 knocks you down repeatedly, 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.
5 thoughts on “When Life Knocks You Down”
Excellent post Kristi and I love how you are telling yourself to remain positive because “this too shall pass” and it is often something I forget in times of crisis as well. Financial stress is one of the worst things out there, it can knock you down and make you feel hopeless… but one day, you can also look back and admire how you made it through it too! You are setting a great example for your daughter!
Thank you, Monica. I concur- finances suck. Thank you for your vote of confidence. We’ll clear this hurdle, because, well, what other choice do we have? 🙂
Been there – complete with the $5000 tax bill (in fact, this year we owe almost $2000 on top of more than $2000 in surprise medical bills). The interesting thing I’ve found is that when you pick yourself up and keep on keeping on, things tend to happen that help take care of you. The year of the $5000 tax bill I ended up getting some great freelance projects that paid for it. And this year I should be able to cover our bills with freelance work, too. (Not sure if we’ll be able to swing the Disney trip for the family, but I’m hopeful that will work out, too, if I keep on keeping on.) I know others who’ve let life’s crappy surprises render them unable to function, and those people end up in bigger pits. I guess this is all to say you’re doing the right thing. Just keep your head up and keep moving forward and this will be in the rearview mirror soon! Hugs!
Thanks, Sara. It is comforting to know that others have been there, and made it to the other side just fine. My being pregnant certainly isn’t going to help me find work, but I’m confident my family and I will work something out.