Over the last couple weeks, I took a break from all things financial. I got very tired of the news, all conflicting and all bad, and the cost overruns from our own 'Big Dig' - in which a new set of deck stairs became a new 2nd deck and backyard setup.
Don't misunderstand, I'm proud of my husband and what he's doing, it's just a little overwhelming, what with the unemployment situation. But this is something he needs to do - a little backyard construction, a little internal construction. I think it's good for him.
Still, I got weary of working and re-working the budget to try and get our outgo down to just my income. And the surprise expenses. It made my head hurt, and when that happens, it's time to just take a break. Besides, I was adding to the MoneyPenny deficit, as my daughter conveniently chose the last week or so to have a growth spurt and outgrow her shoes, a good chunk of her clothes, and I prepared to equip her for fall.
Sometimes it's nice just to not pay attention for a while. Laser-like focus on certain things is great, but it gets tiresome after a while. And I had a few life-related things to work on, like an article for my employer, and cleaning up the house for our annual summer BBQ, which we, in my 'Oh, f-it' frame of mind, decided is still on.
This weekend, while my husband and brother in law were building things in my backyard, my daughter and I went up to Maine to spend the weekend with my inlaws. I'm blessed with the best inlaws in the universe. So I spent the weekend getting pampered and watching my daughter be doted on. It was like a mini-vacation. With no cooking, cleaning or errand-running responsibilities, I was able to simply enjoy my daughter. Her grandparents got to read to her, take her to the beach and enjoy her, and my husband got uninterrupted time to work on his projects.
Aside from gas and tolls, I spent a total of $6.35 on italian ice. Not bad for a weekend break.
I've blogged before about how I feel the occasional bout of escapism is good. Sometimes the best work on something is done while doing something else, and that thing is on the back burner. It clears the mind, resets the body, and opens up possibilities. A bit like meditation, except that I have an issue sitting still for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm a champion fidgeter.
I'll tell you a not-so-secret secret: I like my husband being home. Were it not for the financial implications, I'd be happy to have him home forever. He and my daughter like it too.
So we've started looking for what I'm calling 'what's behind door #3' in our lives. In our current life, finances will make an otherwise good thing stressful. Chucking it all isn't a current option we're considering. So we're trying to find a 3rd path, one that gives us the sanity of a slower life, but without the financial limitations of the current situation.
No idea what that looks like. Maybe I should go back to the beach for a few more days?