The title of this blog is a fairly common saying. I’m not sure who’s saying it, though. Probably not a lot of very poor people. I understand there’s a lot of truth to it, and there are plenty of wealthy people who are miserable. Yes, money does not automatically equate to happiness. But try living without it, and see how happy you are.
There will always going to be those less fortunate than I, regardless of how rough my life might seem. I am not starving, I am not homeless and my children aren’t wasting away from something entirely curable. Great. No, sincerely, all of that is great. I am grateful not to be at the absolute bottom of the pit of despair. But still, the things I have lost are significant. A decent credit rating, savings, sleep, the certainty that things will eventually be okay… and last but certainly not least, some of my dignity.
I hate this. I hate being forced to go without things that matter. I hate that I can’t go visit my family – not even once a year – because the plane tickets alone are beyond our reach. I also hate having to miss out on live music most of the time. This probably seems silly to some given the rest of the list, but I know there are others who will get it. Live music is like air to me… when I go without it for too long, I start feeling miserable. I may not die from deprivation, but I’m far, far less happy. Sometimes I feel like I am only completely awake at a show, and when the show is over, and I know it will be ages before I can swing another one, I start getting depressed.
It’s my inability to afford a show that triggered this mood. This too shall pass, I guess. The truth is, by the time the show occurs (it’s a few months away) I am apt to have much graver concerns than having missed it. But still, it’s hard. I’m tired of missing out, and there is a lot I miss out on. You don’t stop and think about the fact that nearly everything costs money until you don’t have much of it. Then you become hyper-aware. Hanging out with friends costs money… the friend lives where? That’s how much in gas? Everyone’s going out to lunch, or worse, dinner? Yeah, can’t do it. Even children’s activitities often have cost. I hate that Avery has missed out on various things because I just don’t have $15 that day. It kills me.
I keep thinking there should be a point at which even bad luck should run out. Right now, ours feels bottomless. I try so hard not to feel sorry for myself. I try to save my sympathy for the kids, because they are the ones being impacted and it’s entirely beyond their control. Damn it. I try not to cry too much, because while yes, it offers release, it also leaves me feeling powerless. I spend too much time feeling that way as it is.
I wish I had nothing better to worry about on a Thursday afternoon than which old picture to put on Facebook. I want that to be my life. I want to be planning trips I can actually make happen, and getting excited about what’s ahead.
I can’t get there from here.