My last post was about the conflict I feel between trying to live in and focus on the present. In early widowhood, I suppose I focused too much on the past and what I lost. These days, mostly because of financial pressures, I seem to be more focused on the future. Every month is a struggle with juggling the bills and there is nothing left for security or even a fast food meal out. If I get a flat tire or need a car repair I'll be out of luck because there isn't anything there for emergencies. I am so depleted living this way. Yet hope is on the horizon. If I can just hang in there by early spring I can make the plans to move from this area. Currently, I pay more than half of my monthly income on rent and utilities. Moving to a lower-cost part of the state will help my life enormously.
So, I look toward the future, when I can breathe a little easier every month and my mind isn't consumed on how to pay all my bills without overdrawing my bank account. What I most hope for, is the ability to help my boys with their college expenses and to live simply within my means. I'm like most people out there I think. I enjoy nice things and would like a few luxuries in my life along with a cart of fresh groceries and being able to afford new clothes for my sons. I do look forward to ending these days of Goodwill clothing, lack of Christmas/Birthday gifts, and a $50.00 weekly food budget.
How can one embrace a life when one is struggling or hurting or in pain? I know there are many out there counting pennies and worried about affording next week's groceries or utility bill. I'm not the only one. I realize that. But I am struggling with how to live fully and with passion when it all just sucks right now. All the platitudes that tell us to live for the now. But how can you do that when the now is difficult? I need help, ideas, a plan of action or cheat sheet. Don't just tell me to do something without telling me how to accomplish it.
The other night, after blogging I did my daily reading before bedtime. I needed a new book and chose one from my collection of yard sale/used book sale pile, the "Last Chance Saloon" by Marian Keyes. Many times when I am searching for guidance or an answer, I'll find a response in a book. It was funny and I laughed when I read the the beginning saying which is as follows:
"For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision:
But today well lived
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day."
I am reminded of those who advise the dieting to not focus on the future when the weight is lost because people assume weight loss will lead to instant happiness. Acceptance and living each day fully is recommended. And I've read about embracing our circumstances for whatever they may be, e.g., even during tough times to not shy or hide from them.
I don't know, after this post I'm still not clear about all this. I don't think it is easy for humans to embrace hardship without fortitude and resolve. Maybe embracing it with open arms and acceptance might not always be possible. Maybe just getting through it in one piece is enough. There is also the factor of widowhood and being alone/handling all this crap solo that plays a part too. It is a part of the mix - having someone to lean on physically and emotionally might not make a stew appear magically on the stove, but might boost morale and provide the strength to get through another day.