January 28, 2009
Grumpy for a Reason
I know these are hard time financially. I know the holidays messed up some pay schedules. I also know that being a freelance tech writer and an RPG/fiction author means that money coming in is slow and unpredictable for the most part. I know all this. Logically, I know it will be OK. Emotionally, I am fairly unhappy at my current financial predicament.
Every client I had from November through now owes me money except for one (Thanks, Richard!). That is a not-insignificant amount of money for me. Especially since I have a pretty stable set of bills and a limited budget. The big one already has my editor looking into it and he will make sure I get paid eventually. For that, I'm grateful. However, that doesn't help me or my bank account right now.
What this means is that I've had to turn to my husband for help to pay one of the bills I take care of and that just pushed all my buttons in the worst way possible. I feel like a failure. I feel like I don't know how to handle my money and I feel like I 'should know better.' I am aware that all of these bad feelings are panic related from my past – poor as a child and having to dig my way out of some serious debt after school/failed business venture. I am aware that I'm not a bad person and it will be ok but right now, I feel awful.
Our household budget is good. We know exactly where we would cut if we needed to. But we don't. We aren't in dire straits or anything. I'm just in an unfortunately timed position. But it is making me grumpy, edgy and not feeling good. All I can do now is work on my paying work, not to spend any unnecessary money and to hold on. It could be much worse.
What worse is that I feeling vaguely resentful at the world. I have "mad money" to spend but I won't even buy myself a pair of earrings that have caught my fancy because I'm afraid of:
1. Looking irresponsible.
2. Needing that money for something important.
3. My husband chiding me for buying something unneeded when I just asked for help on a bill.
What's worse is that I have a certain level of guilt based on the fact that it could be much-much worse. I have friends who are being forced to sell very dear possessions just to make rent. I know their problems are not my problems and that I shouldn't compare but I can't help it.
So, there's guilt, there's baggage, and there's repressed panic. Yeah. I have a reason to be grumpy. All I can do right now is hide from the world and focus on my "pays the bills" work, interspersing it between my RPG writing and editing to keep me sane. Somewhere in there, I need to get a couple short stories finished.
It will work out. I know it will. I'm just unhappy in the meantime.
To top it all off, I have a cold.