Sometimes the truth has to wait

As a parent, I would never lie to my children.  It is important not to do that, and it teaches them a valuable life lesson – in my opinion.   However, there is an agreeable difference when it comes to divorce as there are some details that you have to swallow as an adult.

Some questions are easy to answer, an example from my daughter “why do adults get married if they only divorce?”.  This is a perfectly acceptable question from a child who has watched her parents spilt up.  It’s a tricky one, answered with cliché answers of “sometimes adults just fall out of love, but we still love you very much”

And there is my issue, you simply cannot answer truthfully can you?  “Sorry darling, but mummy was naughty and decided she didn’t want us to be a family”.  And why can’t you answer this way?  Well, quite simply, because children have a perfect view of the world so I am forced to swallow the truth and anger and reply in the most mature way I can.

That’s life isn’t it, you protect the children and their innocence.  When it comes to an affair, one adult must always maintain a safe supportive demeaner, whilst the other one waltzes around stating bizarre sentences which only confuse the children.  One classic from my ex is:

“mummy and daddy will always love each other, but mummy loves someone else more”.

Brilliant, and I am trying to refrain from sarcasm in my blog, but it is obvious that all questions should be put through me for filtering!

One day, the children will be old enough to demand the answers and they shall receive them.  Despite what my ex put me through I will never slate her, as she is their mother.  But rest assured, the anger I have for everything will never rest.  The kids will then make their own balanced decisions, and I can rest easy knowing I did nothing to influence this.

Tricky being an adult isn’t it?

Sometimes doing the right thing may not be the right thing

Today was an odd day, odd that someone asked me a direct question that nobody has asked me before.  Although I have asked myself the question many many times.  What is the question?  well it is this:

“why didn’t you go bankrupt and start again?”

well, let me explain.  I wanted to pay back the tax debt, and I mean the whole lot, the whole 100K.  A ridiculous as it sounds, it was pride.  I wanted to do the right thing despite not a lot of the tax debt being my own fault (see other posts), and I was confident I could do it.  I didn’t count on how difficult the HMRC would be, or the amount of additional fines.

Anyway, that has been discussed many times.  The point is though, why didn’t I go bankrupt, it wipes all your debt and you have a clean sheet.  But, it comes with a lot of disadvantages too.  I was earning really good money so I went for the repayment option, and it has gone reasonably well, until now of course.

Only now do I regret the decision, not completely, but enough to wonder why I didn’t follow the logical exercise.  The thing is that thousands of people go bust, or become insolvent.  I didn’t want to be a statistic, but ironically I have become one in that I am now one of the millions in debt.

Interestingly, I have seen a few articles in the newspapers recently whereby people who earn 100K a year can’t survive.  People scoff, but I can totally relate to that.  In effect, the more you earn when self employed, the more tax you pay so you are always behind.  So my plan for continual payment plans was flawed from the outset.

It depends on what type of person you are, whether you can hold your hands up and say “that’s it, I’ve had enough, take it all” and begin the clean slate.  Or, like me, you constantly find ways to pay things back or maintain your game face.  In effect, your pride stops you looking like a failure.

But, I’m not a failure yet.  Yet, being the key word here.  I definetly believe in what comes around, goes around.  I figure I have actively paid back an enormous amount of money and have done everything possible to achieve that, so I must be due a break soon?

We shall see, was the decision the right one or not?  Only time will tell, but the time is running out.

If I fail anyway, I hope I maintain my pride.

a week of being thrifty

I would have loved to have done this experiment by choice, but sadly it was out of necessity.  As you all know, my readers, money is very tight right now.  So I am trying to find multiple ways to get round this problem.

This week I formulated a plan to see how little I could actually spend in a week, and what I could cut out.  Don’t get me wrong, I have cut back on a lot already, but this was a little extra.

The key is lunch, don’t eat one!   Or…don’t take your wallet!  I’m not joking…if you eat a decent breakfast and drink a few pints of water you can last.  Also, if you buy a pack of 6 apples and 6 bananas from your local supermarket then that is your lunch for the week.  I also declined the lunch visits to the local village with work colleagues where pastry shops live!

Dinners are easy, I spend a lot of time on the web entering various competitions but this time I spent time looking at local shopping deals.  Being as all the major supermarkets are within 5 minutes driving distance from my home this made sense.  I managed to get a week’s worth of shopping for myself and the kids for twenty pounds.  Never underestimate the power of looking up voucher codes, or 2 for 1 offers.  They save you a fortune.

I also have a bike, and I have used it a fair bit.  Saves on driving.  The bike also adds to my chin up bar, push up bars and swiss ball.   This means I cancelled the gym membership too, as I only really used it for heavy weights, running machine and to sob gently in the steam room where nobody could see me!

I detest being in this position at my age but needs must.  As I live on my own, it only matters that the kids have healthy, good food to eat and the bills are paid.   Which they are.

Even the usual threatening letter from the HMRC yesterday didn’t make me break into a nervous sweat, as it threatened me with a debt collector.  This is no bad thing as they phone you anyway and you can negotiate a payment.  Again that is thrifty, why you ask?  Well, the HMRC won’t put me on a payment plan so they pass the debt to a debt collection agency.  But, that afore mentioned agency are happy to accept a payment plan as long as they get the money.  How ironic eh?  The irony being that if you flip the HMRC the bird and ignore the letter, you get a better deal.  That is only for fines of course, not major debt.

So, not a bad week, still got money in my wallet which is very rare nowadays.

lost a bit of weight too..not sure if that is the lack of food or stress!

travel time means thinking time

Had a couple of meetings to attend this week, nothing unusual about that.  I tend to get out of my city a couple of times a week, but the last couple of days have been an utter nightmare.

Yesterday was London, went well to I looked for my train home.  All cancelled, brilliant, thanks so much.  Cue a long awkward journey to alternate stations and a home time of 9pm.

Today, a whole day driving to Manchester then back, home time 8pm

But, normally I would be cheesed off but I have to be honest, it gave me a lot of thinking time.  Recently, this has been a bad thing, for very obvious reasons.  But, when you are on your own with literally nowhere to go but home, all you have is time.  Time to think, time to reflect.

From time to time, I think you need a change of scenario to do your thinking.  In bed, normally bad things.  On your sofa on your own, also mainly bad things.  When I say bad things, I mean things that are going on in your life.  But put yourself on a train with thousands of people, or in a car for 8 hours and you can logically think of other things and try to find alternate solutions.

I also people watch, looking at individuals and wonder what their lives are like.   It actually helps, you see other people looking sad or bored.  I notice no wedding ring on people older than me, listen to their inappropriate conversations, watch them stare out of car or train windows.

What is does is make me not want to be that person.  It is why I am striving to pay off this debt, rather than go the easy way and take bankruptcy.  It’s probably not great to take other people’s sorrow as a baseline for your own, but as a catalyst, it certainly worked for me this week.

Not that it improves my situation, it just gives me a bit more strength to deal with it.