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lundi 13 juillet 2009

Back from the...err...busy!

Hey guys! I'm back!

Did you miss me?!

No, seriously, these last few weeks have been crazy. Totally crazy. As in, shitloads of work (that's nothing new, I know, but really, I have been working my arse off these last few weeks...), lots of school stuff (preparing the end-of-year school fête (yes, I know, I get myself roped into far too much, but I enjoyed it and the fête was fun, and the kids had fun, and their "shows" were fantastic and oh, it was a good day!), preparing, printing, folding and distributing the school newspaper, going with C's class on their end-of-year trip to Beaucaire (a great day out, but really, really hot, and utterly exhausting - 3 classes of roughly 25 kids each, 3 teachers, 6 parents...), end-of-year parties and get-togethers in a whole range of utterly fabulous houses (so, you guessed, not at our place)...), lots of domestic stuff - our car died in March, we finally took the plunge and bought a new one in June, but we can't really afford it and D and I almost came to blows about his desire to also rent a closed garage. We have ended up doing it, but money is now so tight we can hardly breathe... - and, of course, the girls have been on holiday since last week.


So life has been busy, and I've been busy, and everything still kind of feels the same. I'm totally overwhelmed (soooo much to do tomorrow: shopping for our holidays (we leave on Thursday for 2 weeks in a rental place we can't really afford), shopping for D's birthday (45 on Wednesday, but I can't do anything on Tuesday because it's the National Holiday here and everything will be shut), work, laundry, sorting, invoicing, printing, phoning, wrapping.... gaaaahhhhh), and more broke than ever.

People help me: how is it possible for me to work more hours than is reasonable, to earn a pretty reasonable amount of money, to live a pretty modest life and yet, and yet... STILL be virtually destitute? Almost no savings (nothing worth mentioning, anyway), no extravagances, no expensive anythings (clothes bought cheap on sale, own-brand foods, no eating out, no "outings", no gadgets...), and overdrafts in all our accounts...

D hasn't helped. He had a big translation to do, and he did it, but of course he delivered it late, and the guy he did it for said there were "problems" with his translation (possibly true in some instances, but not in all) and he was pissed off it was so late, so that means it's yet another client D won't be working for again. Which basically leaves him with 2 clients, both of whom are highly infrequent in their requests. I'm at my wits' end. I so desperately want to help, to encourage him, but I've done all I can, I really have. Now, all I want is for him to start bringing in some cash, preferably quite a decent amount, and REGULARLY.

I'm so tired of being essentially the only breadwinner in this family. I feel like everything depends on me - our home, our food, our clothes, our bills, our holidays, everything. And the pressure is killing me. I'm exhausted, stressed beyond belief, depressed and obsessed about money. I check my accounts online obsessively, I calculate who owes me what and when their invoice is due to be paid, I dread bills arriving. Money is my master, and it's pitifully in control.

I'm dying to go on holiday, have 3 and a half weeks of NO WORK, knowing that at least 2 clients are going to be sending me work in August. But I'll spend our whole two weeks away stressing about how much we're spending, not relaxing. And my week's holiday at home stressed about not getting anything done (no progress on the home improvement front), screeching at the girls and freaking out about money.

That said, I'm really, really hoping to do my thalassotherapy day at Hélianthal in St Jean de Luz... if you don't know it, go check it out - it's my idea of heaven!

Other than that, my little girls have made me so proud! C came joint top of her class with a score (in a national test) of 90%, her teacher really liked her, she had a fun year, I've been promised that she won't be in the same class as the Monster, A, and she's excited about next year already. As for L, she got a glowing report too, has made lots of friends, will be going into her last year of kindergarten and can already almost read (here in France, children aren't expected to learn to read until their first year of primary, so the fact that she's already almost there means she's essentially 18 months ahead of schedule) and C is teaching her joined up writing... She's in great shape, had a fun year and is also excited about next year.

They are such bright little things, and they're getting so big. I'm a terrible, mean, snarly, screechy, impatient Maman to them, but I love them so much, I'm so proud of them, and I tell them so all the time. I just hope they can get past the terrible, mean, snarly, screechy, impatient part and remember the fun times.

I'm sorry, this is really disjointed, with the longest sentences in history (and more brackets than is healthy), but I've been away a while, and there's a lot to say...

I hope you're all having a great summer!

I'll be away (as I've said) from the end of this week till the very beginning of August, but I won't be away from here for 2 months again, promise!