Monday, February 20, 2017

So much going on in my head

I am feeling scattered and unfocused. Yesterday, I was super grumpy.

Today I feel bloated and "ugh".

I sure hope it's my period coming, as I haven't had one since....I can't remember when. Honestly. I think around Christmas time, but I am not sure. It could have been even before that? So is this now the start of menopause for me...? I do feel like my hormones are changing. I can just feel my body is becoming different now. In subtle ways. But the changes are there. Oh well, maybe the period will come.

I STILL have this thrush tongue even though I have now taken, including today, three anti-fungal tablets. I am going crazy with this. It's getting me down. It just makes me feel yukky.

I am now avoiding sugar like the plague. The thing is, the thrush - Candida - does seem to make me crave sugar more. I am thinking about sweet things A LOT - my usual mental fight - but I am trying not to give in.

I wonder if sweeteners also contribute to thrush at all? I have been having quite a bit of sweeteners lately - after giving them up so well before - because on a hot summers day (and it has been HOT AS HELL lately) there is nothing better than something icy cold to drink - like a cool drink of some sort, (Woolies sugar-free drinks) or I make coffee/chocolate frappes in my Nutribullet, but they need some sweetness to not taste gross. I haven't actually had much real sugar, but it was Valentines not long ago, and my darling "husband" (ex) bought me roses and chocolates. I have been trying to restrict the chocolates (they are dark Lindt balls, but you can TASTE the sugar in them) but I ended up having three of them yesterday! I just can't say no to one of those!

I really need to clean up my diet!

I have a lot on my mind to do with my dad: he has left me a pretty good inheritance. I am very lucky. It doesn't mean I will never have to work again - but it is a lovely nest egg that I can invest and hopefully grow for my retirement. Which is great because as things stand today, I have no real retirement policy. I have one little policy with Stanlib - unit trusts - and they are doing ok but they are no where near adequate for retirement.

So, if my dad's house sells for a decent, fair amount then that will help me. His car will sell. And I will get a few of his policies. Out of what he has left me, he has put a trust in place for my son where a big chunk of money will go - which is really really lovely. One thing I can say for my dad, he was a planner. And that is truly going to help me and my son. And now my partner.

But the problem is: I am struggling with feeling like I deserve this. You see, he and I were not exactly close. I mean, we were, but he was old school, where he battled to show his true, real emotions. I longed for that from him. I longed to know the real him and how he truly felt about things. He never really gave me that. He never really divulged his real feelings to me on any topic. He was the type to talk to me about the weather and cricket, for goodness sake! Me, his own daughter!

The fact is, I can't change our relationship now or who he was, but I do know he loved me, and I loved him. He infuriated me but I loved him. And I suppose, thinking about my own son, I would leave every cent I had to him in my will too, even if we were not close. It's not about how close you are with your children, it's the fact that they are your flesh and blood! They are you!

So I have already been to see a financial adviser. With my partner. Gosh, I really am just going to call him my husband, as that is really what he is. We are just not married on paper anymore. Which, actually, is one of the first questions I asked this adviser. Is it better for us to get married or remain divorced but living together? He said, without a doubt, it's better for us to remarry, because in the case of death, the estate automatically rolls over to the spouse if there is no will in place or the will is not actionable for whatever reason. He said it's always better in most situations to have a contract in place that states your relationship.

Soooo, it looks like we are getting remarried!

And I am happy about that. I really am. I said that he and I should, this time round, get married on a boat cruise! Do something totally fun like that. Different and fun. We've done the formal wedding, now we can elope! And, how cool is this? This time round our son can BE at our wedding. Hahahaha.

The thing is, I now am coming into enough money where I don't actually need to stay with my partner for financial reasons. I could actually now set up a life of my own. But I don't want to be on my own. I WANT to stay with my ex-husband, soon-to-be husband. I love him. Yes, he frustrates me, but that is normal. My own son frustrates me. It's totally normal and it shows our bond. I now realise that in our marriage, pre-divorce, I was looking for "perfect". I thought that if I felt frustrated or upset by things he did, that it meant we shouldn't be together. How wrong was I!!! I now realise that there is NO perfect. There is NO such thing. There is only working on your relationship all the time, because you have chosen each other and you want to work on it. This time round, we are committed to that.

So one good thing: this money coming to me is making me realise that my relationship now is REAL and it is what I really want. I always knew that, of course. I wouldn't have moved back here if I didn't, but when you are the partner who is not earning the big money, then you always feel a little dependent. Now, finally, I can contribute real money to our future. It's great. I want to. I want us, as a little family, to feel secure.

This money is also making me think about my future and what I want to DO with the rest of my days. I have the luxury now to plan a bit. I am 38 turning 39 this year. I could live another 40 years. Or more. Or less. But let's estimate around 40 years. That is a looooong time. It's also a short time. But really, it's a long time. I need to make this money work for us and our retirement. Retirement could be awful or it could be great. But talking about this with the adviser made me realise, what do I value? What would I want to spend my money on in retirement?

I am not that fancy, so no big cars or houses for me. In fact, personally, I keep saying to my husband, our house is big enough as it is, in fact, it may be a bit too big already for us, and that when our son is grown up, we should downsize and move into a small flat. Or a complex.

So on that front, no big expenses.

I love to run, do some exercise, and I am sure I will still want to even when I'm older. I may get slower, of course, and change from weights to something else. I may walk instead of run, but I am sure I will want to keep active.

I love writing, and if I ever get the peace and quite, I want to write that novel, dammit. I know, it's not always about peace and quiet, but often it is. Writing something makes a lot more sense when you have time. When you are rushed and stressed, it doesn't seem conducive to writing.

I want to be able to go out for a cup of coffee every single day.

That one above is my number one thing. I think going out for a coffee - and yes, it's really as simple as that - is my all time favourite thing to do. And to do it daily. Or almost daily.

Right now, I feel guilty if I spend the R30 or so odd rands on a coffee every now and then. I don't do it daily, but I easily could. I love it. It's about more than just the coffee, although the taste of "real" coffee (as opposed to the home granules) is much nicer.

For me, it's about the vibe. I love just sitting and observing. Or just sitting, taking a deep breath, and letting someone make something for me for a change, whilst I just relax for five minutes. This weekend I hardly sat down. In between the school outing on Saturday morning, going in to my husband's work and shopping and cooking and doing tons of dishes and cleaning up after the new puppy and disciplining it, I feel beat!

So yes, to walk into a cosy coffee shop where someone just does ALL that needs to be done (boil the water, prepare the thing, wash the cup and spoon afterwards) is a dream. And I get to sit still for that whole time. Bliss. And I get to observe a bit of life outside of my home. I think it's money well spent. I will not feel guilty any more for that. The truth is, I don't go for coffee every day. But when I do, I must just enjoy it and relax and let go of the guilt. I can't be pinching pennies over coffee.

Do I like to travel? Yes, and I would like to do some travelling as we get older. But I am a home body at heart, and I don't want to travel TOO much either. I like being at home. I love my animals and my space. So to me, a planned holiday once a year, or once every two years would be nice. Even just weekend getaways in South Africa are nice. I think travelling within our own country can be wonderful.

I don't really want to do much different than what I do now. I want pets, I want a roof over my head, a car that works, and hopefully my health. I would hope for a grandchild, but that is not my decision to make.

It's interesting times. It's a blessing to think like this.

It's also made me question my current work, my illustration work. I hate it. I am hating it. It's not so much the actual work that I hate, it's how they brief me that I hate. I never really know what some of the ladies want. And they want really complicated images. And sometimes they send me bad resolution images to work from and want them "yesterday", as in, impossible deadlines. I'd love to give up that work.

It's something I need to meditate on.

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