Pay the piper


I wish I could sleep a long time.

I’m very tired, and I keep waking up early.  I tried to cut my sleeping medication in half, and I wake before 5 am, even after going to bed at midnight.  I’ll probably increase the dose again.

I’ll be running around until at least nine pm tonight.

If I could end that mania by feeling contentedly tired, I imagine I’d be better off.  But I look around and realize so many things I haven’t done.

There are deep implications for lifestyle change in divorce.  Mostly, there’s less money.  So you cut spending or you work more to get more money.  Or both.  I didn’t fully realize how financially comfortable my life appeared until I plunged into this mess. Now I’m really wound up, and I can’t seem to just let stuff go.

My bougeois life, I guess. I don’t live in a huge house, but before this fiasco I could afford to fix a dishwasher or have someone clean for me while I worked 30 hours a week. Now I work about 60 hours a week and do my own cleaning and dishes. And repairs. And errands.  Which is fine, except I feel the exhaustion creeping up on me. I wonder about people who stayed home with children all their growing years.  They get alimony. I don’t.  Not a dime, because I am able to support myself. Isn’t that interesting? I understand the logic, we don’t want to financially devastate people who’ve made a career out of staying home.

Frankly, oh so frankly, the decision “to raise the kids” now sounds like a nice long vacation to me.  And yes, I do remember the toddler years. It’s just that they do end when the kids go to school.

It’s hard not to think that I’m penalized for actually making an income, even though all my jobs does not equal the pay of my ex’s one job.  When I asked my lawyer, well, what if I were a barista? Would they just say, well, no alimony because you can work your minimum wage job?  No, she said, there’s an equation.

The equation means I’m too employable to get help. 

Selfishly, I sometimes wish for the unconsciousness I indulged in when myself and my co conspirator, my ex, ignored money issues.  Time to pay the piper, as they say.  With the magic of the internet, I’ve discovered that the earliest reference to this expression is from  England.  In 1611, someone wrote down “He who pays the piper, calls the tune”.

I think what I wanted was a tune played together.  But when you wake up, even after only a short sleep, reality is waiting. I was with someone who did not hear the distant march of drums coming to tell us our life was not sustainable, that we couldn’t have everything.

So now I call my own tune.


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