10. December 2019
In my house there is no stress, nothing to be stressed about even though Christmas is in this month.
This has been a strange month and will be even stranger the last days. Usually I am well off and don´t have to worry about my living or anything. Just a normal person at a normal age! That´s me!
This month is different and reminds me of some of the Decembers when I had no idea if I would have enough money to do what was demanded or expected of me, just how you look at the demands! I worried about if there would be new clothes, Christmas presents, if the food would be good enough and it went on and on and on, the worries. Above all I did pretend that I was a Christmas child that loved the celebration. I hated it all, everything, the stress, the worry, the demands, the expectations, you named it. But I survived and the price I paid was horrible but that is another story which will perhaps never be told.
Anyway, now I have my freedom and can do whatever I want, even during December, and don´t have to participate in the madness.
Why do I then worry about the money?
Well, you see, I live in a condominium in Portugal. There is a garden, a small one, which I see every time I look out and there it was last five years with all the horrible weed, the tree in the middle growing bigger and bigger and I hated it. Really hated the beautiful tree!
So, the tree was trimmed and I could see even more of the weed. Ugh, one day I went downstairs armed with gloves and my hands. I began tearing the weed. Not good enough to do it by hand, it would take me forever and I would not be able to do what was necessary to clean the horror. To the hardware shop I went and bought a rake and black big bags! Now I could work!
After few days the ugliness began to change. I needed something to make the garden beautiful, something to cover the ground so it looked like a beauty! and I needed flowers and trees. “My garden” was going to be a pot garden! Flowers and trees in pots do make it possible to change everything simply by moving the pots. Brilliant!
Every day I worked until 2 o’clock and the neighbours stopped to see what was happening and told me it was perfect and a lot of work and how great it was and how hard working I was and it went on and on. Perfect, and the mad one downstairs in my condominium lost it but that´s nothing new. The bloody foreigner is making everything horrible for him, the mad man!
The door in this picture tell the whole story about the one downstairs. Don´t touch, don´t move, don´t look and don´t take anything from me, he sais. I sometimes wonder if he remembers how the things are put in places, he does change the line up quite often! Maybe he thinks he is a spy and we are all, the neighbours, spying on him! could be.
To make a long story short, my garden got beautiful, Japanese style, I was told, and all the flowers and material cost money. I had the money, not a problem. I had saved for paying the tax and I used half of my savings to make “my” garden beautiful but then I had to pay the tax and that became seriously complicated. I managed to divide it into 3 payments and my last one was this month. All my tax paid, all my bills paid but not much left for buying anything else. I have got food, enough food, and I have got diesel in my car to last to the end of the month driving very little. Everything is fine but no extra money to buy anything, not even if I wanted to buy fruits might become difficult the last week of the month.
My beautiful garden is now under attack! the snails have arrived and they are eating my beautiful flowers. I have already put a lot of garlic around the plants and then I wanted to drown the idiots in beer. They are the stupidest ones I have ever come across. They don’t even look at the beer. What is wrong with them? Was the beer not good enough?
But I am happy, very happy and no stress in my body, just relaxed happiness.
I have not decided if I put up all the Christmas decoration, I might, and I might not.
My conclusion is this.
It is good to be reminded of what it looks like to bee out of money. It is good to be reminded because then I might understand better how those who really struggle every month, every day, every year and eventually give up and even take their own lives because the situation is unbearable.
Let us pause, let us remember that some of our fellow countrymen struggle and are cold and hungry this month. Let us help if we can. Let us fight for better accommodation for everyone. Let us fight for dignity for all. Let us love life and make the most of it for everyone.
This is my contemplation today!