I’ve shared my living space with other people for the best part of 40 years : whether it was with my family, tenants, and/or my boyfriend. When I moved out to Wiltshire and bought my little house, it was the first time I had truly lived on my own. Cats don’t count, not really.
When I moved here, I’d been single for quite a while. That’s not to say that I’d been a nun – but just that I’d not been involved in any long term committed relationship. I was a little concerned as to how it would go, especially as most of my friends didn’t live in the area I moved to and my nearest family was over 70 miles away, although I shouldn’t have worried.
I took to it like a duck takes to water. I loved my total independence. So much so that when my best friend came to stay when I’d been in the house for a week to help me get a few things straight and do some handyman work, I couldn’t wait for him to leave and go home. Since then there have been struggles (when I got made redundant and had trouble finding another job) and there have been highs (living away in Switzerland for just over a year). Most of the time I’ve been on a pretty even keel; neither giddy with excitement nor down in the doldrums. Contentment is pretty rare for most people and I can tell you that it’s a wonderful thing.
Every now and again, however, I find that I get very tired of shouldering everything on my own. Weary is probably a better description. This does not mean that I have any desire to share my life with a partner or indeed (perish the thought) have anyone come to stay with me.
I, like an awful lot of other people, have to be careful with my money. My monthly mortgage payments are a long way from small and once you tot up the other household bills, it stacks up to a sizeable chunk of my salary. By the time I’ve paid for the other necessities (like food and the car payment) there’s isn’t a whole lot left. There are a couple of standing expenses which I probably shouldn’t have taken on but I’m stuck with them for a little while. In day to day terms my philosophy is “if you don’t really need it and you can’t eat it, don’t buy it”. That way, I may stand a sliver of a chance of putting some money into a savings account for a “rainy day” or, in my case, for when the windows need replacing or the boiler or car need a service.
I don’t have any regrets about any decisions I’ve made while I’ve been on my own and most of the time I can take unexpected expenses in my stride. I relish my independence (both personal and financial) and don’t ever want to give it up.
It’s just that every now and again I feel the weight of the burdens that I carry, even if I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now. Where’s my lottery ticket?