I’m in the middle of exams, or rather, coming to the end of a very tough week. So I thought I’d republish this post, originally published on September 24, 2008, from the end of my very first month of school, when I had a different set of worries!
This past month has been a period of transition for my family. My two older kids went back to school and I went from being a stay at home mom to a full time student myself. My eleven month old daughter has started going to the nanny’s full time as well. Add in changing seasons, teething, unexpected school related expenses and my husband’s mysterious month long sickness and the whole family has been out of sorts, to say the least.
Last Thursday it all came to a head, and culminated in me (literally) crying my woes out on a friend’s shoulder. Let me tell you, a good cry is (almost) as good as a good glass of wine in relieving tensions. Afterwords I started to feel better about things and I realized three important life truths.
Number One: Some things are more important than money.
I set up a new contract with our nanny this week, for the next twelve months. I’m going to be paying her a lot of money, lots and lots of money. Some of it will be reimbursed by the government, but not all. Thinking about the money we’re going to be paying her in relation to how tight our budget already is was making me anxious. Then I realized that I don’t (really) care how much she costs because, a) I trust her completely with my children and b) the fact that she speaks English with them is very important to me. These two facts help relieve the stress of wondering how we’re going to meet our monthly budget.
Number Two: Family comes first.
Thursday was especially busy and hectic. My husband was at a meeting at the boys’ school, while I renegotiated the nanny’s contract. To top things off I had a presentation due the next day and a networking meeting to attend. Coming home to find a sick husband and a feverish baby did not fit in with my plans. But after frantically flapping around the living room I called to say I wasn’t going to be able to make the meeting. And you know what? Even though I was scheduled to lead the workshop, everyone understood. Family really does come first.
Number Three: Read the small print.
After dosing both the hubby and the baby up on painkillers, feeding and bathing the kids and getting them settled for the night, I came downstairs to find my husband trouble-shooting my computer in preparation for the next day’s presentation. He managed to download what needed to be downloaded and launch what needed to be launched and I completed my presentation in plenty of time.
Saturday I returned to where I bought the laptop and asked why my software had stopped functioning. The salesperson’s answer? “Madame, the computer you bought came with the trial version of the software. You only have 6O days’ use of it before you have to pay.” And when I started sputtering he interjected “It says so right on the box.”
So yes, it does say that it’s a trial version of the program without which I won’t be able to do any school work this year. And going to the next aisle over only rewarded me with the information that I’ll soon need to pay â‚¬130 or be up a creek. Reading the fine print in advance wouldn’t have kept me from needing to buy the program, but it would have saved me a lot of stress, something I can certainly do with less of at the moment.
And you? What are your fundamental truths? How do you keep from going completely bonkers?