Are you in Control of your Skeletons?

The following Video Blog contains some of the written blog below plus my usual add-ons. ;)

I was laughing like crazy at Groucho Marx this morning. He says; ‘Alimony is like buying hay for a dead horse.’

He’s super funny. You may remember him from the old films as the guy with the eyebrows, moustache glasses and cigar which was his signature look from the old Vaudeville days. I find the funniest quotes from him and WC Fields.

The alimony quote can be applied to so many parts of our life. There are millions of people who have to give a certain amount of money every month to someone they aren’t married to anymore. Then there are the people have to pay off old debts. The bank may have cancelled a credit card 5 years ago that you are still trying to tackle. There is nothing more annoying than seeing money go out the door and nothing in return. I am hearing about people finally getting out of debt though, this is really encouraging. I think we have all had a rough go financially at some point.

The hardest part of starting over is the realization that getting into debt can happen in minutes, days or weeks whereas getting out of debt doesn’t happen as quickly. Marriage and divorce happens the same way. You buy a cheap marriage license, you may spend a few thousand on the wedding, but then after the purchase of the house, children and alimony expenditures, divorce is super costly.

The idea here is that the things we get ourselves into do not recover at the same speed. If you fall in the mud, it takes a second. To get your hair and clothes clean is where the time is spent. Then, you look back to see a trail of muck straight through your home staining the carpet. Overwhelmed, you decide you’ll take care of that later.
I believe we should be giving ourselves permission and time to recover but don’t look at too much of it. If today we get the mud off of ourselves, awesome! If the clothes need to soak overnight, so be it. If we can’t afford the carpet cleaner until next week sometime, that’s how it’s going to be.

I think the inhibiting part of cleaning up any of our mess is our pride and embarrassment level. We hide the bills in stacks and drawers so we don’t have to look at them. We pretend things are great to family and friends when they are really bad. We’ll spend the money on our grass, shrubs and driveways instead so we at least “look” good to everyone else.

There are a few ways I have managed to climb out. One was making brutally honest lists. You quit the avoidance and write down everything you owe, all the problems you have to face…have a really good cry or go into hysterics, whatever you have to do, then tackle it at the freshest part of your day. Most people obsess over their problems when they are emotional or tired.

I start by prioritizing the problems and the only way I can really know what the true problems are is by beginning to omit the superficial problems in my life that in previous blogs I have said really don’t matter. I will only tackle one problem at a time and I only deal with what is immediately in front of me.

The other thing I find people have a hard time with is asking for help. It’s easier to set aside the mounting bills but the truth is there are debt-consolidation programs which DO work. I’ve seen them work for people. The other thing is asking for help from family and friends. Even a shoulder to cry on is helpful if they can’t help in another way. Showing your list to a family member or friend can gain new perspective. Even if all they do is point at your list and say, ‘Oh heck, Fred owed twice that much and got out’ you can feel a bit less alone and have some new courage.

Outside of debt, we seem to have a list of things we give to others like alimony every month which are depleting us. This could be our anger, our bitterness and our frustration. You may have a weekly phone call with an ex which resembles the skipping record of all the problems in your marriage. There may be someone calling you all the time depleting your soul on a regular basis. How do you get that relationship turned around or off your plate? How do these things get crossed off the list too? What are the things in our day absorbing the day which feels like the dead horse? You know, the things which will never miraculously become a horse again? Are we given emotion and expending energy to them?

I think they need to be on that list too.

The biggest hurdle in making a list of any of our burdens is we truly believe someone is going to see the list. That person is usually us. We might be horrified to see it all in one place.

Crossing bitterness off my list today,
Karen :)

“Humor is reason gone mad.” ~Groucho Marx

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