I’ve been lucky enough to have a very supportive and loving family for the entirety of my twenty-six, almost twenty-seven years of life. My Mom the counselor, my Dad, the teacher, and Fruit Snack, who inspires me to work a little harder every day and is growing into an amazing individual.
But my family unit now that I’m an adult has grown. Pam and Nikki, the three of us self-titled as The Ampersands, are a family.
That means when things challenge one of us, it challenges all of us. This can be difficult when all three of us have an instinct to keep our problems and challenges to ourselves. We let pride and a sense of necessity keep us from sharing what stresses us, what causes us pain or fear, with the other two.
Lately, as I said in another post, our cost of living has become a little more daunting. We had a fantastic handle on things last month, but several large bills came in at the same time and we suddenly feel far less on top of our finances than we did before. Naturally, we each turned inward as we independently tried to puzzle through how best to handle a tough situation.
This is a bad habit of ours. We go off on our own and stew over the issues at hand until one of us finally caves and admits that we’re about ready to pull hair out over the situation. By the time we finally reach out to the others, we’ve driven ourselves mad.
We forget too easily that we are a family. That a problem or challenge for one of us is a problem or challenge for all of us. Inevitably, we hit a breaking point and feel as if we couldn’t possibly bear anymore stress, only to realize that it wasn’t ours to bear alone.
Accepting support is something I’ve talked about before, but I’ll never shut up about it. No matter how many times I write about it, it’s something that will always come back to me with one more point to make. The three of us are so gifted when it comes to supporting one another, but we still struggle terribly with asking for support or accepting support when we’re in need. We’re the first ones there for our friends, but seem to fight against our friends when they try to support us. As I stated, it isn’t a good habit to have and we work to improve ourselves every day. We work together, because that’s what families do.
We’re not facing anything we can’t handle. We have deep wells of support around us and safety nets to catch us if we slip as we climb ever higher towards our goal of being debt free and financially stable. I’ve been assured countless times that we are far from the first and far from the last who will fight this battle. In today’s economy, there’s more of us struggling than there are of those who aren’t. A kinship in “the good fight”.
For our little household, the dust is settling and we’re finding our way back to each other, back to the center, where we know it’s safe and can develop the plans we need to succeed.
It just takes a little help from our friends.