They argued again

Ben and I are not communicating well. He is grating on me. He’s being indecisive and keeps absenting himself at inopportune moments. He can’t switch his mind off over-thinking why this and that. He is filling himself with self-loathing borne out of a sense of responsibility for the rest of us. We’re snapping at each other.

Separately we are sulking. We are scared. Rationally so. It’s time to freak out, maybe. Still no offer on the house. Still no decision on the French mortgage. A ticking clock to unemployment and not being able to pay the mortgage. Six weeks. Still no car. A bowling ball baby bump making me feel more vulnerable every day.

It’s my job to be the positive one. To keep us proactive and bouyant. So emails have been sent. A plan is in place. We will keep nudging the universe. We won’t be patient. We move on to the next option. New job applications, enquiries. But there’s so much happening I can’t help but take it step by step, not even a day at a time, but an item in my diary at a time.

Seb’s hearing appointment, a viewing, a hospital appointment for me, a client meeting, printing a script, packing, cleaning the house. Non-priorities to us are now a source of fury. Being asked if we realise Seb should be starting school this September. Actually he shouldn’t but he could if we chose to. How moving to France will be an extra obstacle to his language development. Isn’t he bored without something like nursery to go to. How I’ve got my hands full. Am I excited about the new baby, do I know what it is, what do I have already? I don’t have time to think beyond getting through the pregnancy to full term so as not to disrupt my clients’ wedding days, and deliver a baby who will survive and not have long-term health problems. Not to mention fretting about the measures of cider/pimms/prosecco I’m allowing myself most weeks and studying Seb and Cali’s faces for evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome.

Even Ben applying for jobs seems like a waste of precious time. Time I want to spend packing and decluttering. Time we could spend drafting this book. Learning French can’t get a look in. Because IF the house goes at auction, it will still be before we run out of money, and so Ben won’t need another job. And it’s absurd to think of him in one and not in France in his office, or on a boat, or in a rented room, or on a hilltop writing.

Having been for a very long week or two really excited and focused on moving to Swindon for a rather cushy year visiting English Heritage sites, channel hopping for long weekends, that plan has crashed and now we’re back to aiming to move into Alas for good, for Christmas. An indoor-camping Christmas-bed kind of Christmas. Just not coming back to home comforts in the New Year but forging new ones there.

It feels more surreal the closer we get to 1st December. The day I traditionally in my Santa jumper complete with gloves, put up the decs, hang the socks, make rocky road and crack open the advocaat. They’ll be a baby whose face we can’t yet conjure. We’ll be sleeping where? Here? In Ben’s old bedroom in Ashby? In a rental in Swindon? We’ll be how close to moving to France? All packed and days away waiting for a newborn baby photo passport? Depressed knowing we’re months away? Or nowhere, with the dream in tatters? And if that’s the case, would we be better here, where we are? No. We need change, we must move forward, we must find a new life, no matter its shape.

~J

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