My stepmom reminded me that during the process of my second divorce, I was most fixated on how to financially survive. It was the most pressing of concerns since I was a stay-at-home mom who didn’t earn an income while my children were young.
I know this is incredibly common. Financial survival is also first chakra safety and security issues. Unfortunately, the distress can keep you up at night. It can even be paralyzing. The thought of returning to work because you have to earn a living after being out of the job market in this (or any) economy is a blow to the ego. It can also bring up all your financial insecurities, and make you have to face the reality of age.
The need to earn an income also affects more women than men. So today, I’m mostly talking to women, and guys, listen up-
First off get that help! You’ll need it to help you find work or re-training. I used my acting union to help open my mind and explore job descriptions. My friends would brainstorm career paths with me. I rewrote my résumé so it was task-based and described all the volunteer work I had done for my kids’ school. I went to networking events and informational interviews. There has to be a resource for you in your community—find it. They’re there to help to help you with your finances.
Your self-worth is of value as you earn an income and manage your money.
I saved wherever I could. Even years later, I live on a budget to be responsible for my finances. Over time, I paid off my attorney. I changed every aspect of my lifestyle—every aspect of it—so I could manage to own my home. At times I was frightened and really wigged out. Even simply, on edge. In all honesty, it has taken years to feel stable and secure knowing I can earn what I’m worth. And that’s what really needs to be addressed.
The self-worth you’re looking for isn’t going to come from someone else.
You have a right to a great life financially but doing something to get there, rather than expecting your ex to take care of your bills has to be addressed. We live in a time when earning a living is mandatory. It won’t necessarily be easy. You may want a new lover to marry and support you financially. Gaining your footing is an adjustment and takes time to figure out. However, you know deep down the self-worth you’re looking for isn’t going to come from someone else. It’s going to come from embracing your life and facing reality.
The changes and choices have everything to do with how you will financially survive and thrive.
Maybe becoming a teacher right now won’t pay the child support. Perhaps you will have two jobs to juggle for a while. Maybe you’ll have to decline the invitation to the Hamptons or get a bicycle instead of a car for a bit. Or curb those shopping binges and dinners out to be prudent with your budget.
How do you want to reflect back upon these transition years?
You can do it. You can adjust and free yourself from the financial expectations you have from others. Let them go and get on with your own financial well-being. Put your energy into creating your own financial future and decide to financially survive. Embrace it with enthusiasm and energy and you’ll more than manage, you’ll thrive!