Hurrah! The weekend is upon us. For most of us a time to let our hair down, recharge our batteries, to go out and do something.
Often, it turns into catching up on shopping, washing, and other household chores, admittedly, but you never know, an evening in a bar or restaurant, or at the cinema or theatre, pub or club, may be coming your way.
Enjoy it, if you do go out socially. For I, and millions of others in Britain, our choice extends to housework or housework. When you’re broke, and living way below the poverty line, almost every day presents the same lack of opportunity
I’m lucky, though, inasmuch as I have plenty of naturally beautiful places within walking distances. Weather permitting, I can at least avoid the trap I fall into of staying in when in the depths of depression. I can also articulate how I’m feeling on here, too, if the weather isn’t so good.
I’m fortunate, too, in being able to afford the monthly interweb highway fees. Just. There’s plenty, however, who simply do not have that option. The best things in life, so it goes, are free. So, however, are the worst things, when you have no money.
There is a definite subconscious feeling of inadequacy that gets to me every now and then. I’d love to be able to afford to move back to where I lived last year. To provide for my lad, too, even though he’s getting on with his life. An apprenticeship wage is minimal, and even less so when well over half of it goes on travelling there and having a lunch.
There’s a sense of shame that goes with not having money in my pocket. Of course, as I’ve already demonstrated, there’s plenty of things to occupy my mind and body without having to part with a penny.
For the vast majority of people, however, to at least some degree, they have a choice of free activities, or paying to do something or go somewhere. When almost everyone in your circle of friends and family have that choice, and you don’t, it feels embarrassing.
I also feels it reflects on me in a wider context. As you know, I do work, but without pay. Voluntary work gives me some self respect, a feeling that I do at least earn the small welfare allowance I receive. Something I paid into with full time work for decades, so not really something I need to feel shame about in receiving. Yet I do. Working as a volunteer at least relieves that emotion.
Still, however, there’s that drip-drip-drip effect of being deemed not healthy enough, not intelligent enough, not good enough to actually earn a penny in either full or part time paid work. My empty bank account today reinforces it all too readily.
It’s not as if I want to earn a lot of money either. Enough to pay the rent and the bills, and a small amount to put away for a pension and save up for that rainy day. Having no holiday in 12 years is probably a testament to how little I actually am into material possessions. Providing for my lad and earning my keep, and nothing else, will do me very nicely.
Until that time comes, it’s a case of making do. Of peering into shop windows, watching tv ads, and sighing. No money in my pocket, so no food for me this weekend, that is the way of my life at the moment. Of trying to think of the billions across the globe who would give their right arm to swap places with me.
It’s tough, though, it really is. I live in a society where money does, in a way, equate to self worth in the eyes of millions. When you have none, it’s not only that you can’t enjoy the things lots of others can, or that you feel shame in not being able to give your family the best. It’s that you feel useless, hopeless, and yet somehow guilty that you’re broke in the eyes of your peers.
One day, I will be earning a penny more than I spend, and will invest that penny for a rainy day, and feel great about it. Until then, the sun is out, the weekend and the seafront awaits. I will do what I do best, and keep my feelings of failure to myself.
Whatever you are doing, however poor or well off you are, have a lovely weekend xxx