I headed out on my bike this morning, was going to go for a mega bike ride but it was still too icy and snowy on the track so I didn’t make it that far. Far enough to get my heart beating fast and burn off a few calories which is a good thing.

But better than that it gave me chance to think. And do you know what, I’m pretty damn proud of myself – this is what I realised.

When I left my husband last year my finances were based on me being awarded the tax credits I was entitled to plus earning a certain amount each month. Well, tax credits only awarded me half of that amount and I’m still appealing against the rest of it (only been 7 months nearly and counting) and I lost that job back in September. October and November I worked and earned 1/4 of what I needed and then in December I earned nothing.  Zero. Scary huh.

January has been better. I’ve invoiced out for 75% of what I was earning back last summer – but it hasn’t all been paid and I still don’t have my tax credit money in.

I’ve survived by cutting back on everythign. I can’t remember the last time I had a chinese takeaway (yes, I can, it was when my ex hubby bought it round one evening) and when I went out this Friday night I spent less than £3 all night. I don’t eat anywhere near as much as I used to and I do borrow food from mum and dad when I go. I don’t waste anything in terms of food and I buy cheaper brands where I can. I have sold pretty much everything I own on ebay and somehow I’ve managed to keep me and the 4 kids alive and also pay my childminder on time every month and rent, although not always on time!

I don’t actually know how I’ve done it, but I have. And I’ve done it all while recovering emotionally from depression, having left my husband and a failed business. With the anti help of many people who take every opportunity to spread the hate about me.

I think that’s pretty damned impressive to be honest.

I have more work booked in for the next few months, tax credits are due to decide on my appeal in the next 2 weeks and I still have a couple of jobs to hear back from, 1 full time and 1 part time. Things are looking up for me. I’m hoping that there won’t ever be a time again when I am borrowing money to pay my rent (and to date I’ve paid back everything I’ve borrowed from friends and family over the last 6 months) and taking bags of pennies into the bank to convert into notes to put petrol in my car.

Living like this has taught me a lot. Its taught me that I am bloody tough and that I am pretty damned special. Its also taught me that being happy doesn’t mean that you have lots, I have nothing. The last 12 months have seen me lose so much, business, husband, home, possesions, friends etc. But I’m still here, and I’m happier now than I have been for a long time. I have lots of very good things in my life, and some struggles still to face. But I know I can do it.

I should cycle more often, it makes me all thoughtful, as you can see! I might sneak in a run with my little boy tomorrow if I can juggle the childcare. He’ll like that, and so will I. Wonder how far he can run before he has to stop talking, last time we ran a mile together (in 12 minutes without stopping or walking once) he chatted all the way around and sprinted the last 200 yards. Maybe 2 miles will take it out of him?

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