In my family, I pull the financial sled alone.
As I watch my friends become rich along with their working wife, husband or significant others, I can’t help look at them with a quiet envy as I pull the family sled alone. I feel alienated, and slowly over years I avoid more fortunate friends as I find myself succumbing to my embarrassing, hidden envy. They talk about retirement at an age that I will not be able to match, because as they and their companion, both pull the sled, at my home, it’s just me. They talk about their great partnership and the enjoyment of life with their significant other as I continue to pull and pull.
I pull the sled day and night, working late developing and refining financial family plans, trying to find a better grip as I pull the financial family sled along, alone. The sled gets heavier each year with my daughter jumping in the back, my son ignoring my pleas because he has his headphones on (even when they are not on his head) and my wife laying on the couch or bed, always watching TV. My wife has no time to help me, so I pull by working one, two and sometimes three jobs to keep the sled moving..
When I’m sick, I still pull the sled, the sled is heaviest then, but still I struggle on. Now I’m sick and getting sicker, but I still pull the sled alone. What happens when my time is up? Who will pull the sled then? Maybe I pulled the sled far enough that they will be okay? Hard to say, have I pulled far enough that the pieces are in place for at least a survivable life for them?
Some days, when I’m alone and I’m isolated and in a dark place, I wonder what would happen if I stopped pulling the sled and just let things go. Thoughts, so many thoughts but for now I just pull the sled alone.