What’s good in your life?

I need to blog. Not sure what this will achieve but maybe I’ll can look back on this period in a year or so and thank God that we got through it.

Life is hard. Too fucking hard.

This new business is great; I’m really enjoying the work, enjoying being an employer, enjoying the respected position in the community, enjoying being part of a community that I want to be a part of, enjoying the day-to-day challenge and the feeling of a good, honest day’s work at the end of the day.

But we’re skint. Rooked. Nae cash. No moolah.

Lorraine is working all the hours that she can. I get home and am too tired to do anything but reheat my dinner, eat it and go to bed. I haven’t properly played the guitar for maybe a year or so. When Lorraine manages to meet a deadline (usually by working well into the night for the last few days) she either has another deadline looming for the next batch or has to clean the house as it gets into a dreadful state when nobody can do it because nobody has the time. And on top of that she’s dealing with eBay auctions for cards for the shop, putting them in cellophane bags, printing labels to say what the message is inside.

We came to Arran because it’s beautiful place but we never get out to see it. We haven’t been out together since Hamish was born (he was two this week). Even when we’re home we don’t really see each other. Lorraine is fucking exhausted but keeps on going and won’t quit. She looks dreadful. There’s no joy in our lives and we’re not sure how we’re going to make ends meet financially and whether we’ll be able to keep the business going long enough to make it profitable.

Have we made some dreaful mistake? I try and be grateful for all the things that we have: two healthy and happy children, our own health, a roof over our heads. Then things happen like a stone flies up off the road and lodges itself into the gap between the windscreen wiper and the bonnet. So when I try and work the wipers, they don’t move, and I keep trying, thinking that they’re just stuck, and the motor burns out, and we’re left with a 400 quid bill. How is that fair?

I listen to music and am moved as much as I always have been; I feel the urge to play and get excited. I get home and am too fucking tired to do anything. I pick up the guitar to play but it’s no good. I have to go to bed. If I get to bed after 10 p.m. it’s late and I’m tired the next day. Between 9 and 10 and I’m okay. At work I forget it all because I’m doing the next thing and then the next thing and roll through the day and quite enjoy it, but what’s it all for if, when I get home, I’m too fucked to do anything, I don’t see the kids, I don’t see my wife and she’s burned out and stressed and hating herself for having no patience with the kids and feeling like a failure because the house is dirty and there are boxes everywhere and the kids aren’t eating very well?

Oh, fuck knows. Maybe I should just put on some NIne Inch Nails really fucking loud and try and block it out. As Lorraine keeps telling me, worrying about it doens’t help. Yeah, I know. At least I’m not drinking though, eh? I’ve found a great bunch of recovering alcholics here and although I don’t get to many meetings, I still make a few and thank god that there are meetings here and people I can turn to.

Back in Lux we had a decent income and did see each other, although at the time it seemed that we didn’t, but compared to now we most certainly did. But we were never really happy, me especially, living in a foreign country where we didn’t really fit in. Now I do fit in and I love that to bits, but it just seems that there are too many sacrifices. I’m working my bollocks off and the business may be breaking even if I’m lucky.

But I guess this is what we expected, at least for the first year and possibly second and third. Maybe I should just stop fucking whinging and get on with life. As the great John Lennon said, life is what happens while you’re making other plans. My wee girl cuddled me while she fell asleep tonight and told me that she loved me. That’s what I should be focussing on, right? I’m not the drunk, fucked up dad that I might have been (and was for the first 18 months of her life). And I’ve also got Beppe. So I’ll leave you all with a Beppe tune, the one that I just tried to play, and ask you all (hood only, of course) to give the tune a wee listen and, as you listen, sit back and think of what’s good in your life and I’ll do the same.

Ave Maria
Beppe Gambetta



  1. greywolf says:

    I know a little about how you feel, I’ve been through the pain of running my own business through tough times.  It happened to be right around the time my son was born and it was pretty rough doing nothing but working then sleeping and not seeing my family. 

    I wish I could say there’s an easy solution but the truth is you just have to tough it out.  One thing I did was to literally start scheduling family time on the calender.  I forced myself to stop what I was doing and see the family.  It doesn’t solve all the problems but it sure does help psychologically.

    You can risk a lot of things for the business but don’t risk the family.  It will be quite a while before you make the kind of money you do at a regular job but it will happen in time.

    I hope it all works out for you.  Keep venting here if it helps you out in any way.

  2. Thanks for your comments greywolf. I do feel better after getting a bit off my chest and having a good night’s sleep and it being Sunday, the one day I don’t have to work! I won’t do any bookkeeping today as my folks are coming to visit. So it’s a family day. Seeing my folks should give me some perspective; neither of them are in very good health and it’ll be great to see them. It’s a huge trip for them to make the short journey across the water.

    So here’s to a good day.

  3. Hey Cams – I hear ya, too, over here across the ocean. 🙂 In my gut, knowing so little, I really do not think you made a dreadful mistake to move someplace that feels more like “home”, where your family can feel “home”.  Don’t know you or your family at all, really, maybe a little through your writing about them. What I “hear” is how much you love them, and that is a beautiful and surprisingly rare thing. You cherish your partner and your children. That, in my opinion, will get you through so much.

    I agree with greywolf … you just have to plow through it until it gets easier, and it will. You’ll find easier ways to do things, short-cuts that actually don’t “cost” you anything, and you’ll start to understand what the real business priorities are. Right now, I’m sure it all seems important. It probably isn’t ALL important … it just all FEELS important because it is so new.

    Hang in there … 🙂 … I believe, with time, it will get easier.

  4. Thanks Venus. It helps a lot to have people that I hardly know replying to my posts. It restores my faith and validates what we are doing and that is a wonderful thing. I know deep down that we did the right thing and that it will all be worth it in the end. I had a good talk with my folks today and that helped too.

    So thank you so much for taking time out to read my ranting and reply with positive comments. It really does mean a lot!

  5. Starting a business has got to be tough. Having little kids is tough. And doing both at the same time…whew!

    I sympathize with how hard it is to find time for music amid all the responsibilities of being a provider. I struggle with that too. I just try to keep my eyes on the goal of a life where I can play and appreciate music more. Somehow we’ll get there!