Yes, so technically September still has 3 days to go but I’m calling time on it now. September has been a rocky old month, full of massive highs and lows and general upheaval. You know those whirling dervish, plate spinning people? Well that’s been me this month and I can’t say I’ve enjoyed it much. I really need to see the back of September now and start facing forward again.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s been some great stuff. A birthday for Thing2 and a frugal party for him in the back garden. I turned 40 and discovered that life pretty much continues as before. I had a lovely garden party too (do you notice a theme here!) and on the day itself had a lovely walk over a local hill with my beloved. The day was unseasonably hot and we enjoyed views like this:
On the evening of my birthday itself, there were absolutely extraordinary storms. huge rolls and thunder and flashes of fork lightning. I’m in no way religious but the ferocity and unexpectedness of the storm did feel like some sort of baptism into a new decade and a washing away of the old one.
There was also lots of change with the new school year. Thing3 started at nursery which was fine for him but there may have been a few tears from me. Thing2 started in Year1 and wasn’t overly keen and there may have been a few tears from him. Thing1 has started his final year at school. Don’t think there’s been any tears so far but I could be wrong. I have great kids but it can be a challenge managing their completely different needs when there’s such a big age gap between them.
The huge low this month was the theft of our car. In fact, not only a theft, but a burglary to get the keys (of the garage not our home, thank goodness), a police chase, a crash and the total destruction of our vehicle. As you can imagine, this has caused a huge amount of upheaval on so many different levels. Suddenly we have to change the way we run our daily lives as what was a quick 15 minute car trip becomes much more of a challenge.
There’s the huge admin task that comes with something like this – dealing with police statements, dealing with the insurance, with the DVLA, getting to the vehicle to collect our belongings without a vehicle (because destroyed cars are always taken somewhere completely impossible to reach without a car).
There’s the emotional side – the shock, the anger, the disbelief and also a kind of grief. Yes, I have experienced real grief in my life so I use the term grief in the context of the theft a car very cautiously. However, despite being insured we will simply not be back where we were once all this is settled and I am far from certain I want another car right now. I can manage our daily lives without it but I so much loved taking my boys to the woods and other places that are hard to reach on public transport. I’ll have to cancel our National Trust membership too as we can no longer reach the houses.
Financially it’s been a mixed bag too. Tuition has been slower than usual to get going this month. I usually make at least £1200 per month during term-time; September will be closer to £1000. Still lots but definitely down. This is entirely due to me being so distracted by everything else the month threw at me that I wasn’t as proactive as I should have been with getting students booked in. On the plus side, car insurance would have been due this month and I had money set aside to cover this. As this now obviously won’t need paying I have used this money to fund another chunk of our travel fund – a S&S ISA via Charles Stanley Direct and invested in Vanguard 60% LifeStrategy. This is now at £1000 of the target of £25,000. Obviously still a long way to go but I love seeing the side bar widget do-dah moving along, even if it is just a tiny bit.
So, that was September. I’m grateful for so much: my health, the health of my loved ones, the fact that we are financially able to weather storms that have blown our way and of course, the fact that all I lost this month was some metal with some wheels on it. But, wow, I feel I really need to spend a few days alone in a darkened room. All this upheaval is, well, disrupting and I’m looking forward to a much calmer October.