Nothing sucks like November ….

I can officially say that November 2010 sucks.

Not like little-tadpoles-sucking-off-the-dead-skin-between-your-toes sort of suck, but total m*ther*cker sort of suck!

The month started with my mother reading my recent blog post, and let’s just say the results are not good.  Nope, pretty bad all around to put it mildly.

Of course we can argue that there was a little psychology at play, as why did I post such a personal post on my blog if I did not want her to read it?

And I may well suggest that the post was more about me and it was on MY blog, and not meant as a passive-aggressive note to her.  I also sort of hoped she would not read it as she is often too busy, and maybe would have skipped that one.

What ever the psychology or explanation, it is done, she read my post.  There is now a certain amount of fall out from that – as you can well surmise.

So what was initially an emotionally puking post, has now turned into a rather larger issue that needs to be dealt with.

If I felt bad before, well that can’t hold a candle to how bad I feel now.  I have not quite been disowned, but let’s say I am outside of the “circle of trust.”

Coming on the back of that, is meeting with my new therapist.  She is lovely and very results-driven, and she wears really sparkly shoes (no, really she does)!

She pushes for decisions, and for me to confront difficult issues in a manner that I have not really experienced before.

Therapists love to chat and chat and chat some more (R825.00 an hour is really great motivation to keep a conversation going).  This one loves to chat, and then cuts to the chase and pushes me to make a plan to move on.

Quite liking her approach – and as said, she is results and task driven, so she is not really wanting me to sit with me on a couch for the next 12 months chatting about life.

That has been really good, and it has helped me see things in a different light and I think also really helped with dealing with some of my relationship issues, as well as seeing how things in my past bear a direct link to how I am reacting to something now.

One of the things she has helped me to address is the way I deal with money.  This also feeds into the way we, as a couple, deal with our finances and how we relate to each other when it comes to money.

It really is powerful stuff – in one session there was more progress with her than I have had in months with other therapists.

(To not detract from the work I have done with other therapists, part of it might be that I am in a different “place” now and maybe  more ready/able to move forward on issues now than I was five years ago.)

My financial position is quite dire – “quite” being the understatement in that sentence.  I really want to say f*cking dire, but I do not think that language would be appropriate.

I have been hiding this from Kennith with a very advanced system of smoke and mirrors.  To cut a long story short, if I was a company I would be in liquidation and as the CEO I might have either run off to the Caymans or putting a sawn-off shot-gun between my teeth.

I am also not “able” to ask for help.

The result is I have been limping along for some time and not letting Kennith know.  He has not been given the opportunity to assist me, as he has not had any idea how bad the situation was.  And I was growing angrier with him each month, because he was not helping me (because he did not know, you get how this cycle is working?)

Each month has got progressively worse for me financially, and I have really been stressed about both the money (and my lack of it) and the deceit.

I find it really hard work to hide things from Kennith, not because he is so awfully clever at figuring things out. But because I have to constantly bite my tongue and not blurt out sh*t that is running around inside my head!

But therapy has helped me out enormously.

Though the financial issue is not a thing of the past, Kennith and I were able to have a reasonable discussion that did not result in me crying in the kitchen – as is often the place of many of my tears and usually signals our past discussions regarding money/finance and related issues.

In addition to the above,  we are renovating our house – part of the house. Having builders and dust, and jackhammers is stressful in anyone’s world.

It has been going on for about six weeks, and I am at that point where I am a little over it.  Every day I get home and the house looks like it was in the siege of Beirut.  There is dust and grit everywhere and I am actually sick of it – like pop another Zoloft sick of it!

I can see the bigger picture that it will be lovely when done.

It is going to be so incredible that we are going to fall on our knees and thank our project manager/builder guy profusely, but right now,  I really want everyone with cement, a wheelbarrow and any other tool to actually just bugger off, and clean up as they go!

(You understand I want them to finish the job and then bugger off.  Buggering off with a half complete job will of course be the thing to tip me right over the edge. Hence I want them to finish TODAY already –  the reality is that we are in for another two weeks minimum.)

Building besides being messy stressful, is also money stressful.  You start to think that you have spent too much money that you actually did not have in the first place. You also start these projects and think well we will just paint the house, next thing you are knocking down walls, putting up electric gates, moving the braai area, changing the stoep, taking out window frames.

So what started as a simple little paint job has turned into an Extreme Home Makeover!

Kennith is stressed because there is this constant outflow of cash.

I am stressed because he is stressed and then I start to panic, because if he is stressing about money, then there is a chance that we will not be able to afford wine on the grocery list, and then I start to panic a bit more!

Last week one of the builders left the side gate open, so my 10 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier ran away.

I only found out three hours later as I was at my daughter’s concert and no one noticed she was out as the builder (good on you) had just closed the gate after she had bolted and not told anyone.

By the time I knew, she could have been in Port Nolloth already.  She runs pretty fast when she gets her head down, even for a chubby girl.

I have contacted all the necessary.

Some great people have helped me in circulating news about her, but right now it has been a week and no sign of her, and I am fearing the worst.  She is micro-chipped but does not wear a collar (as she would have strangled herself a dozen times) – so the only way she can be traced back to me is if someone takes her into a vet.

I am worried what could have happened to her  I am worried what someone is doing with her.  I am worried she might be hungry or cold, or hungry and cold and hurt!

I feel terribly guilty that I did not take more care and shoot the guy who left the gate open before he left the gate open, so he did not leave the gate open, so I would not have to shoot him!

Then when I felt that possibly November could not actually get much worse – what with being disowned, my dog running away, my dire financial situation being unveiled and the end of my phantom pregnancy, I get called into a meeting earlier this week.

I am always suspicious.

And that is the end of the sentence.

I am always suspicious.

I have sensed for the last two months that all is not right over here in the world of where I work, there is just something going on.

For the last month I have felt a definite shift and it has not been a good one.  I did not know what was going on, but I knew something was and it was leaving me feeling uneasy and skittish.

Of course in my paranoia, everything is about me.  I did something wrong.  I stole the petty-cash. I have been downloading porn.  I have been using too much milk in my tea.  I have been surfing the internet during work hours. (okay that one is true!)

Anyway I get called into a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Tip:  If the HR person is ever cc’d on an email where you are asked to attend a meeting, start packing your stuff into a brown box BEFORE the meeting.

To cut a long story short, I was retrenched!

Yes, I too was horrified, probably a bit more than you right now.

It took a lot for me not to throw myself against the leg of the director and scream “why me, why me, I promise to behave, I promise to be good, why me….?”

In the scene in my head I did just that, which made me have a rather disconcerting look on my face as I tried to continue with the meeting in a very adult manner.

It is very hard to act like an adult, and look like you are taking it firmly on the chin when actually you want to scream and drizzle like an eight year old, and cry uncontrollably until you throw up on the board room table.

I sat there attempting to look very demure and mature.

But with all things it was not all about me, there are a number of other staff who are being retrenched.

And though one should take comfort that we “are all in this together” and stand around singing “someone`s sleeping, lord, kumbaya, oh, lord, kumbaya” the reality is that at the end of January I will not have a paycheck, and so will 16 or so of my fellow work mates.

Add that to the stress of my already precarious financial situation, the gazillion rand we are throwing at the renovating, and the wedding we had to pay for this year and the fact that we were still recovering from last year’s maternity leave/four months unemployment, let’s just say it is all just well a little stressful and this retrenchment thing blows chunks!

So all in all you can see how I can use the phrase November sucks like a m*therf*cker!

Leave a comment


  1. Tania

     /  November 29, 2010

    I think you should now seriously consider doing your own thing… you will have the freedom to plan your day/week and fit your children schedule and work schedule when you want it, control your income… All the Best! 🙂

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 29, 2010

      I think the issue I was about is not controlling my income, it is more having one. Thanks for your support though. xx

  2. Take your blog to a publisher. I’d buy it. (Not even kidding)

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 28, 2010

      Would it be wrong for me to push the “like” button on your comment?

  3. Eish. Crap. A worst nightmare – retrenchment.
    Sorry to hear.
    Time to start charging for domestic chores and stock piling wine on special 😉

  4. joanne

     /  November 26, 2010

    Shew… my heart actually skipped when I read that you’ve been retrenched. So awful! I work for the bank that is currenlty retrenching and got a call while on maternity leave that I may not have a position to go back to. As luck would have it, I have a job (that I hate) to try and be thankful for, while those that love their jobs and have been dedicated for 28 years leave the building trying not to walk into walls through the streaming tears!!

    As for MOVEMBER – think the MO can be for MotherF*cking instead of the CANSA campaign…. and so the whole of SA agrees November is a MOFO – roll on MOVEMBER!

  5. Bevan Buck

     /  November 26, 2010

    Hang in there Celeste, I’m a strong believer in the cliche “when a door closes, others open”. I’ve been knocked on my a$$ career-wise a couple of times, and then a better opportunity came along.
    Its not easy keeping perspective when it does happen, but sterkte.
    Consider yourself fortunate that you’re not stuck in dentistry/gynae/proctology… that’s depressing.

  6. John B

     /  November 26, 2010

    You know, take December to figure it out, and I reckon you will come out all the better for it. one way or another. this may be the time to start one of the things you have considered in the past.

  7. Sue

     /  November 26, 2010

    November Shmovember! Bloody hell! Wishing you cases and cases of wine!
    Cripes! Bring on 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx

  8. I think November sucks too – for different reasons, but still.. It’s difficult when family reads in to things that really are not about them and all hell breaks loose. Hope things get better! 🙂

  9. i dont know if that just went thru,,, anyway check facebookx

  10. Hi Celeste!!!!!!!! WOW WINNER thats amazing,,, HUGE congrats,, something to celebrate!
    I started writing about our adventures on moving to Spain blah blah blah,, and tonight I read your post,, an old one,, Im shit at keeping up, sorry..(clearly as I didnt even know you had WON!!)
    anyway tonight I wrote about you madam..
    I would cut and paste but its abit long,, tonights thanksgiving and i just thought you have so much to be thankful for.. you are amazingxx
    I dont know how to send you a link,, still shit at it,, so I will send you a link to your facebook acc.
    lots of lvoexxx lyndsay

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 26, 2010

      Thanks, I will go and have a look – good luck with blogging, it is a bit daunting to get started, but such bliss when it gets going. Good Luck!

  11. kennith

     /  November 25, 2010

    It really is not a big concern. It is more of an emotional knock than a financially threatening one as Celeste will be earning again before December is out!!! But seriously though, Fuck November it can really end now!!!!

  12. Jana

     /  November 25, 2010

    Laura, I agree. On second thought. FUCK November.

  13. Jana

     /  November 25, 2010

    I f@Cking hate f@cking November! F@ck November!

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 25, 2010

      Geez, you are really getting in to this! But we do need a campaign logo …. we seem to have the slogan “F@ck November!’ so that is all sorted!!

  14. The friend that made you do it

     /  November 25, 2010

    Oh man that sucks. The worst thing about having to start a new job is the lack of history – it makes it so difficult if you need time off with a sick child, need to leave early for whatever reason etc because your employer has no past record of dedication and hard work to justify it, they just think you’re taking advantage of their kindness. But (yes, there is always a but) you are one of the most talented people I know and I have no doubt in my mind that any company would be lucky to have you. Who knows, an awesome opportunity may pop up for you as a result of your blog! Hang in there, I’m thinking about you.

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 25, 2010

      Thanks TFTMMDO – I am not quite look on the sunny side of the street material, and I always think that I am totally unemployable, so right now I am just a little afraid. Kennith has been away this week which has not made the stuff easier to deal with, so when he gets home this weekend and can pat my hand and go “it’s okay” we can then decide on a game plan going forward.

      The problem with ‘being retrenched’ is it does make you feel rejected/worthless/totally expendable – none of them good feelings.

  15. I am of the opinion that you earned the right to say FUCK and not F*CK!

    There are no word of comfort or anything except FUCK!

  16. Nisey

     /  November 25, 2010

    That all sounds hideous…

  17. Wow Celeste that is terrible news and I see why you hate November so much!

    I was at the receiving end of a retrenchment notification once, though a total blindside for me. They prolonged my agony and first emotionally tortured me by requesting my suggestions for 4 staff members to be retrenched. 3 of my staff volunteered and I cried buckets about who to nominate for number 4…after speaking to the staff and explaining my position through tears and how much I hated having to do this…I went in…and SURPRISE! It was me!

    I unfortunately was not composed and cried like a baby wanting her bottle.

    As luck would have it though, I was re-employed and given an increase which I was miffed about because i kinda got the idea that everything happens for a reason and imagined I would start up the business I always wanted to and would be running a multi million dollar (rands doesnt sound as nice) corporation!

    Everyone said ‘everything happens for a reason’…and with similar circumstance as yourself (minus the house alteration, the mom and the missing dog)….the unpaid maternity leave last year, financial crisis….i could not understanf why people would continue to feed me this crappy line! BUT in the end I got an increase and was slightly better off…so maybe everything does happen for a reason.

    I hope something comes your way soon…with 3 kids and a husband…I cant imagine how concerned you must be about the future.

    Pity they dont pay you for blogging…I’d pay a fee to read your stuff!

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 25, 2010

      Thanks Simone, I am thinking about using the next month wisely and sending around those emails that ask people to deposit money into your account. I am still working on the wording, but that might be one way for people to pay for my writing!

      Yes, it would be great if I could be paid to blog ……. just need to find someone with a large purse who has a scant disregard for timelines ….. and how much time I spend on the internet.

  18. You always have such long posts and wish I had so many words to say because I think my posts are too short sometimes. But if you do know me, you will know that in person, I’m not a talkactive person aswell.
    You’re not alone – November totally suck.

  19. Sharon

     /  November 25, 2010

    Holy crap! That is a m*therF*cker!
    Wanna come over wine?


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