So what has been going on the world of Lee Davy this week? What can I drag out of my life and lay bare for people to learn from? There have been two things that have dominated my thoughts. At the start of the week my thoughts were on nothing but debt and then as the week tailed off my thoughts turned to divorce.
My earliest memories of money are not ones that I am proud of. When I was my son’s age I started stealing money from my parents. I would wait until they were drunk and steal £2 maybe 3 from them. I thought that they would never notice because they were inebriated and I was right. So why did I steal money? I am pretty sure that a part of the methodology behind the act was a cry for help (another post in itself), but mainly it was to keep up with the Joneses.
Deciding at the cherubic age of 10 that I needed to keep up with the Joneses has led to a lifetime of debt. What did debt bring me? It brought me a lot of materialistic things. I had cars, expensive electronic gadgets and all the best designer clothes. I used to think I wanted them for my own personal pleasure but it was all a lie. I now realise the truth. I now realise that the only reason I bought those items was to satisfy my ego. I had a good job with a good salary and I wanted everybody to know. Instead of telling them all (which I am sure I also did) I displayed that vanity all over my house and my person.
I only started to change when I went through my divorce. I moved into my mother’s spare room and had to decide what to do with all of the stuff my credit card had bought. I remember standing in my old house and everything I owned had been moved into one room waiting for me to clear it out. I rung my friend up and told him to shift it all and either sell it, keep it or dump it. When I used to ponder the thought of divorce, one of the excuses that my mind used to keep me at home was my material possessions. I really was worried about how we would divide everything we owned between the pair of us. Yet when it came down to it, I found it very easy to just let things go.
Now I own hardly anything I can gauge my levels of happiness both with material goods and without material goods. I can tell you that the material goods did not provide me with happiness. Like so many things in society it was an illusion and a very clever one at that. When I checked my bank account this week I noticed that I was £1,400 overdrawn. This was the first time this had happened since I managed to clear my debt. I had outstanding invoices and money in my other accounts, so I wasn’t technically in the red, but it was a clear warning sign.
LEE, YOU ARE HEADING FOR FINANCIAL MELTDOWN
A bit dramatic? No, not really. You see I now understand how much misery debt piled onto my life and I never want to have those feelings ever again. It was time to act and act quickly and this is why debt has been my focus this week. I have finished my first financial book (which I will review next week) and have started a nine-step financial program (I will share every stage with you). I am so excited right now. My brain is pumping away with thoughts about frugality, tithing, saving and living a wonderful life and I hope to share all of this with you, so you too can learn about the woes of debt.
In last weeks Pick of the Week: Love and Blood I wrote about my experience with grief after the death of my Nan. I was confused because I wasn’t grieving and wrote about my lack of experience in the grieving department. I was wrong in that assumption because ever since my ex-wife and I decided to end our 15-year marriage I have been grieving. I once read that going through a divorce is more difficult to deal with than death. With a divorce, the person whom you loved so much is still very much alive and this is even more difficult if you share children. We live in a very big world, yet on times trying to co-exist with my ex-wife has been so very difficult.
At the end of this week the divorce process finally ended and I am no longer a married man. The act of the final dissolution forces your mind to think about your marriage. There is nothing you can do about it. Try as you might, your mind will just keep going back to the same old thing. I feel very sad, angry and disappointed with myself. You see when I write about my debt and the way that I allowed myself to be hauled through that illusion, the fallout of my behaviour was felt by ex wife and my son. When I talk about learning to communicate better and become a better partner for my new girlfriend, my ex-wife and my son felt all my failings in the past. I keep crying because I feel like I was responsible for giving them both a great life and I screwed it up. They both looked up to me and gave me their lives and I let them both down. I know that I am going to have to forgive myself one day but when that day is I do not know.