Swings And Roundabouts
How two things can be true at once.
Yesterday, I opened a letter from my bank and baulked. Rising interest rates have added $1500 a month to my mortgage repayments. ‘Effective 16 March 2023’ it shouted and danced on the paper in my hands.
‘Thanks, cunts,’ I muttered under my breath. Now, don’t confuse me, or my words – I am grateful to be paying off my own home. I am fortunate, beyond measure. Acutely aware that a home of one’s own is increasingly becoming a privilege. I am not complaining. But fuck.
Perturbed by the news, I hit the garden and began furiously weeding a patch outside my kitchen window. And then my phone rang.
It was my nephew, M, calling to tell me he was coming over in a few weeks to paint my bathroom ceiling and fix my doors. ‘Start making me a list of all the jobs you need done,’ he said, ‘and I’ll tick them off one by one.’
‘How lovely of you,’ I said. ‘Swings and roundabouts,’ I thought. Swings and roundabouts.
Something that has become abundantly clear to me over the past six months is how two things can be true at the same time. I always kind of knew it. But now I get it.
I am thirty-eight years old and, for the first time in my adult life, single. I am no longer a wife. I do not have a husband. I am not married. I am a single mother. I am a sole breadwinner. I am alone.