I think a lot of us have certain worries, and patterns of worrying, that seem to define our existence.
For me it was money.
It began with debt, and cycles of getting in and out of debt. I broke that cycle, but there was still that constant anxiety. We were living paycheck to paycheck, and I did not budget, because the numbers scared me. The mortgage added stress to it, and I knew we would be in serious trouble if I lost my job. Even in the happy times, the financial stress was in the background. I sought escape, usually by purchasing more things, and that only compounded the problem. I got nervous when Rob called me at work, because it was often because a collector for some forgotten bill had called him at home.
I remember, at a previous job, shortly after I got married, my boss showed me a little blurb, called “My Resignation from Adulthood.” It really made me feel wistful and sad, because I wanted to turn in my checkbook, credit card bills, and car keys. I felt like to be an adult meant to have these financial responsibilities and worries. And that there was no going back to the life before, when I was free from these worries. Getting the mortgage was another thing we did, because that’s what adults do.
Two days ago, I realized that these money worries were causing me tremendous anxiety, that got worse as the day went on. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to do deed in lieu. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to get an apartment. (We have decided not to take the motor home down to Texas, because the RV parks are less than desirable, and the motor home is just a distraction from our real goal–living on a boat. We are looking at renting a small apartment, short term, while we save up for the boat). The financial aspects of this move, have kept me living in fear and worry.
So I looked it in the eye. The bank has no problem letting us do deed in lieu (which is a relief, because deed in lieu is not very common in Michigan, because foreclosure is a relatively short process here), and they are going to expedite the process, since we are moving soon. I found an apartment complex that said our credit issues will likely not be a problem, and we’ll have an answer for sure, by Friday. It looks like a nice community, and we’re going to be living it up in a 600-square-foot unit, since it was actually cheaper than the 500-square-foot apartment.
My goal is to keep our expenses minimal, and to limit the purchasing and accumulating of distractions. I want to create a budget that becomes a habit, so that money is the last thing on my mind. Our rent will be between 1/4 and 1/5 of my income, and after we find a boat and get a marina slip, it will go down to between 1/9 and 1/10. That will significantly lower the pressure in that realm.
So, my question is, what is going to be there, when this worry is gone? I know that I am not my fears, but this worry has defined my entire adult life. What can be done, with this energy no longer being wasted?
Only time will tell. Stay tuned.