UPDATE: I do owe readers an update on this post, as things continue to move in a better direction and several people have reached out to me with concern. Thank you so much for that! A lot of change has obviously gone on with me this year (see the post Not Working: A One Year Check-In,) but unexpectedly shifts occurred with my husband's work as well during this same time. When there is a threat that the rug of financial security may be unexpectedly pulled out from under you it's amazing what can go through one's mind. Fear and more FEAR, how will you be able to carry through on promises to the kids, what's important, what isn't, what changes are you open to making. Happily I can report things are on a correcting course and I have to give a huge shot out to the message of Dave Ramsey to build a several month reserve fund and to the guidance of our financial adviser over the last decade that allowed us wiggle room when moving to a single income and an unexpected but thankfully temporary loss of income from my husband's side. The benefit of going through this period is we have really been forced to elevate what is important in terms of things, priories and goals, coming away with new perspectives and a plan to do some downsizing in several areas, a plan we are excited about. So, all in all, it's been a worthwhile trip through some rougher moments!
For a number of reasons - events and changes that none of us are strangers to - life over the past several months has often been dominated by fear. Much that I had come to take for granted has been challenged, has shifted or even disappeared altogether... at least for now.
Fear is a powerful thing, isn't it? It has left me lying awake on numerous nights, going over each and every detail of a challenge, thinking, rethinking, strategizing, coming up with plans to successfully pass myself and my family through this time. But then my daughter, of all people, shared a quote one day that has completely shifted how I'm approaching this period of our lives. Basically the message is this: One shouldn't let the fear of losing what you have had hold you back from embracing the possibility of something new or different, give yourself the freedom to move on to new things. You won't lose the people or places left behind, if for a brief or even an extended period of time, they will still be there for you.
Then a few days later in a yoga class the instructor began talking about will. Will is also a powerful force; our will to hold on to the status quo, to force our lives down the path we want so badly or believe we need to be happy, not imagining or being open to seeing something more or different. Holding on so strongly to our will for a certain outcome can, in fact, strangle the real vitality from our lives, stopping the life force. Now that sounds pretty "yoga" right? But when you think about it for a bit, the truth of it becomes so very evident.
Nothing truly horrible is happening, we're just on a different path here in this household than I could have foretold a year ago. And it's actually good, when I release the fear. I can begin to see the potential for more in the days ahead than staying "on course" would have brought us. When the uncertainly hits a crescendo, I try to remember to take several deep breaths and see everything is really good in this single day, today, and for now that is enough: the future will unfold as it should if I simply allow it to.