It felt like a whirlwind, a mudslide of noise, opinions, decisions. Spending money is the sauce for extra stress. And thus month I had to pay our property taxes, rent income tax, health insurance, and there are a few trips coming up. We bought equipment for hiking in Austria, and my biggest burden this fall that pulled me down down was preparing our money for a car purchase. The minivan needed a few costly fixes last summer and the car is still old and thirsty for more money. 

The world at large seems uncertain, the recession is looming, the cost of living is going up fast. Last week Amazon and Google and Microsoft laid off tens of thousands of people. All the tech companies that have hired in spades during Covid, now they have to cut back. I was Newlywed when the last recession was in full bloom, and we were affected by it, trying to make ends meet and pay our monthly costs. I think we came out stronger for it but we are also dealing with some sort of economic ptsd. We are different people, in our late 30s not early 20s. We don’t have debt but we have kids to raise. 

Back to my mudslide. A sense of powerlessness when people drag me here and there, and my heart wants to be there, but my mind keeps grappling with a deep hunger for peace. As a volunteer I don’t feel my time is properly valued, it is asked for, but it doesn’t have natural financial boundaries. I have to wire hard to discern between where I can invest my time. Luckily, having kids has saved me a lot of grief. And sorted through my expectations and demands. But even then, I need to learn to choose. Choose well. And not have my kids chose for me, or the family needs overwhelm all my decisions about life. 

I had to pull back from two trips. One with a large group of women. Mainly because there isn’t someone to lead the way in an assumed manner. And it exhausts me. To feel compelled to step up, to verbalize, to take charge. I do this all the time in the other areas of my life. 

Then a trip to Vermont. The family would have visited for 4 days for a memorial, and it would have been full of people we don’t know well. Conrad made the call to not go. We can’t afford it. The us taxes will be high this year. I expect. 

The relief of getting off the track for these two trips provided such relief. Robe- relief of being excluded. I experience it. And it’s great. Truly! 

When you feel like you are pulled down a mudslide, with no exit strategy, feeling overwhelmed, acknowledge out loud what would happen if you stepped away. Nothing. Most often it is inconsequential if you don’t take part. So why submit yourself to such amount of stress? 

I stayed in a job that caused me panic attacks because I couldn’t afford to quit. But it was a purely financial reason. And the clear separation in my mind was useful to remain centered. 

I embrace my decisions. And I enjoy this slow Saturday morning. At the end of January, with the guest later of snow on our car. May this winter be quick and lovely for the kids.