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August 19, 2009 / allyo

Thing 1 & Thing 2

I came back from vacation with two big realizations. The first is a “duh” moment of re-awareness, while the second has prompted a lot of thought in a what happens next kind of way.

Realization #1 (duh): I like nature

Actually, I don’t just like nature. It feeds my soul in a way that I often minimize. MD is very upfront about the importance of nature to his well-being. If he goes to long without a tramp in the woods or an afternoon spent searching a local pond for critters he gets cranky. It’s his church. But me, I guess I just forget. I can’t resisit running water; I love the cool, clean air you find in a forest; I LOVE hiking. And after canoeing and hiking and generally running wild in the patch of brush and trees surrounding our cabin*, Jamie had found the same loves. We even went on a short, easy hike with MD Saturday afternoon, at Jamie’s request.

Realization #2 (wow): Remove the dual, external stressors of money and job, and I am happy. At peace even.

When I was pregnant I realized at some point that for the first time in my life I was at peace. The almost constant, low-level anxiety I’d had all my life was gone, allowing me to live in the moment. And that’s what I found myself doing on vacation. I forgot for hours, even days at a time that August has proven to be a month of financial crisis and that my job was giving me heartburn. The only low point was missing MD. Overall, I was happy. So, what happens next? Do we hunker down and gut it out until our last childcare payment next summer? That’s been our strategy since entering credit counseling and that change in attitude alone has significantly reduced our financial stress. But for both of us our jobs, well, we’re happy to have them, the have the potential to get better, but for the better part of the year they’ve been a source of stress. I’ve been toying with the idea of moving out of state to find something better for the first time since Jamie was born. We’ll probably stay put for a lot of reasons such as oh, not a lot of jobs anywhere and it would be a bad, bad time to even think about selling our house. But opening ourselves up to the possibility has been empowering.

The bigger “what happens next” part of #2 is that I am finally at peace with being a one-child family. The financial security that will be in reach once Jamie starts school now outweighs the desire for another child. I don’t ever want to be in this place again. I want a savings account and I don’t want to worry about money from the moment I wake up to the moment I go asleep. The constant, almost subconscious fretting manifests itself through the constant clenching of my jaw and the band of tension across my forehead. My personal well-being is more important that the joy another child would bring.

I’m not saying we’re going to take any permanent measures (yet) but barring a lottery win or a huge career breakthrough for one of us, our family is complete. I’m looking ahead into a known, happy future instead of wondering, “what if?”

———

There’s a third thing rattling around in my head that has to do with simplifying our lives. *While the cabin we stayed in is actually a converted 2-car garage and has some issues from age and low-leve neglect, it was clean and tidy. I’ve been working on cleaning out our clutter in our living and storage spaces this summer and I’m going to step up those efforts. I am tired of having so much stuff around me and it’s exhausting, keeping track and maintaining it all.

———

Now that I’ve got this off my chest, I’ll talk a little about the actual vacation part of our vacation next. 🙂

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One Comment

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  1. dawn / Aug 19 2009 9:46 am

    I hate all the crap that so many of our friends are going through but then I read a post like this and think, “It’s going to be ok! We’re all going to get through it to something better!!”

    p.s. Don’t move away.

    p.p.s. I think this week is booked re., Museum because I may have a Fuse Factory mtg but it depends on what Brett’s doing and I can’t figure it out.

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