My parents live in Oklahoma, as well as my sister and her family. So last week, despite the fact that the tornado that hit near Oklahoma City was a good 150 miles from them, I still felt anxious. I also have life long family friends who live in an Oklahoma City suburb, plus extended family members.
My dad is recovering from knee surgery and, like I mentioned above, he lives in Oklahoma. I live 12 hours away in Kentucky. This at times, makes me anxious. I cannot be there in person. I cannot help and encourage my mom face to face.
My immediate family, the people I love the most in the world, they can be cause [whether justifiable or not] for anxiety. As my kids get older, they become more free and that’s not easy. It’s not completely pleasant to let them go.
So many little things cause me to tense up. New moles on my face. Melanoma? I certainly hope not. Crime in my neighborhood and the fact my daughter will not have her big brother with her on the bus ride home next school year. Our cars. They are not anywhere near new. What if one needs major work?
I spent years at home with my kids. And I’m so grateful for that time. I cherished those years. The bummer is, taking years off, despite my college education and brief but interesting quest into the post graduate world as an MBA student, leave me in not the best situation career wise. And it’s not that I do not like my current job.
Sometimes I wish we could all [as in our entire society] get together and say, “Hey, let’s stop using money.” Because money and lack thereof can bring so many struggles into play.
I find myself more and more anxious regarding this subject. I find as I talk to others, life can offer some very unfair scenarios and suddenly one can find oneself in a rather treacherous situation.
Sometimes it feels like a grand conspiracy. I stopped working years ago to be with my children. In doing so, I and my husband raised [so far] successful children. Had I not stopped working, our family would most likely be in a significantly better financial situation than we face today. Despite what culture might have one believe, re-entering the workforce as a middle aged female doesn’t positively reinforce the [you can have it all dream]. Even with a college degree. Even with a couple MBA classes. I find other women are not always very compassionate, as I live in a state where to take years off as a [stay at home mom] means you’re most likely classified as either upper middle class or overtly religious. I’ve never categorized myself as either.
So I find myself often a bit angry. Angry at myself for not providing more. Angry at society for not honoring my choices in a friendlier manner. Angry because others don’t deem my education and life experience what I think they’re worth.
No one wants to live one unpleasant doctor’s visit away from disaster, but that’s where we are. No one wants to be the one who refuses to go out to lunch due to financial priorities. No one wants to consider buying a Mother’s Day gift might not be a fiscally smart move.
Yet I rarely hear anyone discuss their money problems. Sure, people talk about what they’ve overcome [ie they took on a paper route to pay off some debt and now life is grand] or the occasional testimonial of losing thousands in a retirement fund gone south. But the day to day struggles, you hardly get that. The:
- I’m sorry but I don’t have $10 for my child to take a field trip.
- I would love to take a week long family vacation, but we just don’t have the money.
- I am really struggling to keep my priorities straight regarding my spending.
We don’t seem to want to openly discuss our money issues. While I could believe it’s because few of us have them, that can’t possibly be the case.
I know one of the reasons finances stress me is the fact my husband and I have been down a dark road before. It was lonely and much of it was not due to our choices, but circumstances beyond our control. Insurance bills left unpaid due to a company going out of business. Workplaces that decided not to [do the honorable thing]. Trying to follow a [calling] as very young and naive people.
Older and wiser now, I realize we could be ever so close again to that path. Not because we love the things of the world. But because we are trying to care for our family. Not because we’re materialistic. Believe me, we are not. And I know, because I once was.
My self appointed word for 2013 is HOPE. And I’m trying [so very hard] to remind myself of this. Hope, hope hope, and eventually things will be alright. Yet, I’m reminded that wasn’t the case previously. Things do not always find a way of working themselves out. Pray? Trust me, I do. Yet the anxiety still creeps in. Reminding me there is no guarantee. So much, so very much, is beyond my control.
From Lamentations, chapter 3:
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
This, this I will try to remember. And hope in him.