As we decorated our little Christmas tree last weekend and tried to get into the holiday spirit, I finally allowed myself to indulge in a moment of grief and disappointment. I let the tears flow and spoke aloud all of the ways that things are simply NOT OK right now. The house didn’t sell so we’re stuck here all winter, our daughter will not be home for the holidays for the first time ever, we have debt that should’ve been paid off with the home sale so our finances are nowhere near where we’d like them to be and with the winter season comes reduced hours and income. To say that stress is high and morale is low is acutely, alarmingly accurate.
I’ve been doing my very best to stay positive and let this all roll off my back, to keep looking forward and act as if everything is fine but for just a minute I gave in to the reality that it’s not. I’m not happy about the way things turned out or the fact that we’re still in this house for the long, snowy winter. The biggest motivation for the plan we had was improving our financial situation and instead we’re further behind than ever. I miss my daughter terribly and don’t even have her coming home for the holiday to lift my spirits. My pity party is legitimately in full effect.
But not to worry, I didn’t allow myself to wallow there too long. I definitely think it’s healthy to let yourself acknowledge and feel your emotions instead of bottling them up or pretending everything is great when it’s not. You just can’t let yourself get comfortable there and stay longer than necessary or you’ll slip into the toxic self-pity zone. The best way for me to pull myself up out of the pit of despair and back into the light is to allow myself to consider the worst possible outcome of the current situation and then to remember all of the ways that I have been and am still BLESSED.
So first off, although the spot we’re in now is not where we want to be the reality is that it’s not the end of the world. Our bills are paid and current, we have a beautiful home to live in, the heat works and there’s plenty of healthy food to eat. Our 4 fur babies are happy and healthy. Worst case scenario, we fall behind on our financial obligations over the next couple of months and then dig back out come spring. Even if it all fell apart completely and we lost absolutely everything, it’s JUST STUFF. In the grand scheme of life, no material possession is as important as we like to think it is and if we were to lose it all we would still be perfectly fine.
Now that I’ve let myself consider what would happen if things went from bad to worse to awful, I can take a deep breath and exhale slowly knowing that it’s not as bad as it seems and even if it gets to that point I’ll still be fine. As hard it seems right now, there is always something to be thankful for and a future to look forward to. We have our winter fat tire bikes and will have time to go on lots of fun rides. I’m flying out to Arizona in January for a week to spend time with my son, Cameron and my family. Ciara and Paul are coming back home in February for a week. We’ve been going to the gym and eating a healthy vegan diet and are feeling absolutely wonderful lately. I’ve been reading a ton and I’m so grateful for the time and ability to do that. We have season tickets to the Detroit Lions and we’ve been down for several games which we really enjoy (even with the way this season has gone). We have wonderful friends and family and we are far more blessed than we could ever deserve to be.
As I’m writing I’m watching the snow gently falling outside while the dogs nap on the sofas. It’s almost noon on Wednesday and since I have the day off I think I’ll make myself a delicious lunch and then spend the afternoon finishing the book I’m into and maybe start another one. I’ll make a delicious dinner for Ron after his hard, cold day outside working. Tonight all six of us (including the dogs) will climb into our giant bed and snuggle up together. And when I look at my life from that perspective, when I focus on all that I have instead of all that I don’t have, I can see so clearly that I have nothing to be anxious or upset about and everything to be thankful and happy for. I already have everything that I need: I have God, I have a husband who is my best friend, I have two amazing kids who are doing wonderful, I have four furry goofballs full of love, I have my health and my family and friends. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
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