Last night my husband and I sat down to plan our family summer vacation. We discussed the various financial aspects of the level of trip we wanted to take and then we set off with a map and ideas. Two hours later, and well passed my bedtime, we had our plans ninety percent ironed out. I went to bed happy and excited.
Then, shortly before four this morning, I woke with another anxiety attack. It is the third morning in a row being up with anxiety and having to navigate the day on less than five hours sleep. Lying there looking ahead to the day I could not help but feel overwhelmed. The last two days have included multiple panic attacks and even tears and now today has started on the same path.
The catch to planning this trip is that I know we will go on it. It will be wonderful! And yet my understanding of money is that when it is allocated in one area it cannot also be used in another. Money is a big trigger for me. It is not that we are overwhelmed with debt or anything like that. We are both fortunate to have no student loans or any past hospital bills outstanding or any of the usual trials that people our age may face.
In fact, the stress is not even money today. It is in knowing that my work schedule will be changing when a new baby arrives and the uncertainty of how that will look and how that will impact the financial balance we have today. It is the uncertainty of weeks off work on maternity when I work a job without those benefits.
My anxiety is a result of not being present. It is in fearing something that hasn't happened yet and may not even happen the way I fear. And in this case, the best laid plans really provide little comfort. All I can do is trust it will be ok based on the evidence that it has always worked itself out in the past. I can trust that I can work it out to the best of my ability in planning. And beyond that I just have to give in to faith, the faith of knowing I am not alone in this and I am supported in a million different aspects of this beautiful life with which I have been blessed.
Does this make this moment easier? Not immediately. But it provides a crack in the worry long enough to break the anxiety cycle and let gratitude slip inside.
I'm grateful to have a faithful, supportive, loving husband. I'm grateful that his job provides more financial security for our family. I'm grateful to be able to work and earn money in a way that I love while still having time to raise our daughter. I'm grateful to remind myself that these concerns were the same as when I was pregnant with my daughter and we were able to work it out. I'm grateful to know my creative mind and variety of skills will provide solutions this time as well. I'm grateful for a wonderful family network that helps with babysitting and emotional support. I'm grateful to know this too shall pass. I'm grateful to know that while planning may be the best increase in happiness, taking the trip is what makes the lasting family memories.
What are your plans? What triggers your stress? How do you navigate trusting everything will work out?
May today remind us that there is power in trust. May we allow ourselves to dream and may we take the chance at following those dreams even if it means hitting a few bumps along the way. Have a beautiful day!