Everything will be ok. Really?
A friend surprised me recently with sending me a sign as a gift. And as a "sign" it felt like a message from the universe reassuring me, that yes everything WAS going to be ok. My life has been a bit overwhelming lately, actually all year it's been overwhelming if I'm going to be honest. I can’t seem to get my arms around everything. Do you ever have that feeling that no matter how much time you set aside it's still not going to be enough? It's just never all going to get done? I know in reality, there is always going to be something on the To Do list - but when do you just say F&*% it and not care if things go by the way side and are left unfinished?
Just when I feel like things are getting better. I am back to feeling overwhelmed again. For example, this has been the year of stomach issues for me. I suffer from terrible acid reflux, heartburn and gastritis. My esophagus is always on fire. Sounds pretty doesn’t it? It’s not! I’m on every medication imaginable. I’ve been to see numerous doctors. I’ve had two endoscopes and now I am going to a healer that is doing energy work, acupuncture and Chinese medicine on me. Guess which one has been the most helpful? Yes, the healer! I have also tried changing how I eat, I do some kind of workout each day, I am also trying meditation (I kinda suck at it!) While I get some relief a day here and there, the majority of my days are spent in pain and uncomfortable. I’ve also become an unreliable friend because 50% of the time, I cancel going out because I can’t eat or drink. Good times! And as a wife I feel guilty because I am so tired of hearing myself constantly saying that I don’t feel well. I am always apologizing for being sick. And what really pisses me off is that you would think that I would at least have lost some weight through this whole process, but even the universe is against me and I haven’t lost weight. I’m like, can’t a girl get a break? If I can't eat or drink, at least let me fit into my skinny jeans. NO! The doctors keep telling me my situation is because of stress. And unfortunately what I’ve learned over the last nine months is there isn’t a magic pill that I can swallow to make my stress go away, I am going to have to do the work.
I don’t feel like my stress is anymore stressful than a lot of my friends stress. Heck anyone that has more than one kid has more stress than me in my opinion. I only have one and I can barely manage it! Those of you with more than one kid - kudos! Job well done, because frankly I don’t know how you do it. Yes, I work full time and I do travel some for work. Sophie is allowed to do two activities. So I manage that schedule and drive her back and forth. Of course she would like an activity a day, but that’s to much to manage AND it’s expensive. Sophie also just started 3rd grade and 3rd grade is no joke. She now has homework every night and half the time, I second guess myself if I am even explaining it correctly! I even ask Alexa for help.
Our dog Georgia, who we have had for a little over a year, was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. She’s only 4 (or so we think, she’s a rescue, so we have no idea) but she’s not old. Our vet said we would either have to put her down by the end of the year or try to save her. So of course we decided to save her and that was a small fortune. But how do you turn your back on one of the sweetest dogs in the world and tell her she’s not worth it? You would be surprised the number of people that said we were crazy to spend that kind of money on our dog. It was 22 days of radiation — 44 trips to the vet in one month. So yes, this has been very taxing on us both financially and emotionally. We were and still are tired! And yes this added to my stress level.
We also recently finished a bathroom renovation a few months back. While some might think…”NICE”, it was either renovate the master bathroom or fall through the garage ceiling. Evidently there has been a slow leak that has been going on for a while. Of course, insurance did not cover the leak, they only cover a leak if a pipe bursts. But a slow, long standing leak is not covered. Seriously? And of course, I had this dream of re-doing our kitchen counters and back splash but now that project is on the back burner because renovating a bathroom isn’t cheap. So I painted my current backsplash with white chalk paint - I'll post photos of that another time. It was a good bandaid for the time being.
So this leads me to my latest conversation with my husband. You know the one you don’t like to have with your husband that begins and ends with dollar signs. I don’t like feeling that financially we are strapped and I really hate sitting down to talk budget and finances. Now to set some context, feeling financially stressed isn’t something new for me. I’ve felt this way my whole life. I have no idea why, I have just always been worried about money and I live in a constant state of paranoia wondering if we have enough. Another question for my therapist the next time I see her. And with where we live it looks like people have PLENTY, you start to compare yourself especially when you reach a certain age. So Jeff thought it would be good to talk to our financial advisor “Doug” given the year we have had with expenses and more that are coming. Doug took a look at our financial plan and reassured us we were doing just fine. Jeff said, “Doug can you tell Molly we aren’t broke”. Doug said “Molly, you aren’t broke.” But then Doug pulled out his retirement calculator and showed us a projection for our retirement. Doug said, “Molly, I know we have you retiring at 56 but look at this, if you retire at 64 instead, look how much more money you will have saved.” “What did you say Doug?”. “I was like “F&*$ no, Doug, I didn’t sign up for another 17 or more years of working”. Well, I didn’t say that, but with the look I gave Jeff, I was DEFINITELY saying that and more!! Now, let’s get this straight, I’m not opposed to working. I like working. But I dream of having my own little shop, helping people decorate and shopping at Scotts Antique Market once a month..
So that leads me to where I am today. I’m not sure if I will be working until the age of 64 like Doug is suggesting. Hell, I can’t even figure out what to cook for dinner most days, thinking about what I will be doing for work until 64 - now that's overwhelming! I envy the people that don't have that kind of financial stress. The older you get, the more successful people around you seem to be. Your friends start to buy bigger homes, have bigger titles and go on more lavish vacations. I'll admit that when they post all these amazing photos on social, I get filled with envy and will compare myself to them. I have to remind myself just how fortunate I really am, how grateful I need to be. And occasionally my best friends will call me on it. Yes, I know I have a lot to be thankful for!
The struggle and pressure we put on ourselves as women is real. We get so busy, it's like we are running in loops and it can consume you if you let it. Right now, it’s consuming me. I think that’s why so many of us TRY not to think about it. We push our stress to the back of our minds, act like everything is fine and that we have everything under control and we just power through it. We post only the good and happy things on Facebook and Instagram, we show the world we got this! But in reality we might feel like we are coming apart at the seems having these internal dialogues with ourselves and not sleeping or we get a medical condition that won't be healed with medication. Is this what happens when you get older? Do you care more or care less? And how do you get to a place of contentment?