"Yes, I worry about the craziest things, but better me than someone less qualified." -Robert Brault
If you have been reading my blog for more than a year, you know full well that I have been through some stressful times. The last two years have been a delightful break in all that—first finding love, then getting married, and finally setting up house. We weren’t worry-free, but so many of my dreams came true that it all seemed a little bit magical.The past few months have been a little more stressful. Just life stress. Money, job changes/layoffs, family difficulties. But hey, I survived a lot of stress over the years, a lot worse things than we are facing now, right? I have faced and conquered life-altering stress. I have stared down my demons, admitted all of my past pain to a complete stranger (therapist). I endured hours and hours of therapy that at times felt like some torturous prison camp as my scars and old wounds were torn open, baring everything I had ever feared or lost. All this while being out of work, pretty much broke, and trying to recover from a huge betrayal/ break-up.
So, anything now should be a cake walk. It should. But as my husband and I both face a tough job market, big decisions, and dealing with some hurtful and tense family issues, I am wondering if I have learned anything from all I have gotten through. Why do I worry myself into panic attacks and extra helpings of migraines? Why do I lay awake at night fretting about things I can’t change until I am sweating, counting the hours passing on the clock on the nightstand—the glowing numbers seeming to fly by at breakneck speed?
I know that this does absolutely no good. Worrying won’t help any of it. It also doesn’t help me be a better person, a better worker, or a better wife. What it usually does is leaves me sleep-deprived, grouchy, and less apt to find the solutions to what is going on than I would be if I got some sleep and gave the worrying a rest.
It’s different now that I am married. Before, I worried for just myself, and it was a huge weight dealing with everything alone. But now, I worry for my husband—for both of us. I want to be the best wife I can, I want to help us build a future together, I want to make the right choices about jobs, where we live, and what to cook for dinner. I am under no pressure from my husband, who believes I am gifted at all of these things. And sometimes I even worry about THAT.
We have both been under pressure as money has been tight, and sometimes it seems like an accumulation of little things going wrong turns into an avalanche. At one point last week, a lot had happened and it seemed like our house was running under Murphy’s Law 24/7. One thing seemed to stack on top of another. There was a quiet tense moment, and then… we laughed. We had to. It all seemed almost absurd. It was a good moment, and helped us to remember that we are in this together, and we are so good for each other.
It is 12:18am as I am writing this, and the last hour has been devoted to worrying about my dreams of being a writer—and how I can ever fit that into everything we are trying to do. I don’t want to lose that, I want to make it happen. Then it hit me that I was worrying instead of writing. So here I am. It’s one small step to slow down the wheels turning in my head, to try and take away one piece of the never-ending puzzle that is this need to fret.
I am sure by 1:00am, something else will inhabit my thoughts…seriously low bank statements, pain that I wish I could take away for my husband, the 100 things I need to do for work before 11:00am tomorrow…but for now, for the next 42 minutes or so, I am going to try to give it a rest. To breathe. In and out. Slowly. And maybe, just maybe, get some sleep.
Artwork by Georgiana Chitac. View more of her beautiful work here.