The last night of a long holiday can be such a let-down. Especially after a great Thanksgiving week. But I've just cut myself a big piece of cheesecake and poured a little scotch and am choosing to prolong this vacation as long as I can. My Monday morning anxiety will come soon enough.
It always does. Worry is my middle name. Madame E. Worry Hurd.
And being the worrying sort, I get anxious about lots of things. But my biggest stressor is always money. The dollar haunts me. I feel guilty when I spend it. I get nervous that I won't be able to repay my debts. I'm scared that I won't have enough of it saved up to send my kids to college or pay their medical bills. I get frustrated when I see people fighting over it, and I get even angrier when people consume it conspicuously. I have nightmares about it. And if daymares are a thing, I have those too.
In short: money isn't something I own...it owns me.
I got to thinking about worry a lot this week because my two year-old son is crippled by his own worries. Namely: ghosts. Are they under his bed? Are they in the closet? Or lurking in creepy places? In his socks? I can't count how many wonderful moments were ruined by him remembering how scary ghosts are.
Which is exactly like my fear of money. Money is my ghost. I'm ruining perfectly good times by freaking out about it.
So what's a worry wart to do?
The answer dawned on me tonight while I was putting my son to bed. He was screaming about ghosts under the blankets. Except tonight, rather than tell him everything was ok, I asked him what we should say to the ghosts. We came up with dozens of ideas. Everything from "No ghost, go away!" to "Ghost, need a hug?"
Preparation for our fears is a great way to beat them. If I can prepare myself with a course of action for my scariest financial scenarios, then there's nothing to worry about. A plan is in place. So I can let go of the daily fear until that game plan is needed.
I can't believe it took me so long to figure this out.
Reader, if you've got any lingering fears that you can't seem to shake, maybe it's time to make a plan and move on. Life is too short to be haunted. I'll leave you with this photo of my son and I on the shores of Lake Michigan yesterday. That little furrowed brow just breaks my heart; I'm on a mission to help rid him of it. Until next Sunday, I wish you a week free of worry and full of joy. -Em