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Take A Deep Breath: Letting Go Of Financial Stress





I've been reading through some of my old posts and thinking about what I wanted for this, my very-end-of-the-year statement on money. And what I saw was a lot (a lot) of angst and worry and stress. It was appropriate, as I'd spent most of the day in a kind of crazy wound-up worked-up state, getting ready for what should be a lovely, restful retreat with a few friends from my writer's group.

Part of it was financial. I'd spent the week juggling money. I had plenty of money coming in, and I had even done a fairly good job of budgeting for once. But it was more than just the money going out - it wasn't all coming in when I thought it would, and so some of it was going to have to wait to go out again. No big deal. It could work out in the end.

But I wasn't thinking, “no big deal.”

I was thinking, whoa, Nellie! Oh no oh no oh no! I imagined what it would be like if that big check I wrote to a farmer bounced (it didn't). They would be so upset! And it would cost them. And it would cost me. And I'd be obliged to pay their fees, too, and then I would be out a hundred bucks or something more than I planned and maybe I would have to pay my babysitter late and…

I had myself worked up, over what was unlikely to happen. What didn't happen. I realized what I was doing was the same thing I told you all not to do: improperly assessing risks.

I had my worry-to-risk ratio all wrong.

Years ago, I started to work on relaxing more about being late for things. I'm terribly, awfully, predictably late, all the time. I have realized it's because I am a big-idea person, and a perfectionist and, also, a procrastinator. So, I will get a big idea, like, oh! It would be so great if I was the one who brought cloaks back into fashion! I could start tonight at that party to which I have been invited. And I will remember that I made that Red Riding Hood cape for Halloween last year, but it's missing a beautiful ribbon. And so if I could only sew that fabric I have there into a beautiful ribbon… but first I should clean my dining room so that I can find the thread color I want. And if I'm cleaning my dining room, that dresser really needs to be organized, and where does that bottle of nail polish go? Maybe in a nail polish jar!

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