I’m no preacher, and this is no sermon. Everything is not going to be OK. Everyday will not be filled with sunshine and rainbows.
Daily Prompt #1878
You know, I consider myself to be a relatively calm person, but don’t let that fool you. That doesn’t mean I never feel anxious. In fact, I feel anxious a good deal of the time. I’m just blessed to be able to keep most people from seeing it. A keen observer will notice, however. And, of course, I can’t hide it all of the time. Sometimes, my shell begins to crack, and the anxiety oozes out. Thankfully, it never just explodes outward, splashing everyone around. It’s more of a slow-moving goo that you only get on you if you get too close. Got a nice visual now?
Money is definitely a cause of anxiety for me. Knowing the list of expenses, things that need to be repaired, or projects that need to be completed and how much they are going to cost, really ratchets up the anxiety for me. Our family doesn’t live extravagantly. Well, except for eggs and Goldfish crackers – those things are expensive! Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of nice things, but I definitely would not consider them extravagant. After 15 years of marriage, my wife and I were finally able to afford a home of our own. Both cars are paid for – though they both need considerable maintenance. My wife wants me to build a pergola in our backyard to make it an “oasis.” I would love to, but that’s money I don’t have. Our fence is collapsing, you can’t drive more than 15 minutes in my car without choking because exhaust is making its way into the cabin, and my other vehicle has something wrong with the transmission (I think). Oh, and then there’s college debt. Ugh. Yes, money stresses me out. But let’s set those negative feelings aside for a moment and give thanks for what we have: a home, cars that are paid for, a good education, and, more recently – a good job! My job is paying the bills. Can we afford all the things we want? No. Can we afford all the things we need? Also no, but we’re getting closer to being able to meet those needs as each year goes by. I’m working hard and being rewarded. That’s something to be grateful for!
My wife’s health is another thing that gives me anxiety. I feel anxiety when I’m not in control, and I’m definitely not in control of the pain that my wife is feeling on a daily basis. I’ve mentioned some of this before, so without going into too much detail, let me tell you: migraines and depression suck. Some people suffer from illnesses you can see, and when you see them, you feel sorry, and you wish them well. When the illness is invisible, most people assume you’re making it up – it’s all in your head (no, the irony is not lost on me). I’m thankful that she is not dealing with cancer or some other horrible illness that millions (billions?) of people deal with every day. I can tell you, as the spouse of someone dealing with an invisible illness, that it is hard. Family, friends, doctors… All tend to triage the people in their lives automatically, and those with gaping wounds and hairless heads are typically considered in more immediate need. Some of you may be dealing with cancer right now, or perhaps you are a cancer survivor. Please hear me. I am not trying to diminish the pain and suffering that you are experiencing. I’m pleading for people to understand that just because you cannot see the illness does not make it any less painful, nor does it impact your life or the lives of your loved ones any less.
That was pretty heavy, so here’s a couple pictures of me and the kids acting silly while visiting the Oklahoma City Science Museum the other day to help you feel better.
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It’s March, and Spring is just around the corner.
In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to get the garden started, and the bicycle tires aired up. The gloom of winter will soon pass, and the sun will be our companion. What is one thing you will do this year to make this your best summer yet? Share your ideas in the comments.
The Nutcracker Trilogy
I will continue to shamelessly promote these books because I’m so excited about being a small part of Drosselmeyer’s journey. If you’re new here, let me encourage you to check out The Nutcracker Trilogy by Paul Thompson. All three books are available in print and as e-books. Books one and two are available as audiobooks, narrated by yours truly. Click the links below to explore.
Oh, and it doesn’t have to be Christmas for you to enjoy these stories (just like it doesn’t have to be Christmas to enjoy Harry Potter).
Apple Books / Apple Audiobooks / Amazon / Audible
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One thought on “Health and Wealth”
Loved your article! Jim also gets to deal with a wife who has horrible migraines as well as rheumatoid arthritis which is way more than joint pain but most people have no idea. He’s truly been amazing helping me even though there are days we’ve both had enough. But back to anxiety, I’ve always had issues with it to one degree or another but shortly after we got Shawn at 3 weeks old (aka Tristan), I was diagnosed with the RA. Now 14 years later, my anxiety at being older than most parents of a teenager, I can keep myself get seriously freaked out at not being here for him (even tho I know Jeremiah and Rachel will be awesome). With his autism and trauma history, I can let myself get caught in the “no one else can do this” mode. Currently working with a therapist who is really helping me with all of that, and of course my fav podcaster Lysa Teurkerst is freaking awesome! Thankful for resources and my hubby! Hang in there…. Thanks for sharing