Day 27 – Saturday, December 31: Rethinking the year and other things

This year’s a little hard to rethink. Would I have moved out with my friend had I known I would be asked to leave barely six months later because I couldn’t make the rent? Maybe. My financial situation would not likely have been much better had I stayed where I was and I needed a place where I felt nourished, and with more light and space. For a while I did feel that way and maybe getting out of the other place was the point.

What might I have done differently had I realized how quickly I would slip into a financial quagmire? If I think about it, I was just as scared of launching into new areas of looking for work then as I am now, perhaps even more. I’m still better at studying the how-to-do-it than I am the actual doing it. Sometimes those baby steps feel like I’m just marching in place. Yet I’m not certain I was able to do much more than I did.

One of my former classmates has a motto I’ve thought about often in the years since I’ve met him: Do something that scares you every day. It’s always sounded like something I wish I could do with the ease he seems to have around it. As if doing something that scares you is an exciting adventure to be explored. Right now, I’m not certain I’m doing something that scares me even once a week. The thing is, I think I’m scared of feeling scared, if that makes any sense. It’s as if I’m afraid I’ll fall apart or something if I try to do something and can’t because of the fear.

I’ve heard that courage is not about being fearless, but continuing on despite the fear. Maybe that’s all I need to do – keep taking those steps, even when they feel tiny. The fact of the matter is, they will not always be tiny; every now and then I’ll be able to take a bigger step, even a leap. Who knows, maybe I’ll even learn to run a bit. It could happen!

If you have a copy of Courage to Change, check out the July 28th reading. It’s one of the ones indexed under “progress, not perfection.” The author tells about how a stonecutter may strike a stone again and again with no apparent effect. Then, all of a sudden, that 100th strike breaks the stone apart. But it wasn’t really the 100th strike that did it – it was the 99 that came before it that enabled that final blow to make the difference. I’m going to try to remember this in the coming weeks and months when I’m tempted to feel like I’m not making progress. The truth is, there’s a lot of inner work going on even when I think I’m not doing anything. Every now and then I respond to something differently and realize I am making progress. That’s often all the encouragement I need to forge ahead with new resolve.

May you be blessed with all the encouragement you need for whatever challenges you’re facing!

And here’s a question for you: I’m still learning how to “blog,” in the sense of generating some discussion. What encourages you to comment or exchange ideas on a blog like this?  I’d really like to know. (Your response to this can remain private, btw – just let me know and I won’t approve it for public posting.)

Today’s action step(s):

  • Meeting a fellow program member who needed instruction in getting into the building for some special meetings today.
  • Making the commitment to be the secretary at one of my regular Al-Anon meetings, even though I no longer live close by.
  • Demonstrating my faith in God by writing my first check for 2012 to my church. (What a great way to begin my year financially!)

Day 26 – Friday, Dec. 29: Small things can feel pretty good

I had planned to work today (Friday) just long enough to prepare the deposit. Instead, I recognized that I was tired of feeling rushed and took the time to consider what other tasks would be important or helpful to address. I checked phone messages, returned calls, answered the phone, and processed payments – none of which I had planned to do. I left feeling good about what I’d done and appreciating that my work next week will go a little more smoothly because of it.

It felt good to deliver the nutritional supplements I know I won’t be using to a friend. She called and left a message later saying she’ll be able to use quite a few of them. Yay! My releasing becomes her blessing. Isn’t that the way it should be?

Later in the day, after finishing a DVD from the night before, I felt an urge to do some organizing. In the short time I’ve been here, I already have a growing paper pile. The snowball effect of this all-too-frequent occurrence has typically been that I can’t find things I need and the pile grows…and grows…and becomes several piles. I have spent countless hours in frustrating searches for some essential piece of paper as a result of these proliferating piles. Yet dealing with them often feels overwhelming and intimidating.

Have you ever noticed that each piece of paper requires some kind of decision, and each decision is based on an evaluation of each piece of paper? If it’s a bill, the evaluation is around if, how and when I can pay it and where to keep it until I pay it. If it’s some type of correspondence, the evaluation is around my need to respond or not. Even if it’s advertising, I still ask myself if I need/want/care about the product or service. No matter what the paper is, the questions inevitably include: Do I need to do something in response to this? Do I keep it or toss it? Where do I keep it until I need to respond to it and/or where do I file it where I can find it again? Throw in the lack of any sort of filing space and that opens up a whole other challenge!

I’ve discovered that I do my best “paper work” when I have the “company” of something to watch on TV. Movies I enjoy and have seen before work quite nicely. If I miss part of them because I’m engrossed in what I’m doing, no biggie. If it’s recorded, I can rewind; if not, I’ve seen it before anyway. Just such a movie was on this evening and it felt good to start working on the papers I’ve accumulated this month – which included finally opening all the mail I picked up at the post office earlier this week.

It feels like such a small step. Yet it’s exactly one of the tasks I want to do more of on this journey. If I did this even twice a week, I wouldn’t have those boxes of unsorted papers filling up my storage units. Maybe I can find another movie to keep me company and have a fresh start by New Year’s Day.

I wonder, am I the only one who wrestles with these ridiculous piles of paper that seem to reproduce like bunnies all over my desk?

Today’s action step(s):

  • Relaxing at work by doing a bit more than planned.
  • Going through my mail and organizing some of the papers on my table.

Day 25 – Thursday, Dec. 29: Learning to let go

A little over a year ago, I wrote something in my reflection journal that I appreciated reading this morning. I was responding to several things: a verse from Philippians (4:11), where Paul writes that he has learned to be content with whatever he has; a reflection with this verse from a Daily Guideposts devotional (not sure which year, probably 2010); and the events that were going on in my life at the time – upcoming surgery, final semester in seminary and so on. In some ways I am in a very different place in my journey; in other ways, I am very much in the same place. Here’s the gist of what I wrote:

The (devotional) author talked about a mythical place called “When,” as in when I get done with xyz, I’ll do this. I know this place well – I think I lived there most of my life. But when I read this devotion, I realized I have already moved out of “When,” at least for the most part.

I can hear lingering thoughts in my mind even now; wistful images of happiness when this happens or time to do that when that happens. The difference is that now I know better. I finally get that things in me, especially behavior patterns, do not change just because outer circumstances change. Moving into a nicer room will not magically cause my files to suddenly become organized. Nor will buying new organizers relieve the problem either. (I’ve tried that many, many times.)

It’s taken me a long time to get this far and I still have a ways to go. Most of my progress has been through letting go of the fruitless seeking of quick fixes. And that has been a slow lesson to get.

I still dream of a larger room, a nicer apartment with lots of light and camaraderie, a loving partner to share my life, and so on. But I know it takes time for all of this to happen – especially for me to become ready to receive these dreams. In the time between now and whatever blessings may await me, I am learning more and more to appreciate all that I have now.

 The funny thing is, I did get a couple of those things. I moved into an apartment with a friend. The place had lots of light and my room seemed much larger, although it probably wasn’t that different in size. But my fears kept me from moving forward and I didn’t know how to break the patterns of my behavior that were holding me back.

I’m still working on this, which is why I am here, writing this now. I read something else that I wrote in another journal entry last year that I keep thinking about:

Every step toward trust is a step away from fear.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the last few days after coming across it. Sometimes I think my fears are this giant challenge I have to overcome all at once, with or without God’s help. I forget that sometimes it really only does take those small steps, one by one, little by little putting distance between me and the fear that used to hold me back.

Today I took another step, trusting that whichever way things went, God would show me the way to what I need. I’m still learning how to make this more of a consistent way to respond to my fears and know that this, too, takes time and practice.

How do you let go or move past the fears and challenges in your life?

Today’s action step(s):

  • Getting my thyroid prescription filled – affordably and gracefully easily! (I was anxious that the prescription was “past due,” but that wasn’t an issue whatsoever.)
  • Taking some things to storage.
  • Parking a little farther away from where I need to go just to get a bit more walking in.

Day 24 – Wednesday, Dec. 28: Tackling the fear

This morning I was reminded to stop letting fear get in the way and to tackle the adversaries of my confidence. It was a timely reminder. This was the day I had set aside to take care of my student loan paperwork to address the very real (for the time being) situation of not having money to pay loans that would be coming due next month. Just the federal part of my loans from only one of the two companies I’m working with is scheduled to begin payments that are literally about 95% of my take-home pay. Needless to say, action on my part is required!

I started to work on this a few days ago, then realized I needed some files from storage. Yesterday, I went “shopping” in my storage units and picked up those papers and several other items. (I’m trying to not go out and buy the things I know I have in storage. I already have too much “stock”!)  Since I needed to find some information, then submit the form online, I went to the office to use my computer there.

Right now, my loans are in deferment because I am considered “unemployed” by their standards. When I first applied for deferment, I was told that I needed to have at least six interviews for fulltime positions during that time if the deferment would need to be extended. I’ve only had two. Many of the positions I’ve applied for (which is admittedly not an impressive number) have not even acknowledged receipt of my application. So goes today’s job market…

Then I had this idea. What if I simply asked if I am eligible to continue to have them in deferment? If I’m not, I can continue the paperwork I had planned to do already. But if I am… As it turns out, there is no requirement of “six interviews” for either the federal loans or the other loans with this company. I was told that yes, I could submit the request to extend the deferment. The online form for the non-federal loans did, however, ask if I had made at least six diligent attempts to find full-time employment. I nervously checked the “yes” box. My efforts feel so feeble compared to people I have met who are boldly out there submitting five or six applications a week. I don’t know how they do it. Clearly they are not ACAs struggling with things like fear of rejection or, worse, uncertainty about the kinds of jobs they even want.

I’m beginning to think that some (many? most?) people really don’t care where they work as long as they have a job. I’m afraid I do. It actually matters to me that I like the those with whom I work and for whom I work. It matters to me that the job pay me enough that I’ll be able to stay there rather than to immediately begin looking for a position that pays more. Yet at least one person I spoke to last summer about my student loans suggested that any job, even a minimum wage job, should be on my apply-to list. Call me weird, but I prefer a job I look forward to going to each day and a company whose mission I am pleased to support.

So, long story short, the anxiety I felt about qualifying for some kind of “you don’t have to pay on these just yet” status turned out to be a simple process that took only a few minutes (once I had the answers to my questions). Whew! Breathing room.

Today’s action step(s):

  • Taking a 40-minute walk with LOTS of uphill stretches. Oy! (But it breaks the sitting-on-my-assets-all-day cycle.)
  • Taking care of student loan situation. YAY!
  • Organizing the chaotic array of items I had to bring with me to my temporary abode. It feels so-o-o much nicer to walk in the room and not feel depressed, guilty or overwhelmed by this mess, even if most of the stuff is still there.
  • Putting a few items in my car to take to storage. (I made a wee bit more space when I went “shopping” there yesterday.)
  • Scheduling a “play date” with a friend! Tomorrow, we’re going to go to a movie, probably grab a bite to eat, and enjoy catching up. (I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure this qualifies under the “have fun” category – you know, one of those things ACAs have difficulty doing. 😉

Day 23 – Tuesday, Dec. 27: Argh… Then again…

Do you ever have those days when things just keep not working? Well, I’m having one of those days.

I went early to work on a computer before my resume workshop this morning. First the computer shut down when I was in the middle of writing an email. Then the programs took so long to open, I thought they hadn’t. After I finally got going, then wanted to try a different approach, the computer froze up altogether. We had to do a hard shutdown – about ten minutes before my workshop. Not helpful.

Now, I’ve spent a frustrating 20 of my allotted 60 minutes on the library computer, fighting with a similarly slow and seemingly unresponsive computer. Argh! I really don’t think it’s all about being impatient, but I confess that I have been.

My crackpot theory is that I’m having this kind of day because preparing for the resume lab raised my anxiety level in the first place. The thing is, I feel the need to find a job that will provide a regular paycheck that will allow me to take care of my financial responsibilities. But my presumptions around that are that this means a desk job, doing office work – which I happen to be good at and generally enjoy. But what I really want to do is the kind of work my recent seminary training prepared me to do, which is things like education, lay ministry, chaplaincy, developing some new curricula, and so on. (I’m not going to be a pastor, btw, but I do want to do things that support people spiritually and emotionally.)

When I think about getting full-time work as an administrative assistant, I usually first start to feel trapped and ‘panicky’ (not in the clinical sense, just in the ridiculous, Al-Anonish, mind racing off in stupid directions kind of panicky). I forget that I might actually love being an admin at the right kind of organization where I can also help provide spiritual and emotional support for people.

My question for myself right now is this: How am I limiting myself in my desire to find satisfying, gainful employment by these presumptions and the preconceived ideas, which are triggering the fear?

I don’t have any brilliant (or coherent) answer to this at the moment. I keep hearing that I need clarity around what I want – and I know that’s true. If I don’t feel clear in what I want, how can I possibly come across as a good candidate, let alone top candidate for any given job?

What I noticed last night as I quickly made a few changes to my resume for this morning’s workshop is that there’s a kind of domino effect that happens when I work on my resume. The resume tweaking leads to anxiety about getting it “right.” The idea of actually submitting the resume leads to anxiety about how I present myself in the cover letter and resume. The idea of actually getting an interview makes me nervous for all the same reasons. And all of these thoughts lead to the work that might really help me find a place and work I would enjoy – informational interviewing. And that, at the moment, scares the peewaddlin’ out of me! Although I notice I actually start feeling a twinge more interest and excitement at the prospect of doing informational interviews around chaplaincy work or certain organizations. Hmmm…

I need to remember that I only have to take this one small step at a time. Do you suppose I could tattoo this on my hands or somewhere I might remember it more often?

Day 21 – Sunday, December 25: Trusting the process

My sponsor often says, “Trust the process.” It reminds me to remember that taking all the small steps, working the program, and simply continuing on the path will bring changes and transformations along the way. I may not be able to see the changes right away. Usually it happens when I do something so differently from my pre-recovery behavior that it catches my attention.

Today, “Trust the process,” came to mind as I let go of my hopeful plans to work on my blog while my aunt and uncle were enjoying Christmas Day dinner elsewhere. They both awoke with sore throats and (wisely) decided to stay home and take it easy. For my uncle, this included spending time in his office. When they were having dinner and I peeked into his office to see if I might use his computer, I saw that he was in the middle of a sewing project and had stuff all over the desk. (The man amazes me. He endlessly repairs things, including his many denim shirts and pants. May I be so active and productive in the years to come!)

Since I had to abandon my anticipated blog-time, I decided to do something fun. I headed to the movie theater to catch what looks to be a delightful and enjoyable movie…only to discover it wasn’t even on the electronic ticket purchasing menu! I overheard someone say “sold out” to someone else and wondered if it might be this movie. In any case, I drove by a couple more theaters, then let it go and returned home.

Later, while watching some DVDs, I found myself antsy to do something toward my goals. Since finances are a primary concern and I have difficulty keeping a handle on what I actually have to work with, I recently purchased some “realistic” play money to see if working with that could help me get a better picture of my monthly resources.

I counted out one paycheck’s worth of play money. Then I set aside my usual set monthly expenditures: my tithe, storage, cell phone, car insurance, and so on. I then figured out what I typically spend on gas and what I need for a couple of other bills. The remaining amount was disconcertingly little for food, other groceries, and everything else from public transportation to vitamin supplements to unexpected necessities.

As my anxiety started to increase, I remembered something I recently read in a book by one of my favorite authors. The (true) story was of a man who was struggling in his business. Rather than stressing about it, he took the small amount of money he had, gave thanks for it, and paid what he could. Over time, as he continued this practice, his finances did indeed improve.

It was truly helpful to begin seeing what I have to work with on my present income, to remember to be thankful for what I have, and to know that I can always do something. As I let go the fear, I found myself able to see what I do have, rather than what I don’t – and that was a blessing!

Today’s action step(s):

  • Going through two plastic bins of nutritional supplements I’ve had for some time and releasing almost all of them. (I’m passing them onto a friend to see if they might be helpful to her, which admittedly made it much easier to release them.)
  • Using play money to help me get a better picture of my available finances.

Day 20 – Saturday evening, December 24: Small but definite progress

Christmas Eve day was spent helping my aunt get the house in order for the family dinner, doing a bit of cleaning in my own room, enjoying the Christmas Eve service at church, and attending to one particular are of my recovery journey… And let me just say that I find this difficult to talk about here, but that is the point of this blog – to face my fears and challenges. (It is oh so tempting to not post this.)

More than a decade ago, I began giving the love-relationship area of my life over to God. After my last relationship ended, I recognized that I did not know how to do this part of my life well. I was tired of feeling like I couldn’t shut off the “guydar” that was on constant alert and wanted to discover what it was like to let God lead me into a healthy, loving relationship. Since that decision, my progress has been gradual and sometimes challenging. In fact, I have not always been able to tell if I’m actually making progress since I have not been in a relationship in a very long time.

Friday, my aunt told me about “George” (not his real name). George and her oldest boy had been best friends in their youth and George had taken to calling my aunt “mom.” George and my aunt’s oldest son had reconnected a year or so ago and have again become the best of friends. It turned out George would be joining us for dinner.

When I learned that he was single, I knew I needed to not pretend my curiosity and possible interest would be piqued. I immediately began releasing any preconceived ideas or romantic fantasies that might come into my thoughts. As it turned out, having so many things already on my plate around my recovery, it was actually fairly easy to turn my thoughts to other things. Yay!

I helped my aunt by clipping holly branches to adorn the buffet, cleaning and decorating the front bathroom, vacuuming the carpets, and setting the table. During the afternoon, I spent time organizing the small, but chaotic collection of kitchen and food items in my room. (One of the “conveniences” of temporary living quarters is having virtually everything all in the same room…) It didn’t take long, but I appreciated how helpful even this small task of organizing was. I was rewarded by finding two items I had fruitlessly searched for earlier in the week. Besides, now I know what I have with me.

The first guests, my cousin and her spouse, arrived while I was dressing for church. I left shortly afterward and returned from church to find everyone assembled: my cousin and her spouse, two step-cousins and their spouses, my aunt and uncle, and my aunt’s other “son,” George.

I am often nervous around people I don’t know, especially single, handsome men, which he turned out to be. But my efforts over the previous day and a half paid off. It was important that I had honored my plans to attend the Christmas Eve service at church and, even more so, that I acknowledged that I am still not ready for a relationship. It took me a very long time to be willing to recognize the boundaries of my recovery and to respect where I am right now.

Right now, I have important things that need my attention: finding more work, finding a place to live, taking care of my health and finances, and focusing on my recovery. As much as I do hope to someday have a love relationship, now is not the time. Recognizing this and respecting it has taken time and effort on my part. But this evening’s dinner, even with George sitting right next to me, showed me that I am making progress.

I was grateful to discover that, with very little effort, I was relaxed and comfortable being myself in circumstances that, a short time ago, would have gone quite differently. And that was one of the best Christmas presents I could have received!

This day’s action step(s):

  • Organizing my food and kitchen stuff.
  • Keeping my attention on my recovery and letting go the circumstances around me.

Day 20 – Saturday morning, December 24th: Reflections

I read a few pages in Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II last night – two were listed under patience in the index (p. 197 & 210, July 15 & 28). One of them talked about all the small steps and countless things that precede what appears to be an abrupt change or healing.

There are definitely times when I feel as if I have experienced a sudden shift or change, even though I know it didn’t happen out of nowhere. Even though I am often eager, sometimes even anxious, for a particular something to happen, in recent months I have begun discovering a patience with my process that feels new. Sometimes I wonder if it is just the natural maturity that comes with age and experience. Often I know better and recognize the work I have been doing for many years now.

As I was writing this, my eyes landed on the small lighthouse calendar I recently picked up for only a dollar. I bought it because I liked – and still like – the idea of daily seeing a lighthouse as a reminder of God’s light in my life. I know that I would not have made the progress I have, were it not for God’s unending light showing me the way.

I sometimes wish I could run ahead to get to the easier, more comfortable places in the journey. But I’ve discovered and come to appreciate the value in moving slowly enough to absorb and integrate what I’m learning along the way.

A story I heard or read long ago comes to mind. A woman woke up one morning to discover that she could see perfectly well without her glasses. But because she couldn’t believe it, couldn’t accept it as a reality in her life, she soon required wearing glasses again. I don’t remember if her clear vision lasted hours or days. I don’t even remember if the story was actually about a woman or a man. What I remember is that her (or his) inability to accept that incredible blessing is what caused things to revert back to the way they had been before.

I know that my thinking is what needs to change the most in my life. Any healing, any blessing, any manifestation of unexpected abundance will be sustainable only when I can believe and accept it. Until I truly believe I am loved by God and that God wants my recovery, my healing and an abundance of blessings for my life more than I want it for myself, only then will I be ready and willing to receive these things.

I wonder, what do I believe about my eyes and their ability to be restored to their former, normal and healthy condition? About my finances and my ability to have a place I can actually call “home”? About all the other things I want and hope for in my life?

What do you believe about yourself and the things you hope for in your own life?

Day 19 – Friday, Dec. 23: Small steps, progress and momentum

Too often I’m in a rush to have things happen. I don’t just want change, I want it now! I’m learning that most things don’t happen that way.

This morning I was thinking about the small shifts and progress I’ve noticed this week. Nine days ago I had a massage. I had not realized how tight my muscles had become until I finally felt them relax near the end of the session. The odd thing was that the moment I headed back to my car, my low back felt like it was going to give out. I wondered if my muscles were finally so relaxed that the lack of support had become evident. The following morning, the simple task of bending over felt alarmingly unstable. I was motivated to do something.

The next morning, I did just a few minutes of core strengthening exercises before I got in the shower. It took probably less than five minutes. It was short, simple and repeatable. I’ve continued doing this each time before my shower and I can already tell a difference. I’m keeping it short because I know it won’t remain repeatable if I do my usual thing, which is to start pushing it and trying to get a whole lot done in a short period of time. I have been addicted to the “quick fix” for any number of things for as long as I can remember. But I finally get, truly get, how unhelpful the quick fix can be. Perhaps over time, I’ll even stop being tempted to seek it.

A networking techniques workshop I went to at JVS yesterday was packed with helpful information. Among the many useful things the instructor said were two words that seemed to capture what I was feeling this morning. The words were “motivation” and “momentum.” My back pain had provided the motivation; now I was experiencing some momentum.

This morning I did just a bit more during my short core “workout” (if you can call five or so minutes a “workout”) and it was rewarding to discover two things: one was that I could actually do things that I know I couldn’t have done even a week ago; the other was that I had enough wisdom to still not push it. It’s when I feel a bit stronger that I’m most tempted to start pushing myself. “Oh! I can do more now – let’s go for it” pops into my brain and I overdo things, suffer the consequences, then give up entirely.

Sound familiar? Naw! You’ve probably never ever done anything like that!

There were other small-step progress noticings as well. This week, I was at a gathering with both familiar and unfamiliar faces. What I realized this morning, probably because of what I learned at yesterday’s networking workshop, was how much more I had talked to people I didn’t know than usual. It wasn’t a huge difference, but it was a difference. I’m considering the possibility that networking might also be something I can learn in small steps. I hadn’t actually thought of it as “networking” while I was chatting with people, but that’s what it was. Maybe if I keep up the baby steps, it won’t feel so scary when I’m intentionally networking.

None of these were big changes, yet they felt significant because they were noticeable. Maybe there’s such a thing as gently-increasing momentum. I’m not sure yet, but what I’ve experienced this week feels good, and repeatable.

Today’s action step(s):

  • Allowing myself to be flexible with my schedule and my plans. In that letting go, errands were surprisingly easy and I enjoyed many moments of grace.
  • Finishing up the tasks at work that would allow me to enjoy some much-needed time off next week.

Day 17 – Wednesday, Dec. 21: Mixed feelings

This morning I woke up with the freedom to not leap out of bed and get a busy start to my day. I lay there and began to thank God for the things I was noticing and appreciating in that moment: Being able to sleep until I was “done.” The comfort in my right eye, which has been bothersome these past few days. The space over the holidays to attend to such things as student loan paperwork and other financial matters. Even the time to start jotting down the many things that actually do need my attention if I am to take care of myself better.

When I thanked God for my aunt and uncle and having a safe space to stay for the holidays, I ended up in tears as a mixture of pain and appreciation filled me. The ‘pain’ is the loneliness I feel and the longing for family, particularly for my son and for the aunt, uncle and cousins I grew up with from my mother’s side of the family. (I’m staying with my dad’s older brother.) My other uncle has passed on and my other aunt lives in a lovely and personable assisted-living facility several hours away. My cousins, their children, have, of course, grown up and now have families of their own all around the state. My son is living a couple of states away and neither of us have the funds for travel to see each other. I wonder if he knows how much I miss him and how often.

The appreciation I felt is deep gratitude for being with family rather than strangers and for being in a place that feels safe and familiar. It gives me the space to attend to the challenges that are on my plate at the moment. And these are the edges where fear tends to live.

Student loan paperwork to defer repayment, finding housing where rent will not be needed (at least for a time), and addressing healthcare issues with no insurance can be challenging on a well-paid day. They feel intimidating to me right now, when my finances are so tight. I wonder how I will ever be able to take care of these things on my present income.

When I try to muster the energy and courage to search for work, it just isn’t there if I’m in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. The release of tears this morning helped. It is helpful to acknowledge just how difficult this journey is for me right now.

For a little while, I felt energized to begin tackling some of these scary things and resume the tiny steps toward my goals. But I can’t always turn on that tear-release-valve and capture a sudden burst of energy and confidence. Most of the time, I have to keep reading things, reminding myself that I am not alone on this journey, and keep taking those baby steps. (The movie “What About Bob?” comes to mind. Maybe I should look for it at the library.)

How do you face these kinds of challenges in your own life? Or what kinds of challenges are you facing? I’d be interested to hear, if you’re willing to share.

Take care and be blessed.

Today’s action step(s):

  • Threw away a formerly favorite velour sweater that I virtually never wear anymore. 😦
  • Checked bank balance and downloaded statement to balance.
  • Re-posted ad to find housing on Craigslist.

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