Lately, I toss and turn at night. I don't sleep like a rock anymore.
There's so much on my mind -- mostly it's money -- but I think about work a lot too. I want to make a good impression and get off to a strong start. I think I have, but I'm pushing myself harder than might be wise. At night, my thoughts swirl like a tornado and keep me in a purgatory between asleep and awake.
I think about money a lot. It's steamy in my apartment though its breezy outside, but I try to keep the air conditioner off because it costs money to run it. I went $15 over my weekly grocery budget Saturday and I ran through 100 permutations of menus for the week so that I can squeeze as many meals as possible out of everything I have in the kitchen so next week I can shave $15 off my grocery budget.
Saturday at a local health fair, I got my blood pressure checked and for the first time in my life I was told it was a little on the high side. Not high, but the high side of normal, 134/78 or something. It's always been 120/80 and unmoved. The nurse told me to try cutting back on sodium. I smiled and left, feeling like a failure for some reason.
There's a lot of BIG changes happening soon in my life and they directly affect my finances.
But I realized today that I don't have anything to worry about.
I went to church this morning and today's sermon was spot on. Basically, everything is fine. I just need to change my perspective.
It's easy to start thinking that everything is worse than it is. When you lose perspective, your faith falters; when your faith falters, you start to doubt God; when you doubt God, you also lose faith in yourself. Then you lose direction and you start doing a lot of things that don't make any sense in a desperate attempt to regain direction.
Like keeping yourself awake at night, mulling over things you can't do anything about right then. Like throwing caution to the wind and indulging in behavior that makes you feel better for a moment, but doesn't do anything to solve the problem at hand. Like just tossing up your hands and saying "Forget it. I'm just going to be broke and that's my lot in life."
The trick, for me, is remembering that I've been through this before and God saw me through.
Before I started this blog, I was doing the same things -- not sleeping, stressing myself out, not taking care of my body, blowing things out of proportion and buying things on impulse that I never used.
About two years ago I prayed to be out of debt in three or four years. I prayed it over and over and my debt did not decrease one bit. I kept praying, but then I also started teaching myself about money and personal finance and crafted a plan to get out of debt.
And it was working. It was working beautifully. I was well on my way to eliminating the debt in the three years I had asked for. For the first time I saw that not only was it possible to fix my financial situtation, it was possible for me to prosper.
While, in terms of the actual numbers, my debt it greater now than it was when I got started, I am still in a much better place. Because now I KNOW WHAT TO DO. I have to redo my budget, PAY MYSELF FIRST (more on that in my next post), and figure out just what I need to do to pay down the debt -- in just a little over a year.
Not only will I make my 30th birthday goal if I hang tough, but it will be exactly three years from the time I first prayed to get out of debt.
So, there's no reason for me to toss and turn at night. Some really good things are about to happen and I should be happy. I have a great life -- I am successful, I am healthy (but I need to get the BP back where it belongs), I enjoy what I do, I have people who love me and lots of people (like you readers) giving me props, encouragement and advice.
Life is good. Too good to be worrying over pennies instead of sleeping well in my warm bed.
"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is they faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24