This heating system, if it’s our only solution, single-handedly blows our budget.
For a brief, glimmering moment, we were businesspeople. We were wise; we were large and in charge; we had more than just enough.
We’ve been pruning our budget, spending more time than money, stalking Craigslist’s free section (I can’t lie…it’s my home page). We just bought a bathroom vanity for fifty bucks — this should be cause for much rejoicing and highest of fives but I feel slightly ill, from the state of our skyrocketing loans and the old feeling of failure somewhere near my solar plexus.
I’m not sure why the demise of our budget troubles me so deeply. Maybe it’s our struggle to achieve some semblance of security — confidence that we can split a pizza and still pay our bills — and planting our next step toward no more nightmares about babies (I’m told they, like, need to eat) and then falling headlong into a deep abyss while a maniacal voice in the distance yells MORE DEBT, SUCKAS as that step gives way.
And simultaneously being punched in the solar plexus.
Yes. That’s it.
Why should it matter to you how my solar plexus feels about my house?
It probably shouldn’t (and doesn’t. I get it). But by tracing the sick feeling back to its roots I’ve found that I still seem to be kowtowing to a standard definition of success, and I think you probably do too.
I’m six years into adulthood and still trying to get my hands on a tailored definition of success. We point to lots of little verses and quips to try to measure success by godly standards — Pray! Rejoice! Love! — but I have a hunch that God maybe wants to give us each our own set too. Mine might be something like — Restore! Write! Create! — But I like to think it’s also: Squirrel money away! Work till you collapse! Spend all your energy on things that pay your bills!
So when my Restore! projects sap my resources for Things that pay bills!, I throw a tantrum. I feel sick. Why am I me? Why did I think I could write? Why can’t engineering be my calling? How many accountants have to choose between a livable wage and fulfillment (probably more than I think)? Grumblegrumble.
Unless I halt all thought and run or read or hug the dog, all hell breaks loose in my head and we enter crisis mode.
What is art worth? Why am I lesser for studying language? Why am I here? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE.
There’s a slight possibility that this is all about my birthday.
A larger possibility that this has always been my problem.
And that this is all going to be okay.