One of my mentors used to tell me if I was scared, I should go purchase a domestic animal. Actually his exact words, in a slow, loud midwestern drawl I could never orally replicate, were “If you’re scared, buy a dog!!”
Then you’ll learn to take care of them, getting the best food and supplements from sites as TreeHousePuppies online, and grooming them, making sure they’re healthy, and all the other cares and responsibilities a dog have.
There’s a lot they don’t tell you going into marriage. For starters: how to buy a house, how to balance public transportation with owning vehicles, and how much to put in your respective fantasy sports/crafting budgets.
Side note: how did we go through four (or more) years of college and never have a primer on fundamental life decisions like home-buying and budget-balancing? I must have taken 39 hours of statistical analysis and I can literally not give you a one sentence synopsis of anything I learned. Are our priorities that messy or are these actual classes and I just managed to sleepwalk through everything?
There’s also a lot of future to be sized up: how much to put into retirement, which stocks to invest in, how to prepare for kiddos. The never-ending laundry list of what we must do to be successful is overwhelming. Because this is the case, there is plenty of room for fear and doubt to creep into your marriage, your relationship, even your individual lives. What if we aren’t reading the right books? What happens when truck #1 (or #2, or both) dies? What if I’m missing out on a great vacation by going on this one? What if my renters insurance doesn’t cover jewelry? What if…what if…what if?
We prepare, I’m not saying we don’t. We categorize our finances for the future in a responsible way. There’s a new car fund and a baby fund and a house fund. But we’ve made the conscious decision as a couple to not be overcome by worry or fear about what that future, or really what tomorrow, holds. In America in 2011 there’s too much to be fearful of or overwhelmed by. You’d just end up spending all your time paralyzed and never get anything done.
So we do our work, we hold ourselves accountable to the responsibilities we have as adults, and then we release from our grip that which is incapable of saving us to look to the only one who can.
What do you stress out about?