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That familiar knot...


I'm sitting here with that familiar knot of anxiety all bound up just above my diaphragm. I haven't felt this way in a long, long time, maybe in a whole year. I think this feeling last left me when I withdrew from the PhD about a year ago. At that point I'd been living with it for about two years.

I had almost forgotten what this felt like, and then it started to creep back in a few days ago. The question here is why?

I think the answer is money. We have plenty of it, so that is not the problem. The problem is that I set myself a goal of saving money this year. I was going to do it by not spending money and in the past couple of weeks I've gone on a bit of spending bender. Old addictions die hard. With this situation comes the fear. The fear that I will sabotage my savings goal and the fear that I can't overcome this addiction to the purchase. I have found myself looking for reasons to buy stuff.

I got my hair permed and along with that came the purchase of a range of maintenance products. Luey, Bryn, and Ari went back to school and with that came the need to buy materials and sundry items. I can always justify buying something, but really it is the anticipation of having stuff arrive in the mail or even just the thought of 'new stuff'.

The buying binge has resulted in a fear of undoing all my good minimising work. And so one thing rolls over into another thing.

Additionally, regarding my plans to save, there have been not budgeted for costs. I thought I'd have the boys' school fees paid off by the end of January, but then more costs were loaded onto the bill and things I thought I'd paid off turned out to be still outstanding. I ended up $1700 behind the eight ball. I won't have the excess paid off until the end of February - by which time I had planned to have $2600 in savings. This is causing anxiety.

The anxiety is causing stress eating, which is causing weight gain, which is causing stress, which is causing stress eating - you get the picture.

At this point I need to let go of the plans I had and adjust to the new reality. Letting go isn't easy for me, it never has been.

I need to take a few breaths and let go of the expectation I had set on myself for January and February. The fact is, I won't be saving money until March. This month I will be paying off the school bills and reigning in my spending again. I will be focusing on making better eating choices again. I will reward myself with some more minimising because that always gives me relief and pleasure. I will be less demanding of myself. Just take it easy. It's really a process of 'not doing', 'not spending', not eating foods I know cause emotional fluctuations, but replacing those foods with foods I enjoy that also keep my blood sugars stable.

Most of all, I will focus on breathing, regularly and deeply. Breathing consciously.

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