Choosing Happiness

My husband and I end each month with a budget meeting. Sexy & romantic right? But actually…it kind of is. It gives us a chance to really talk. How are things going for each of us? What are we planning for? What are we excited for? What keeps us nervous?

As we chatted this past month, I fretted again about what my future career path would be. I’ve been in exploration mode since October. This worry about my future career has been stealing a lot of my joy these past 8 months. I started to realize that a big reason I wanted to go back to work was simply because I felt we needed a contingency plan. You know…in case someone dies, becomes disabled, begins to hate their job…etc.

So my hubbie asks—

Well…what if the other shoe never drops? We’ve bought 4x more life insurance contingency planning for me to die (LOL). You’ve made an emergency fund for our emergency fund planning for it to magically disappear into thin air. You’re planning to go back to work in the Fall already assuming you will hate being a foster mom and a coach. What if NONE of those things happened? What if I live a long, healthy life?  What if I continue to make plenty of money to support both of us thoroughly enjoying my career as much as I do today? What if we are able to keep vacations every year, retire early and have money left over for our kids some day? What if you can keep getting to help whoever client or whatever cause you want to help all day long without worrying at all about the money? What if you LOVE being a foster mom?

Whoa. Talk about a game changer. The realization slammed into me—I’ve been living my whole life as one massive contingency plan attempting to protect myself from all the possible nasty demons out there. I have lived my life waiting for the other shoe to drop. Any time good things are happening to me I assume they will fall apart.

These past 8 months have been FAH-REAKING amazing (like so, so, so, so good). Which means that shoe keeps getting larger and larger in my head the more joy I experience every day. And I keep getting that itch for a contingency plan in case all of this joy goes away.

I just simmered on this until the end of our budget meeting. We end each budget (more like LIFE meeting) by asking each other “What’s one thing I can be doing better for our marriage?”

My husband usually says the same thing every time—don’t beat yourself up so much. But this time he said STOP WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOE TO DROP.” And he had already made it easy for me to do this by painting a clear picture of an alternate reality I could choose to believe in. One in which nothing about our current situation has to change.

So from this point forward I’m making a conscious choice to believe that things can stay this good. I am allowed to be this happy. Right here. Right now. Trust that the future plans we’ve made will work out if they’re supposed to. And if they don’t we’ve got enough contingency plans already to cover our butts without making even more. It steals me away from the present moment when I build more contingencies for the future. And we are blessed with great family & friends who care deeply about us to support us emotionally and mentally through hard times.

It’s scary. I feel like I’m testing fate by even putting this out there. But I choose faith over fear. I choose joy over worry.

And in case this other shoe syndrome has plagued you too—I wrote this post to hopefully help others let it go and choose happiness too.

One thought on “Choosing Happiness”

  1. I love this post! I am the exact same way as you Shannon! I reflect back and realize that I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop! It’s weird because my husband is the exact same way as yours – he sees the lighter side of life – one in which things continue to be good/stay good! I love that you have found (rather both of us have found) such amazing life partners that balance us out so well. Such an awesome blog post. And as usual – I am so proud of all the daring choices you are making currently! Anything that aspires you to make a difference in the world is never bad 🙂

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