We have this expression in my family about “borrowing trouble”. It basically means you look at the all the different paths your life could take based on a big decision you haven’t even made yet, and obsess over how it could go wrong. It’s a mental “What If” game, except the outcomes are always anxiety producing. Super fun.
My little sister is on fall break from vet school and yesterday I got to catch up with her while the littles played on the playground. She’s 8 years younger than me, and got married last summer at the same age I did, 8 years ago. It’s so interesting for me to watch her figure it all out and wrestle with some of the same things I did when I was young(er) and just married. Today it was kids: when to have them, why to wait, why not to wait, how and when to best fit having a family into the life she and her husband are working on creating. We went through all the options, mentally walked down some paths they could take. “I know I’m borrowing trouble…” she sighed, “…but do you ever just worry about how it’s all going to work out?”
I’m an anxious person by nature, even more so about certain things since having kids, and then almost loosing one of them. But when I answered my little sister, I surprised myself by how quickly it left my lips. “No. No! I’m really not anymore. I have discovered that life throws you enough trouble when you’re not ready for it, you don’t need to go borrowing from tomorrow. It’ll work out, I promise, it’ll work out.” And I finally, FINALLY, meant it.
Truth: When I got married, I was a HUGE fan of the 5 year plan. Talked about it allll the time. Live in this house for 3 years, have kids after 2 years, quit job immediately, have second baby, then another… la-di-da-di-da. Five year plan–SO set.
Guess how much of our life went according to the 5 year plan?
But I really do remember how stressful those decisions where, creating families and navigating jobs, picking where we were going to live…. and agonizing…how was it all going to really WORK? It’s super stressful. And honestly, much of it wasn’t pretty while we were figuring it out, but looking back on it, so much of that stress was brought on by what I thought it should look like, not from what it actually was.
Once you get over what you think your life should be, it can free you up to enjoy where you’re at. Some days that’s easier than others, even now I have a much looser version of a 3 year plan, but it’s written in sand, not stone, and I’m fully aware it could change drastically, on a dime, and without my permission.
I still worry about the future of my kids, how they’re doing, how they will turn out, especially if they are being hellions that week and feel like whining/crying/sassing all the minutes of the day. Yes, I sometimes borrow trouble there. But overall, I don’t think much further past the year I’m in.
I’m starting a new career soon, in about a week or so I’ll be working as a real estate agent in OKC/Edmond. It was just August when I took the leap and went to class and now it’s happening. This was never in my 5 year plan when I first got married and since I left teaching I have entertained at least 3 other career options, even enrolling in school for one of them. I had a new 5 year plan at that time, and then we moved states. So here I am, and I could not be more excited about this new adventure, I think it’s a great fit and can’t wait to get started. I have big dreams about where it could lead, but I’m holding them in open hands.
Cause now I get it.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
It’s not about me, even if I want it to be, it’s just… not. And the faster I can remember that, (because I forget) the easier the road is to walk.
Sister, you will figure it out, you’re so smart, you have a great teammate, and life will happen the way it happens. Don’t borrow trouble Sister, it will find you on it’s own. Enjoy the ride.
BONUS: Ditching the Plan (Funny to see last year’s plan…it didn’t work out either. 😉