Friday, January 16, 2009

Worrying Together

In the movies you see starry-eyed young couples saying things to each other like: "It doesn't matter if we're poor - at least we have each other."

I went through some very hard times as a young woman/mother, and having a partner didn't really help, to tell you the truth. I found it easier when I split up with that partner and had to deal with the hard times (three young children, very little money) on my own. Turns out the "starry-eyed" part is pretty central to the equation. It is easier to deal with trouble when your partner is just as committed to working hard and improving your lot.

There was more angst at my house yesterday. More "are we going to make it?" angst. We are making it - we're in no danger right now of not paying the bills - but I think the question that's haunting both of us is "are we going to be successful?"

Last night we lay in bed together facing this question. And the question of whether or not know. When I worry, I put heart and soul into worrying and it's hard for me to concentrate on anything else. Last night I was worried about everything. What if we're never successful? What is successful? What if this is as good as it gets? What if the economy slides and nothing good ever happens again? All the while trying to get in the mood.

Normally, that's when I give up and say, sorry - I just can't. But last night something shifted. We started talking worst-case scenarios: let's sell the house and move into our smallest, one-bedroom apartment. We'll cram all four kids into the bedroom. All six of us will spend our days around the dining table, each with our laptops working. My husband and I will sleep in the living room/dining room/kitchen -all of which is smaller than my current laundry room.

As we devised more and more bizarre ways to make it work I realized that our "worst case scenario" sounded like an awful lot of fun. Suddenly I didn't have to work at being in the mood anymore. I love adventures. I love it when weirdness looms. Even if our creative ventures fail miserably we have our health, we have our brains and hands.

We have each other.


L Harris said...

Great post! A great reminder. I never thought that I would love adventure but marrying and living with my man and experiencing life with him has been a adventure and I love it. We've lived in a very tiny one bedroom like what you are talking about. We only had two small children at the time. It was fun!

Jennifer said...

We were discussing renovations today - that always is an adventure, trying to get two adults to agree on something. We're getting better at it, though.