The good Lord made us all out of iron.
Then he turns up the heat to forge some of us into steel. —Marie Osmond
Stress is always a strong force in our house. Not only are we business owners, we are spouses, parents, workers, caregivers, adult children, siblings, friends, competitors, athletes, and “home” owners. All of these titles bring with them a different set of expectations. As the oldest children, we both feel the need to meet ALL expectations.
This weekend, the gap between the expectations and the reality had a fall out. On Friday, we approached a weekend not knowing what the expectations were, but knowing that we weren’t meeting many of them.
- We had expected that 5 years into our business, we would be able to start reducing our hands on work in the business; maybe have 3-4 other therapists and 1-2 other reception/bookkeepers.
- We had expected that we would have the water, generator, and 12V electric hooked up and regularly being used; we are required to be plugged in and bring water in by the 5-gallon jug.
- We had expected to be comfortable in our relationship and marriage, unconcerned with the stability of our household; those of you that are married know how tenuous this is.
- We expected to be almost out of debt by now; we took Financial Peace University 7 years ago.
- We expected to be at a race this weekend; the Spartan Sprint that I planned to do was yesterday. I decided not to because of some financial & family issues that have arisen lately.
All of these expectations falling short, along with a few critical or harsh words bring us to a halt in life. We snap at each other, we snark, we hold grudges, we fail to really show the love that God instructs us to. That leads to heat in the relationship.
It definitely doesn’t help that the heat outside was going to be super high this weekend. Friday, we got home and it was warm in the RV. 80 degrees F is uncomfortable and we knew it would be worse the next day. The forecast for Saturday was 95. We hadn’t tried out the air conditioning yet (another failed expectation: we thought we would know if any of our appliances didn’t work). The anxiety over the following day definitely played a part in our Friday breakdown.
Saturday came and neither of us had the energy to take a proactive look at the AC. We turned on the fans, rested most of the morning, and talked about how hot it was starting to get. Jeremy even watched some videos on YouTube that showed the maintenance necessary to keep an RV AC unit running well. And we remained hot and sweaty.
Toward the end of the day, I wanted to turn the fan on that’s attached to the AC. Jeremy told me to turn on the air “just to check”. I turned it on and it felt just like the fan at first. He told me that one of the videos he watched stated that it takes 15 minutes for cold air to work. And he was right. We were both so excited to shut down the vents and the windows to let ice cold AC air come in from the unit. Standing directly under the entry made it even a little icy.
The cold air helped us reconcile our hot-headed argument. By Sunday afternoon, we had a conversation about our finances for the first time in years and it ended well. We figured out an app to use to help us keep our spending down and we started the process of coming up with a budget. This time, we want to keep with the principals of Financial Peace, even though we won’t be using their app. Mint.com offers an app that allows us to link all of our accounts to have transactions automatically uploaded. The app from Financial Peace, EveryDollar, does not allow us to link our business account because of of a glitch in their syncing process. Both are good apps and if you like one over the other, please use it.
Now that we’re on the road to working together faithfully on our finances and the AC is working, the heat in The Girl Next Door has dropped considerably. It doesn’t hurt that a thunderstorm, complete with hail, blew through on Sunday. It was colorful and exciting; So exciting that our hosts asked us to come into their sticks & bricks house for safety! We all came out the other side of the storm, both literally and figuratively.
So, as we move toward our debt free life, join us in enjoying the small things:
- The AC is working.
- Our budget is started.
- We made it through the hail.
- We have each other to hold onto.
- We still have things that we can expect… we just need to be a little gentler on ourselves when the expectations don’t get met in time.
What are your small things? Make sure you tell us when you see us on the road.