jennifer hanigan

a pinch of this and a dollop of that

Fearless: Fearing Less

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I’m sure that by now everyone has come up with their Powerball Plan.  Can you use the Internet without knowing that it’s up to 900 million dollars?  I think not.  And although it’s hard to plan for such an unfathomable amount of money, and neither of us is likely to win since we don’t buy tickets, this didn’t stop The Boss and I from imagining what we’d do. 

Him:  You couldn’t fit all that money into your tiny house.  You’d need to have a tiny house to live in, and then another house just to store the cash.

(Have I mentioned I dream of building my own tiny, portable house?)

I eventually decided that I’d buy a smallish sailboat and take sailing lessons, and then my boat could be my tiny house.  Cash storage would still be an issue, but then, so are pirates, so I might have to use actual banks.  Then I’d sail around the world, visiting all the people that I know who are doing good works in various places, spend some time with each, and see if I could help in some way.

And then it hit me:  I would get rid of nearly everything I own, in a heartbeat, keeping only things like photos and birth certificates and the clothes that I really love–which isn’t much of my wardrobe!  I’d toss it all and live in my tiny floating house.  But wait–if I’d toss it all if I became rich, why am I keeping it now?

The answer, I think, is fear.  You see, I had a rather insecure childhood.  I won’t go into why, my parents are different people now, and they did the best they could.  But when you grow up in insecurity, you spend a lot of time, money, and energy trying to feel secure.  For some of us, that results in surrounding ourselves with Stuff.  And if you’re actually financially insecure, it makes it exponentially worse.  I spent most of my adulthood being very, very financially insecure, and I also spent most of my adulthood literally unable to keep up with my Stuff.  As I became more financially stable over the last several years, quite a lot of Stuff has been replaced with very enjoyable empty space.  But I’m
still living in fear of Not Having What I Need.  Fear of having less.

It’s painful for a lot of reasons.  Every item to be tossed or given away is a decision, and decisions are hard.  Will I regret giving away this book that I never read?  Would my Nana be unhappy that I don’t want her china?  I know those shoes don’t fit right, but shoes are expensive, and what if I need a pair in that color in a couple years? 

So I’m fighting my fear of less.  Today was a few stacks of books and Nana’s china.  Who knows what tomorrow will be.  And though I’ll never win 900 million dollars, I’m certain I won’t end up in financial ruin for lack of a pair of ill-fitting white shoes.  Hello, lovely empty spaces.

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