The Worry Remover
They were ruined.
I leaned back and groaned, my head spinning a hundred different directions.
The white dress shirts and tees I had thrown in the washer the night before had come out a rusty brown color. If you are having trouble visualizing it, think of that disgusting ring you get around the shower drain. Yeah, the same color on a shirt.
“Can I spray some stain remover on it? How did this happen? Was it the new gray shirt I had added to the load? Did leaving the load overnight cause this discoloration? I really don’t want to buy another batch of shirts right now!”
Frustrated, I quickly doused all of the shirts in a heavy layer of stain remover and shoved them back in the washing machine.
An hour later, no difference. Ugh!
I immediately started running through all of the negativity. “Why didn’t I just put them in the dryer right after I washed them? How could I have known this would happen, it’s never occurred before?! Another thing costing extra money right after we dumped so much cash into house renovations!”
I stewed in my silent rant against the unfairness of life for another 10 minutes or so as I tried to see if any of the clothing was salvageable. Then, the strangest thought interrupted the onslaught.
“Be grateful you have clothing.”
I paused. The statement was quiet, yet it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I could not deny the truth of it. I’m blessed beyond measure when I actually step back and consider my life.
I have clothing. Too much in fact. I can afford to buy replacements. There is a store five minutes away where I can get new shirts. The car in the driveway is mine, debt-free, to transport me there. Most people in the world probably don’t have the luxury of a washer and dryer.
Suddenly, my head started to clear and life didn’t seem out to get me after all.
When you are done laughing at my silly little meltdown over a few pieces of fabric, I encourage you to consider the last time life hit you with a trying event.
Whether it is bad news in the stock market, a mean word spoken by a friend, a maddening world event, or the passing of a loved one, we all encounter difficult circumstances.
The truth is worrying about what has already happened does nothing to improve our lives. Instead, it takes a toll on our mental, physical, and emotional health all while sapping away at our efforts in important areas
As Matthew 6:27 says, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Whether you are a person of faith or not, it’s undeniable worrying simply burns time rather than gaining you more.
**Interestingly enough, the very next verse asks, “And why do you worry about clothes?” Irony.**
“But wait a minute,” you might interject. “Shouldn’t we learn from our mistakes?”
Yes, however learning has a distinction from worrying. Learning is focused on moving forward. Worry dwells in the past.
In this case, I took note. In the future I will move any white loads into the dryer immediately after they are finished washing. It’s a small difficulty I may need to adjust to which comes along with the hard water native to Rockingham County, VA.
Although much of life is out of our control, we do retain one important weapon: choice.
We can choose to worry. We can choose to learn. We can choose to be thankful.
As Maya Angelou put it, “It is the ability to choose which makes us human.”
In financial planning, this could not be more accurate. There are countless variables in the world affecting our money. A vast majority of them are out of our control.
On the flip side, there are many things we can do to prepare for the most likely scenarios. Adequately diversifying investments, adding proper insurance coverage, setting up your estate documents, and many other things can be done to set ourselves up for success.
The key to managing your finances is understanding this: life may be unpredictable but you control how you prepare for and respond to it.
To discuss how to choose clarity and confidence for your financial plan, you can schedule a time to meet with us by clicking here. Also, take advantage of our FREE DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES such as Five Tax Strategies Retirees Often Overlook and Six Mistakes Grandparents Often Make.
And remember, education is worthless without the willingness to act, so be proactive and plan your financial future with confidence