Goal 1: financial planning for babies.
First, the positive: I continue to perform well at work. I’m hitting my stride. I’m shrugging off all insecurities and finally — finally — owning my talents as a lawyer. I’m not even phased by sexism anymore (by clients and opposing counsel; I’m lucky in that my boss has always backed me and my male colleagues are a little afraid of me). I walk into the room confident they’ll get that whatever preconceptions they may have about young female attorneys simply do not apply to me. I’m the real deal. No one needs to vouch for me, no one needs to reassure or validate me. My being screams powerful, confident lawyer: deal with it.
This is an important breakthrough. I’ve been holding myself back from realizing this identity, even as it has been in my grasp for years — and I’m not totally clear why. Maybe I didn’t want the responsibility. Maybe I didn’t think I deserved it. Maybe I didn’t truly believe I could be powerful. Or maybe my greatest fear was being “powerful beyond measure,” to quote that over-quoted LP quote.
Does the “why” of it matter, though?
I don’t think so.
What matters is I’m leaving all of that behind. The babies have given me a reason to let the BS go — as to whatever it is or was, who cares?
This impacts my finances (in a good way) because when I’m in this state, success is inevitable — and with success comes (more) money. I intend to earn every penny of what I’m worth before 2017 is over.
That’s my long-game, though.
My short-game is about saving and generating money in the next few months, and staying on task has been difficult.
Here’s an update on this week’s tasks.
-My former landlord is giving me the runaround on our security deposit. My reaction: ugggghhhh, I don’t NEED this. I think I’m going to have to pull out my Lawyer Powers (which I had to do recently to cancel our stupid gym memberships–I won, the gym regrets ever crossing me; listen, their contracts were illegal in, like, six different ways–shouldn’t the NY Attorney General know about that?). I have a story that dealing with finances always ends up taking more effort than it’s worth, and this budding issue fits right into that. Why can’t he just send us the deposit like he’s supposed to without any trouble…? I don’t LIKE being an asshole (okay, part of me likes it, but in general it’s stress I don’t want).
-On the plus side, I kept all receipts from my business trip and made a chart of all expenses to ensure expedient reimbursement. Some of you will think nothing of that, but if you knew me, you’d know it’s a big shift. Typically I’d be so disorganized I wouldn’t submit expenses for at least a month (if at all), and I’d probably have lost or forgotten most of them by then (resulting in getting reimbursed for maybe half of what I should get).
-AND the big challenge this week was Jimmy insisting — not for the first time — that we must get a new car before the end of the year. Not just any car, an SUV, to fit the twins and their stuff. His car, he claims, is unworkable, unsafe, and unworthy of the babies. I don’t hear him when he brings this up, though. All I hear is: “Even though you’re already bending over backwards to balance our very difficult budget and to save every free penny we have to make it through maternity leave, I’m demanding a huge additional expense that must happen before the babies are born because I’m an asshat and I don’t care what you have to go through to make it work.”
Now, he of course said nothing like that, but, that’s how I heard it.
Fast forward to Thursday morning, we had to go to the doctor for a sonogram. On the way, instead of telling him how ridiculous his demand was, how out of touch with our finances he seems to be, etc., I broke. I said as much as I want to be in a place of possibility with our finances, I only see problems. I only see math that doesn’t work. Every time I look at our finances, I’m overwhelmed, like I can’t do the smallest thing without the weight of the world falling on my shoulders. He told me he understood, and then told me I have to let him help me. I know I do. I’m shooting us in the foot (feet?) by egotistically insisting I do this alone. And I guess he’s right about the car, but, how can we swing that? Right; I’ve got to let him help me.
Goal 2: connecting to babies
On the plus side, I’ve generally been writing to them daily, as I said I would. I fell off during the business trip, though, and am still catching up. It’s difficult at times. They’re not even here yet. I don’t even know their sexes yet (the doctor’s slip at our recent visit notwithstanding–we’ve chosen to not draw any conclusions from that). I still have to get through labor and delivery; fast forwarding like this into the future makes me edgy (as I’ve said). I want to just be happy and excited about them, I really do. I want to just trust everything will work out. Instead? I’m wrestling gloomy thoughts every day.
I tried to talk to Jimmy about it, but he just went into “fixer” mode. He’s a man, he can’t help it. He told me to change the goal. Make it less stressful. Maybe take the babies out of it, write just for me instead, to try and purge my crazy out.
I told him no, you’re missing the POINT. I WANT all this uncomfortable crap to come up. The goal is to have it come up and then work through it.
He gave me a skeptical look. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that it didn’t seem as if I was trying to work through it at all. It seemed as if I was deliberately hanging onto it.
His little truth-bombs really piss me off sometimes.
But, yes, I have a bad habit of being committed to negative thought patterns. I’d rather stay comfortable in my anxiety than be happy.
The goal going forward is to do what I successfully did on my business trip — catch the negative thought patterns no more than 10 seconds in and say NO. That won’t help me so I’m not choosing that today. This saved me in Arizona and California and everywhere in between; I was energized when I should’ve been drained. I was confident and capable when I should’ve been doubting myself.
So, I can do it, I’ve just been choosing not to. Why? Laziness and comfort may be the honest answer. Choosing a different different way of thinking feels risky and makes me uneasy and I have to consciously choose it moment-to-moment — so it takes work, etc.
Aside from being resistant while writing to the babies, I’ve also been holding back on this goal by not singing (it’s ridiculous, I act like I’ve lost my voice), and being in a “doing” mode with Jimmy (then blaming him for feelings of disconnection).
In short: I need to get a grip and get my actions in integrity with what I really want (intimacy with my babies and their father–simple, right?).
To end on a positive note — because things ARE positive, I just have a tendency to focus on what’s wrong — I was overwhelmed with gratitude when I got home from California. Jimmy waited up for me, and presented me with flowers and a little note welcoming me home. We were both so happy to just get to go to bed together, his hand resting on my tummy. We have been given a lot. Our problems right now are a far cry from the type of problems I used to have (unnecessary, circular, useless, a waste). I know I need to tap into this gratitude more often.