The Thursday Think Tanks are semi-random thoughts that may not necessarily fall directly into the category of finances, but I still feel are worth sharing. Read at your own risk!
I’m a nervous person by nature. I don’t think most people who meet me get that impression, as outwardly I think I come off as pretty self-assured and confident. Yet when it comes to things like playing my guitar in front of people, giving presentations at work, or speaking at conferences, I am a MESS on the inside. I’ve had a fair amount of experience in all of those situations, and yet every time I get insanely nervous!
When I get nervous, my stomach has a tendency to gurgle and bubble. Part of it stems from an old surgery I had on my small intestines many years ago, but the way it manifests is by bubbling and fizzing so loudly that it’s easy for people in the same room I’m in to hear it.
I’ve been in particularly stressful work meetings before where the presenter has had to stop and ask, “Dave, do you need us to take a break so that you can grab a snack or something?” thinking it was stomach loudly growling out in hunger. I usually don’t have the heart to tell them it’s not hunger, but the impending sense of doom I’m currently feeling. No sense in two gurgling stomachs in the room.
Another key area that affects this condition is stress over finances. In the time since we came to terms with our financial shortcomings, I have had many nights where my stomach sounds like a stinky bog “glorping” and “blooping” outside of a witch’s window as she dines away on small children. It usually really kicks in as I am laying next to my wife in bed, trying to shut my super-chatty brain off, as she is also attempting to fall asleep. This elicits one of the following responses:
“You’re thinking about finances again, aren’t you?”
“What has you stressed out now?”
“Things are going to be fine.”
“That thing won’t quit. Can you please go sleep in the guest bedroom?”
Over the last month or two, things have gone smoother as we’ve got our finances back on the right track, and as a result I’ve spent less nights in the guest bedroom. This is great, because the guest bedroom tends to be where our largest house spiders seem to congregate at some kind of giant-hairy-house-spider-key-party, which makes my stress levels rise, which makes my stomach gurgle so much that it prevents me sleeping due to the sound of the walls rattling. I hate spiders.
Seriously. I f*cking hate them.
So last night we were falling asleep and the witch’s bog kicked in once again. My wife replied with an, “Uh oh… What’s wrong?” I explained that I had just read an article about the impending economic recession here in the States, and that I really hope we are doing enough to be prepared. I’m already a wreck in a strong economy that some emergency will hit and I’ll have no way to pay for it. In a weak economy, that factor increases by a large degree.
It’s weird, because I’m actually kind of fortunate that I haven’t had a great deal of money to invest. The result is that I don’t have a lot of money tied up in stocks at risk right now. My 401k will take a dip no doubt, but I’ve got at least 20 years for it to recover, so that’s all good too.
And yet I can’t help but get whipped up into a frenzy about the what-ifs.
The old saying is, “Stress is a killer.” I’ve said many times that I think I’ve shaved YEARS off of my life via the stress of our financial situation, and this recession talk isn’t helping matters any.
It’s really difficult at times to be wired this way. I know stress affects me and my health, and I know I shouldn’t get stressed. I know I especially shouldn’t get stressed over things like an economic recession that I have no control over anyway. And yet here I am… GLORP! FIZZLE! BLOOP! GORBLE! WHIZ! GLOOP! BLUB!
(I just wanted to get 7 of those bad boys in there so that I could make the joke that it sounded like an alien’s phone number.)
As always, I’ll turn to things like meditation and exercise to help combat the stress, but I’m not fooling anyone if I say those things will alleviate it totally.
Especially when my wife forces me to sleep in the spider key party room…
Final Note: In case you were concerned, I have seen (and continue to see) Doctors about this. It’s not something I’m leaving unchecked, so don’t worry!
Tell me things are going to be okay in the comments below! I could use an encouraging word or two, even if you’re nervous as well. We can listen to each other’s stomach gurgle together!