Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Let the Freakout Commence in 3...2...1...

Over the course of the last week, I found out: first, that funding for my program was on the Congressional chopping block; next, that it had been cut in a Continuing Resolution and might not be restored, and finally, just this morning, that if it is not restored (and it's being said by those in the know that restoring the funding is a long shot), it will end in approximately five months.


Last night I misunderstood. I thought we had more like a year and five months. I was even saying fall 2011, but in my mind it was still 2010, and fall 2011 was a lot further away than it really is. Last night I spent a few hours convincing my husband not to freak out. I have a back up plan, I told him, and we have over a year to get it in place. I trusted in those chimes to keep sounding in the wind. Today I realized I have just months to get my backup plan in place. Today my husband is convincing me not to freak out. Today I'm thinking if I want those chimes to keep sounding I'd better be prepared to stand next to them, huffing and puffing like the big, bad wolf because the weather is pretty unpredictable lately.

I love my job. I love my life. It took me a long time to get here. And honestly, if I had my druthers, I wouldn't change a thing.

But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't something inside me that thrills to the notion of burning it all to the ground and starting anew.

 * * *

I met a girl once who told me a story of how she lived for months in the woods. She brought nothing with her and when she woke each morning she would pray. Pray that she would get only what she needed to survive that day. And every day, she did. I'll be honest: I don't know that girl from Adam, and I have no idea if she was telling me the truth. Matter of fact, that was the only time we ever talked. But I've never forgotten her story.

When my husband and I were first married we went through a patch where we were very poor. Like creditors calling the house making you feel like not having any money was a malicious choice you had made rather than an awful circumstance you were trying your hardest to escape. It was tough. But for some reason, every time that bank balance reached zero, instead of panic, I felt a certain sense of freedom. Nothing left I can do now, I shrugged, and my spirits momentarily soared.

I believe that the universe is abundant. I believe that I am resilient. I believe that my family is creative and resourceful. I believe that when your bank account is empty, you can still be somehow, paradoxically free. I believe that love is greater than fear. I believe that when  the world around you burns to the ground, you can sift through the ashes and still find beautiful things.

And I believe it's okay to freak the fuck out, as long as I remember to come back and visit this quiet, calm space I keep somewhere in my center every so often. Even without religion, I'm pretty sure it's God there.


  1. If you need anything at all, let me know, lovely. Happy to have a coaching-ish call with you on the house if that'll help alleviate some of your stress/amp-up Plan B.

    You're an inspiration! Seriously, your perspective just amazes me.

  2. Katy, this made me cry! probably because I am in such a similiar spot - with my job ending in late May/early June and 5 other family members, 2 dogs and 2 cats depending on me to keep us afloat. And we have no savings...
    It is very scary, and until recently, I didn't care much for religion, but somehow in all of our moving so far from home, I am in the process of finding it again and I do believe that God will help us be the providers we need to be for our family.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear that. Poo on those who cut the funding. I don't know what you do, but imagine it must be something valuable for you to feel such passion about it. I will hope the funding gets restored, and if not, that the back up plan will end up being even more rewarding.