Covid-19, Worry

This is hard.

white and brown wooden tiles
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Captains Log:  Day 23. {Can you tell I’ve been binge watching Starship Enterprise?]

I wanted to write these posts as a way for me to document how I feel during this unprecedented time.  Never in a million years would I have guessed our whole world would be shut down because of a deadly virus.  The whole world is shut down.  Good grief.

There have been some pretty horrific events in my lifetime, but none as personal as this.  And even though I’m safe, my family is safe, my husband is employed, and we are all healthy, the never-ending anxiety because of the unknowns have been wreaking havoc on my mental health.

First, let me just put it out there that I’m so grateful for my situation.  I have it easy, really.

 I get to stay at home.

I can read books, sit out on my back deck, binge watch sitcoms (comedy only), journal, exercise on my treadmill, do yoga from the internet, bake bread, muffins, cookies or anything else I can conjure up with a bit of flour, eggs, sugar and butter. I have enough food for the next two weeks (at least).  I have a roof over my head and a soft bed to fall into at night.

Other people have it much harder.  Some have lost loved ones. Some have lost their incomes.  Some are putting themselves at risk every day by working in hospitals, doctors’ offices, grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. so that we may be cared for and fed.  I am thankful and grateful and will never take grocery shopping for granted again.

However, it’s Day 23 under ‘stay at home order’ but it feels like Day 103.

Even with my ‘easier’ life, there has been debilitating fear.  Some days I’m scared to go grocery shopping, I’m scared to have packages delivered, and I’m scared of the air I breathe when I take my dog for a walk.  It’s been a challenge to carry on my routines and normal behaviors.

Thankfully, other days have been good.  I hope to have more of the good, and less of the bad in the days to come.  I pray that this invisible monster goes away, and things will get back to a ‘new’ normal.  (Because clearly we will all never be quite the same again.)

If you are finding this situation hard to navigate, you are not alone.

We will get through this. #inthistogether

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retirement Journey, Worry

How the present is affecting our retirement future.

man and woman sitting on brown wooden bench
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The present market situation has caused a bit of a pause for us as we figure out when we will retire.  In four years, or age 60 (for my hubby), we still would have a sizeable nest egg, but not nearly what we thought we would have.  We are considering and expecting a very slow recovery, and only a 3% rate of return once it does.  Once our investments come up to what they were before the crash, we plan to put almost all of our investments to conservative, non volatile funds.

Along with watching our funds in the stock market, we are assuming our cash savings in bank accounts will not earn much, if anything.  Still, we are stashing away as much as we can, and I still anticipate we will meet our cash goal in four years.

What else has changed for us?  I’m applying for a job and my husband is considering working until 62 or 63.  We are both healthy, and want to make sure we work as long as we can to save the amount of savings we feel comfortable with in retirement…without the concern of another bear market down the road.  If we save enough, we won’t have to worry about interest rates.  Period.

I know we are fortunate.  I know we have it better than a lot of people.  I’m grateful every single day for my husband and his secure job.  However, if he lost his job tomorrow, we would be okay.  We have a considerable amount of equity in our home, which we could sell immediately.  Downsizing is in our future anyway, so it wouldn’t feel like a hardship.  In the meantime, while he is working, we are saving and paying down our mortgage as quickly as we can.

That is the financial side, but how am I navigating today?

Taking time to just breathe.

Trying to help others where I can.

Remaining positive in this space.

It is scary, I know, and I’ve lived through bear markets, 911, and the snipers (which traumatized me for months) but I believe we will prevail.

Just remember we are all in unchartered territory, including our government officials.  Be patient.  Don’t blame.  Don’t hoard.  Share.  Above all, be kind.

Sending my love and prayers to all those who are suffering a loss, whether it be a loved one who lost the battle with this illness, loss of pay, or loss of savings.

We are all in this together.

 

 

Worry

Worry. A true life suck.

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Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you then and every day. He will either shield you from suffering, or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

–St. Francis de Sales

It seems that the world has gone absolutely mad, and there is no longer a place that we can be completely safe.  After the events that transpired in Pensacola at the Navy base, I was beside myself, as my own son is about to commission as an officer in the Navy and will be going to train in January.  Three young men, who wanted to serve this country … gone.

Today, I received an email in the “just one yes” campaign from The Arlington Diocese (one which I signed up to receive).  In it was the quote above.  Was it perfect timing or an answer to the never ending questions I had for God all weekend?  I believe it was the latter.   I’m grateful to receive it.

Worry can suck the life out of you.  However, faith will allow you to realize that someone else really is in charge.  You can be vigiliant, of course, and you must be.  But worry won’t change what will be.  A lesson I will need to remember.