Well I dived right into the "learn about money" thing and I've gotten a lot further than I could ever have hoped in 3 weeks. The hardest, and best (because isn't that just one of life's truths?) part was just taking my head out of the sand and shedding some light on our financial situation. In some ways it was much better than I expected (we do have some assets saved up!), in some ways worse (there really isn't much fat to trim in our budget, we have a lot of very expensive monthly expenses). Money had turned into something stressful and scary and the way I deal with stress & fear is to turn off the light, close the door, and slowly but surely sidle far far away from the situation.
Of course, denial is not an effective method of dealing with shit in life. And knowing that scary thing is still there, somewhere, and may have actually grown bigger & scarier ends up being more stressful than the initial situation. Once I actually confronted the situation, and got over the initial fear and anxiety, I could approach it in a very practical, emotion-free, and step-wise manner. I'm doing the math and the research, and making things happen. Seeing the cold hard numbers has also surprisingly helped me get over any guilt or remorse over sunk costs. Yes we lost this, but we still have that, and we overspent on this, but we can cut back on that and make it up. I feel like I'm in charge of this, and its all about choices I (we) make, and that is pretty empowering.
So, of course, I naturally started thinking about other areas of life I could implement a similar strategy and I've thought of several. These are all things I've actively worked on in the past and been completely unable to make much forward progress. I have decided (and I literally just had this epiphany last week) to approach such problems with equanimity. While not initially obvious to me, I've recognized that there are elements of fear and guilt associated with issues as diverse as marriage, body image, parenting and work. (i.e. pretty much my entire life!) and I need to entangle those emotions to be able to see what the actual problems (if any!) are and then work on addressing them. Its not going to be a quick fix, it may indeed be a lifetime's worth of work, but I am up for the challenge.