I recently listened to an author talk about how all fiction books begin with the idea of what if …
Oh! I thought. I should be writing fiction! Because I am really good at what if.
The problem is my what if is ruled by my anxious brain, and currently, that brain is in overdrive, asking constantly, What the hell do we do now?
Because I don’t know about you, but to me, everything feels shaky and unclear, and now we’ve seen that something that we really only thought Michael Crichton could dream up can happen.
It’s still happening.
Cue the dinosaurs.
No one really knows how to deal with it, but for a while, there were stricter rules. I really liked that, actually. I knew exactly what I was supposed to do.
I am a recovering good girl. And I’ll tell you, almost nothing has been as hard as getting over disappointing people, but this is all right up there.
The minute restrictions lifted, I felt like there was no ground anymore.
I stayed inside more. My anxiety became worse.
It was the stress of a million little decisions. Can we go to a restaurant? Should we eat outside? Inside? Should we wear masks? Should I hug my mom when I see her after three months, even though she works as a nurse in an assisted living facility and her residents are at high risk?
According to Emily P. Freeman, it’s estimated that adults make 35,000 decisions a day.
And that’s not factoring in the health of the whole planet.
So one lunch, and my back was so tight on the way home, I could barely breathe.
But what about a plan?
But as the world opens up, I also feel like I’m supposed to move forward – that I need a plan. The summer is slipping away …
Usually, summers are a lovely time here. We go to the pool a lot; read a lot; and get ice cream a lot.
The pool is closed, the library is closed, and Dear God, please someone tell me exactly how to feel about a teenager scooping ice cream for my kids.
I need a guidebook, or at least a list.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Covid Mountain Guide
Looking to hire responsible, knowledgeable guide for outside activities during worldwide pandemic. Must be non-smoker.
It all feels a little like my yard.
Let me explain.
Recently, a neighbor came over and shouted across the sidewalk to my husband. He was friendly – it’s just social distancing …
He told us that we live in what the neighborhood used to call The Manson House.
(Googles: “Bulk sage.” Googles: “Priest for hire.” Googles: “How to sell a house during a pandemic.”)
Apparently, a creepy dude lived here for many years. No one knows what happened to him.
And then the “Chicago Folks” moved in. I can only imagine they were two Enneagram 7s, completely unchecked by realism or their wings.
So our yard is a little bananas.
Last summer, I mentioned to another neighbor that I felt like along the fence, the “Chicago Folks” took one of those bulk bags of wildflower seeds and just dumped the whole thing.
“Yes,” he said. “That’s exactly what happened. I saw it.”
Our whole yard is like that. It’s overgrown and intimidating. I have no idea where to start.
I keep wanting to ask someone to come here with the right tools, to do a reset. I guess that would be a landscaper? A gardener?
JOB DESCRIPTION: Mental gardener
Looking to hire responsible, knowledgeable gardener to prune my anxious mind. Must have access to proper tools to reset the hot mess in there. End result must be smooth, manicured brain. Flexible hours.
I guess what I’m saying is that I feel terribly unsure, and terribly responsible at the same time.
I think I need to be a little more patient.
And I probably need to dump some heavy expectations.
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