For the past several years I’ve worried a little bit (obsessed a lot) about who I’ll be, what I’ll do and how I’ll define myself when the kids are grown. I wish I hadn’t wasted that time. I wish I would have spent that time enjoying who I was rather than worrying about who I might someday be.
I’m still learning though. I’m still learning to trust that, if I do the next kind, right and responsible thing, life falls into place.
I’ve never thought of myself as a worrier. Especially back in the days of wine and roses (mostly just wine really). I guess that’s because I could shut it down. When the worry and anxiety creeped in, I could simply turn to a couple glasses of wine (or whatever). I could make it stop.
Then the wine consumption became an issue. Thankfully, I had the sense (the desperation) to stop. Okay great. Now what?
When I first got on the sobriety bandwagon I heard the phrase ‘one day at a time’. I thought this referred to the whole not drinking thing. And, well it does at first but later it means so much more. In the beginning it means don’t drink today. Don’t worry about tomorrow.
For me, the obsession with drinking was lifted early on. The cravings went away quickly. Within a few weeks, drinking became a non-issue.
Now I’m stuck with me all the time. It ain’t easy being me. Turns out I worry and obsess a lot. About every single thing, real and imagined, that could possibly go wrong.
Today, the phrase ‘one day at a time’ is about enjoying life. It means living and rejoicing in today rather than worrying and obsessing about tomorrow. It’s about trusting. Trusting that, by doing the kind, right and responsible thing today, tomorrow will unfold as it should.
That’s not to say that all things will be magically perfect and bad things will never happen. Don’t be silly. Tragedy strikes. And when it does, It’s best to do the next kind, right and responsible thing. It’s best to let go of the rest.
I know all this. And still I struggle.
I’m getting a little better though. I can usually recognize when I’m getting all tangled up over something that might or might not ever happen. Something beyond today and often beyond my control.
In these moments I do a little zen-like self talk. A mantra. A wise man taught me a mantra. It works.
“Stop that shit” I tell myself. “Just stop that shit.”
I’m better than I used to be. Each time I get through something tragic. Each time life works itself out. One day at a time, I’m getting a little better at living one day at a time.
And so back to the beginning. All that time I spent worrying what will become of me when my purpose is no longer that of a full-time mom. All for naught.
Thankfully though, I didn’t simply bury my head in the sand while worrying. In anticipation of the next chapter, I joined a writer’s group, dusted off the thesaurus, and started this blog.
The next responsible thing, I guess. Although, I admit, I didn’t consciously think of it that way.
And then you kind people read my blog. And encouraged me. I started submitting my posts to….everywhere.
So guess what? Within one week of my youngest child’s High School graduation ceremony, I’m signing a contract with http://www.addiction.com.
It’s a writing job. A real writing job.
It’s a short term contract and I’m fighting the urge to worry that they’ll decide not to renew when the time comes. I’m trying not to obsess that I’ll run out of the right words to express my thoughts. Or worse, run out of thoughts entirely. Writer’s block. I’m trying not to project that I’ll fall apart when they request that I convert a document to another format, attachment or some other computery type thing that makes me nervous.
You get the picture.
“Stop that shit” I’m saying to myself. “Just stop that shit.”
Right here, right now, right at this moment….everything is okay.
Today I’m a writer.
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