Friday, January 8, 2010

to be read in case of emergency


This is how you do it: You worry about the small things you can control, the little bits like what color of socks you're going to wear and what you're going to feed your little girl for lunch. You focus on today, and if that's too much you focus on this hour, this minute, this second that matters to you. Because right now, that's all you have. This second to know that you're alive and you're fed and you're surrounded by what you need. Exactly in this second.

Tomorrow is going to come, God willing. And when it does, you are going to face it with grace. And if you don't? Remind yourself that there will (again, God willing) be a lot of future tomorrows to improve your behavior.

If you're lucky (and you are), you will have friends to count on that will keep you grounded. Friends that will love you and laugh with you. Friends that will tell you every once in a while to CHILL OUT, because we all need that.

Worry about what's staring you in the face right this moment. Worry about the things that you need to do and be and see and know right now. One day you're going to look back on this time. You're going to wonder over the small things that you blew up into giants too numerous and ferocious to face. If you're smart (and you are), you will live to be able to say that you enjoyed the moments when they happened. You will live to be able to say that you stopped to breathe in the beauty when it was there knocking at your door, that you didn't let it pass by without notice because you were too focused on the raging storm far off on the distant horizon.

Sunlight. It's there for us to see. If we look for it.

I say this because I need to hear it as much as anyone else. I spend too much time worrying about the what if's and the what might be's.

There was a moment just after Chip's dad died. I was standing in a cramped waiting room, having rushed myself from the hospital room where Chip was still standing. I felt overcome by a kind of hysterical quiet panic that I wouldn't wish on anyone, ever. I paced and worried, my nine-month-pregnant belly brushing the table as I passed, talking to my mom on the phone. My whole body shook as I told her, "Mom, I can't do this. I don't think I can do... this. I just can't. I'm not equipped for it. I'm not grown up enough. I just..."

And she broke in, stopped me flat. This edge of steely reason in her voice as she told me that I could do it. That I had no choice. That this is what we do. We take care of each other. We grow up when we don't think we can. We make the hard choices. We put one foot in front of the other when we don't think we can even crawl. This is what we do.

She was right. We know she was right. I haven't faced nearly as many experiences with the grace and faith that I should have, that I would have liked. But this is what we do: we go on, we make it work, we look forward.

Always.

6 comments:

Swistle said...

I liked this. I blow things up into "giants too numerous and ferocious to face" too.

stacie d said...

I'm going to keep this handy. I need some sense knocked into me far too often. Thank you, love you!

Shelly Overlook said...

Thank you, this was awesome.

Also all kinds of awesome? Your mom.

Little Ms Blogger said...

Great post and I have to admit, over the past 5 years, I've been given more than a normal personal.

I really used humor to help me cope and leaned on friends even though it was impossible for me to ask for help.

You grow up when you aren't looking and it is in these times you learn the most about yourself.

BJ said...

Hi Amy,

I always LOVE what you write and still feel you need to be published, you have an amazing gift. Thank you for this entry, you wrote what I needed to 'hear'. Sometimes it takes a while but eventually, hopefully, we learn to focus on the positive. It's hard at times after dealing with what one thinks is impossible to overcome, be it big or small.

You have a beautiful soul Amy. I love you!

BJ

Spadoman said...

:-)