Sometimes instead of enjoying the events in front of me, I see them as things I have to whack down with a stick before I can rest. Workout, drive to school, have a meeting, go shopping for dinner. Whack, whack, whack. I stumble into my house, and then look around. Now what?
I go to the movies, dinner, drive someone home. Whack, whack, whack. That was fun. Was it? I can't remember because I was so concerned about getting to the next thing that I forgot to pay attention where I was.
I get a tense feeling, a girding of loins, a hardening before charging into battle. Ready, set, go.
Often, I can let go of this anxiety, but during the semester when my life seemed bookended by papers and books to read and students to talk to, I see the filler (my life) as something to push through in order for some peace. But there isn't any peace because the week starts up again (hopefully) and there I am again whacking at the same brush trying to get to the airstrip so I can escape the bandits, grab hold of the landing gear, and make it home, clinging by my bare hands to the metal.
My sons would tell me to "Chill." It was one of their favorite expressions for me. "Chill, Mom," they would say.
I practice chilling by standing in front of the refrigerator. That just makes me want to clean it. When I step out onto the deck, I want to sweep it.
So I exercise a lot, which helps with the chill factor. I write, which thank goodness takes me out of the "what do I have to do today" queue. I go on walks with friends. I take mass quantities of illegal sub.... no, I don't. But I would be a good candidate for daily Valium tablets. A huge course of them. Of course, the rehab center would really force me to calm down, and that could be a backward plan.
The semester ends in about six weeks. There are a lot of papers to grade in that time. Many meetings. I am going to try to put my whacking stick in the coat closet and go out without it. I am, as my sons say, going to try to "Chill."
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org