I’ve been feeling anxious lately. Unsettled. Discombobulated, even. And if you’ve ever been combobulated, you know how unsettling the opposite of THAT can be. I’m only saying.

Perhaps it is the heat. Here I am hard at work inside, while the sun is shining away outside, all, “Come out and PLAY, cave dweller!” And I’m like, “Don’t interrupt! RUDE.”

Perhaps it is the sounds of imminent summer pressing against my bedroom window. The first wave of summer bugs and their veritable cacophony of buzzing, chirping, whirring, zitzing. Distant mowers and leaf blowers whining and buzzing intermittently. A wasp, trapped between the window and screen, thumping fitfully against the pane. I am painstakingly ignoring the wasp’s plight; hornets make me cranky. I am aware of the inherent pun.

Even still, my house seems unnaturally still, somber… withdrawn from the restless, almost-but-not-quite-summer day brewing outside, and I wish I could withdraw and still the restless anxiety softly brewing inside.

Of me, not my house. Pay attention.

It is as if I am waiting, holding my breath, but I don’t understand why or for what. You know how there are times when you gaze out the window of a moving train or vehicle or airplane, and find yourself mesmerized by the scenery flying by… but not while you are the one in actual physical control of the vehicle or plane because that would be super dangerous? And although the scenery is moving by in lightning-quick flashes of lakes and trees and earth and sky, you struggle to capture it, to put it in your pocket, all of it—the meadowy greens and azure blues, the earthy browns and oranges and purples, even the strips of barren desert or occasional muck along the way—because it is just… so… breathtaking… it is!… and all that beauty is yours at that very moment, and you have no doubt in your mind that if you could just grab it and hold it all in your hands for even a teensy second then it would be the most wonderful, most perfect second of your life?!

But you can’t touch it because you can’t slow down, you can’t just stop, you’re not where you’re supposed to be yet? And your chest tightens and you can barely take a breath? Because as the scenery continues to pass by, to elude you, it changes, it always changes, and though it is still oh-so beautiful and utterly mesmerizing and you know that there is more to see, so much more, you also know in your heart that the you can never get it back, and you will never see it exactly the same way again? And even though you never had it, not to keep, not really, because it was never yours to take… still, you feel the loss?

Yup. The anxiety I’m feeling is a lot like that.

Like my life is speeding by in a whirl of restlessness and obligations and TGIM and my kiddos are only a mesmerizing blur along the way—lightning quick flashes of growing and changing and learning and becoming—so beautiful, yet so fleeting… and I can’t make it stop! I can’t snatch my children out of time and hold them close to me just as they are, so lovely and young, so full of innocence and love and trust, because there are miles to go and places to be and that’s just the way it goes, this life. And before I know it my son is a teenager with braces and hormones and opinions, and my daughters are not quite as grossed out as they used to be when they see people kissing and they will soon be too cool to cuddle up with me and ask me to read them bedtime stories.

So I’ve been feeling anxious lately. Unsettled. Discombobulated.

The wasp is still trapped. I hear it thumping futilely against the pane, and it strikes me that its only thought right now is probably to get out, get out, get OUT of the place in which it is stuck. And if the stupid thing would only slow down for a moment, take a breath—although insects technically breathe passively, but work with me here—maybe it would realize that, hey, it got itself IN there—it crawled right in, uninvited and whatnot—so it can certainly get itself the hell out. There is ALWAYS a way out! A way to move onward, to be free from the frenzied, futile thumping, because what you are doing is not WORKING.

Except for when I open the window and swat it dead, of course.

Hey, I TOLD you. Hornets make me cranky.

But, I’m thinking. Just like the poor deceased wasp, maybe what I ought to do to dispel the unnamed restlessness is to slow down for a moment, breathe, look around. Take notes. Enjoy the view. I mean, I have traveled this far, and I know the ultimate ending, but if I am always waiting, holding my breath, always searching for something more, or looking for a way to get… oh, somewhere else, I am missing what is plain, what is right in front of me. The mesmerizing blur, so to speak. And I can’t get that back! Like it says in “World Spins Madly On” by the Weepies:

Everything that I said I’d do
Like make the world brand new
And take the time for you
I just got lost and slept right through the dawn
And the world spins madly on


So, pay attention, me!

Also? Occasionally I am melodramatic and strange.

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Tags: anxiety, kids, life, mom, parenting, working

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