Thursday, August 02, 2018

On the Road...

We just got back a few days ago from a quick trip down South to see my family in Asheville.  It's an annual trip we make to shop the gem shows in Franklin, but it's more than that.  It's a restorative time, when I spend time with my sister and her family, make things, and fill our bellies full of good food.  We laugh and share stories and work on projects.  This time we were joined by the lovely Candie Cooper, who was also in town when we were.  We had a fabulous time and dreamed up all kinds of plans!

When I'm on the road, it seems as though I give myself permission to relax.  When I'm home, oftentimes I get so wrapped up in the day to day goings on that it's easy to feel a little overwhelmed.  Don't get me wrong!  I love my life and feel blessed by the abundance of good energy.  But... I still think it's easy to get caught up in the rush to keep all the spinning plates going.

We got back and I felt that overwhelming feeling sink in with a vengeance.  I started to feel guilty about taking the extra few days and  I started to get apprehensive about not doing all the things that I had on my docket.  Did I answer all the emails?  Did I miss a meeting?  Did I forget something?

As I sat there, immobilized, caught up in the spinning cycle of my own self-defeating thoughts... I got fed up!  How is it that one day I feel relaxed and at ease and the next I'm a bundle of exposed nerves?  How is it that one day I'm enjoying the simple pleasures and the next I'm worrying so hard that my jaw feels clenched, my neck stiff, and my stomach sour?

And really... there is no reason.

The difference boils down to a change of perception.  A change of pace and scenery alters the way we see the world.  The worries I had upon returned weren't new.  They were always there.  But the difference is that I let it bother me.  I opened the door to let these nagging voices in.  And if I had the power to open the door, I also had the power to close it.

I decided to make a list.  It wasn't the usual kind of list that I make that lists all the things on my mind, but a briefer, more succinct list.  From the list, I prioritized what was important to me at that moment.  And I set about crossing those things off.  If I get to it, good.  If I don't, it's okay.  The list will be there tomorrow and I can only do so much.  Sometimes things work out.  Sometimes they don't.  When they don't go according to plan, this isn't an invitation to worry or fret.  It's an acceptance that it is what it is.  Knowing what I have to work with, I can adjust my plans accordingly and swim with the current, as opposed to against it.

We have choices about how we live.  We don't have to be defined by our scenery or circumstance, but how we see the world and choose to interact with it.

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