Everything Is Fine.

“Fear is forgetting that everything is fine.” 
-5 Sayings That Will Keep You Grounded (Real Simple Magazine, January 2014)
photo credit: Tumblr / Flickr account Jane Grigoreva

I haven’t written lately, for any number of reasons. I’ve been tired or busy or my computer hasn’t been working properly. So today when I read this quote and felt compelled to write about it, I was actually excited.

Fear is forgetting that everything is fine.

Wow. What a monumental quote. I can’t help but feel like it was meant for me to find it, somehow. It’s such a mix of how I feel and how I WANT to feel these days, if that makes any sense.

I think that throughout my entire life, I’ve lived with a certain level of fear. It’s led me to episodes of anxiety and recluse, and who knows how many missed opportunities. And once in a while I will remember to live with this quote in mind, Fear is forgetting that everything is fine. When I do… my life is different, somehow.

The past 6 months have been more driven with purpose and clarity, in many ways, than any other time in my life. I credit that to my new job and the permissions it has given me to feel at home in my life. And, oh yes, there are a dozen or so things in my life that I would love to be different right now. But the way everything is managed at the moment has brought me such a level of calm that I can say I don’t remember what anxiety even felt like.

I used to be rushed to do things, afraid that I’d get in trouble for being late or screwing up on someone else's watch. I felt like I was under-appreciated and under-stimulated in most parts of my life. I didn’t really have deep discussions or connections with people because most of my social engagement happened online or through text messages. I finally realized this when I recently made a new friend whose ability to listen and inquire is mind-blowing to me. I don’t mean to say that none of my friends are good listeners, because they are. But I can’t count now how many things I’ve told this person and had him reiterate or ask about them days or weeks later. And it completely blows me away and inspires me… I want to be that person, too!

The level of stress in my daily life has diminished and my relationships have deepened with the people in my circle of friends. I feel at peace.

And more importantly, I WANT to feel at peace. I don’t want to be a person who has to have dramas or complications to spice up my life. I’m finally able to admit that I really AM a simple person, and I like it that way. I don’t require a lot of incentive to be happy or intrigued by life. And maybe that’s boring, but I like my life in a state of calm. I like Friday nights watching movies and spending time with friends on the weekends. I recently had someone tell me that I have a calming presence, which I'd never have guessed considering how anxious I used to feel all of the time. It was deeply flattering for me to feel that I am a person who relaxes other people, because that's the kind of person that I'm realizing- more and more- that I want to be.

When my life was more hectic, I would always have to remind myself of this quote- Fear is forgetting that everything is fine. My version was more along the lines of, “I’m always fine,” but its meaning remains the same. No matter what life throws at me- I’m always fine. If you read my last entry, you'll see this as a common thread in my mindset lately, and hey... that's alright with me. It’s only when we get distracted by dramas or complications that we forget that everything is going to be just fine, because it almost always is. Remember THAT, and life becomes easier.


Real Problems.

Today I woke up sick, as I was yesterday, with a gnarly cold. Not my favorite thing. I called in sick to work and cuddled up to my cat, reaching over every so often for a Kleenex and a sip of water. As I dozed off to sleep, I heard the single most fearsome noise of all time: the Street Sweeper. I jumped out of bed and ran to my car but it was too late- I'd gotten my first parking citation in years. $44. Seriously? Because today couldn't get any worse??

So I laid in bed with my laptop and looked up reasons I could fight the ticket, and how unfair they were, etc., etc. This was hours ago. And suddenly a thought occurred to me: I'm an asshole.

If a Parking Ticket is the biggest of my worries, I really have a LOT to be grateful for.

The ironic thing is that it was totally my fault. I left my car there, I could have taken notice of the street sign or gotten up or whatever. And I didn't, so I should pay the stupid ticket. It's not like Street Sweeping is a new thing around here. Even my cold isn't life-threatening. Last year I had Walking Pneumonia at the and of the year. A little cold isn't going to kill me. In fact- I was sort of relieved that I felt I should stay home (don't want to spread it to co-workers!) and lay back. This Thanksgiving we went to my niece's wedding in Utah and it was very much a go-go-go trip, followed by a 16-hour drive home in a minivan with my family and their dog. A day to spoil myself with peace and quiet and soup and movies is just what the doctor ordered, in more ways than one.

How many times do we (see: I) do this? We make mountains of our molehills and create these extravagant injustices of how shoddy of a deal we've been handed? "I'm Sick," "He hasn't called," "My favorite shirt got ruined." These are not real problems. And if I take my top five "problems" in my life right now- my bet is that I'll feel really, REALLY stupid for thinking they're a big deal. For some reason, my mind flashes to the cover of a Sia album, titled: Some People Have Real Problems.

Those some people are not me, or most likely YOU- for that matter.

I suppose this is an appropriate subject for the week after Thanksgiving, and I ought to have written something about what I'm grateful for last week. But I was too busy, or distracted, or just plain down in the dumps about whatever little dramas I have going on in my life. I know that most women tend to crave drama, and I'm the first to admit that I've probably hopped on that train more than once. But the point isn't to be perfect, it's to be aware. I want to be aware of all that I have, and aware of all the trials I don't have in my life. I want to be aware that I am really, really lucky, because some people have REAL problems, and I'm not one of them.

And now, a few mellow-time songs you've been missing (without even knowing it):

This girl can do no wrong: