I’ll admit it: I’ve had a shit last few days. The stress present in my life is palpable, and only overshadowed by my occasional ignorance of it, as I drown myself in whatever escape I can find for an elusive break from reality.
Still, this- like most stress-worthy matters, is temporary. We will find a home, I will find work, we will survive. And, when I take the time to think things through, I remember this, and the burdens are somehow a little bit lighter.
Later in her life, as wisdom crept into her bones, my mother was very good at perspective, and drove the necessity of it into my stubborn brain like a hand steel driven through hard rock. In turn, I have worked to do the same with my own children- teaching them the importance of humility, and reminding them of the value of both honoring and setting aside their emotions for the sake of objectivity.
Today, more than eight years after her death, I’m grateful to my Mother for passing this message on to me. She will never know the value of her lesson- just how many times it has assisted in containing an argument, how often it has pulled me from the sticky grip of a private pity party, or, like today, how many umpteen times it has allowed me to place things in an appropriate context.
My attitude has changed this day, a slow but steady shift in my thinking is creeping into my psyche, and I’m purposely willing myself to acknowledge what it is we’re dealing with now- and the struggles that we have been facing as a result of them, but to bluntly refuse to live here with any sense of permanence- in the fear and angst of the uncertain. And, not surprisingly, I feel better.
Tomorrow is a new day. I’ll spend half of it searching for a home, and the other half hunting for writing work, and the present stresses of life will still exist. I cannot suggest that I will not struggle to find a perspective that agrees with an outlook of productivity- if nothing else, experience has taught me that no true change is an overnight one. And, I am, after all, a human being, being human. Sometimes the deeply embedded fall guy- the omni-present excuse for everything, trumps all- just because it can.
But I will be diligent in the correction of my thinking- and adamant in my pledge to keep in sync with something constructive, not destructive. I won’t always succeed. But I won’t always fail, either. And, never will I forget the wise words of Dr. Leo Marvin, “Baby steps.”
And this has become my mantra: Baby steps, Baby. Baby Steps.