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maybes

May 9, 2011

Good morning, good morning, and good morning.

I have a confession to make:  I’ve really missed showing up here.  Having taken a little over a week off from “a gift a day,” I’m further convinced that I need an orderly writing home, a routine, to keep me honest.  A week without this reminds me that space for reflection keeps me sane.

Life has been less-than-sane these days.  I’m not just referring to Osama bin Laden’s death (you remember that, right?  I swore I wasn’t going to write about it, but I did).  I am also speaking of our impending move (so much bigger than those three words), the slow grind-down of the school year’s end, and the loose threads demanding to be tied before I leave my job for something new.

There are so many unknowns in my world right now, fat question marks pinned across a map.  Even typing the word “unknown” challenges my fingers — exclusively using the right hand except for that far-reaching little “w.”  My problem with unknowns is that they quickly decompensate into “what ifs:”  What if we don’t find the right home for our family?  What if our children hate their schools and refuse to go, or Steve hates working from home?  What if leaving behind everything we’ve known for a decade is a colossal mistake?

Fortunately, I’ve lived long enough to have been here before.   I know to confront these fears with a gentle re-frame:  instead of  “what if?” I think I’ll choose “maybe.”  As in, “Maybe our kids will love their new home even more than this one” and “Maybe now we’ll spend birthdays and holidays with family” and “Maybe this will all work out, as long as I keep what matters in mind.”  Maybe I’ll laugh at my nerve-wracked self in six months, asking, “What were you so worried about?” and laying a comforting hand on my shoulder.  Maybe.

AuthorSomething in Brené Brown’s blog post today really resonated with me.  The post addresses the destructive ideal of “coolness,” which she calls an “emotional straightjacket.”  When I first read the blog post’s title, I almost dismissed it altogether.  “What do I care about being cool?” I scoffed, “I’m a middle-aged mother of two.  If I ever was cool, I’m certainly not cool now.”  I read on, though, and realized that some of my scary unknowns, some of my “what ifs,” may have something to do with aiming for cool and being afraid to miss.

Brown writes:

“My mantra when I’m trying something new and feeling awkward and goofy is ‘Effort + the courage to show up = enough.'”

Beautiful, right?  Before reading this post, I didn’t connect our major life change to “coolness.”  However, approaching a shiny new world certainly has me feeling awkward and goofy.  It helped to consider that maybe it is enough to throw my shoulders back, put one foot in front of the other, and keep showing up.  While I’m not typically a fan of equations, I thanked Brené for this one. 

I thank you, too, for showing up with me.  Here’s to a week chock-full of possibilities.

I’ll continue checking in with you as the blog receives its non-surgical facelift, and I am hopeful that it will emerge lovelier than before.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    May 10, 2011 5:05 pm

    Just because Luke said you are middle-aged doesn’t mean you are.

  2. May 10, 2011 6:56 pm

    I love you, Steve.

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