Combatting Worry-Creep

After a gift of gorgeous Spring days, Saturday morning and the weekend promises to be a little gloomy with only a dim haze of light where yesterday sparkled. I still mark weekends because I still have a job. Yes, our bookstores in the tristate area are closed but because I work primarily with educators and companies, I’m still in operation – my days safely at home on computer and phone doing business and sharing pep talks. Sometimes I am hit by worry-creep. I catch myself not breathing, my chest tightens until I remember things I am grateful for. Like for now I’m employed.

During my years of life in perpetual crisis-mode, I learned that focusing on gratitude calmed me. My heart goes out to all who are currently living with their own addiction or addict. Liquor stores in Connecticut remain open – considered essential and us social drinkers get to laugh appreciatively because who doesn’t need cocktail hour now? But there’s no such chuckle from someone who is seriously hooked. Recalling the recklessness I witnessed from my late partners, I am grateful not to be contending with an active addict in my life now. Strength and love to you if you are.

Back to things that calm the heart…

Having Molly here with me definitely tops the list. She was so ready to step away from her mom and out of this state where she’s spent her life. If her plan to land a job in NYC by February had worked out, well – it wouldn’t have been great right now. So yes, she’s not employed yet but she’s safe and healthy. We make each other laugh and bonus: she’s an amazing cook. Even if she were 6 and I was homeschooling her, corralling her away from friends and having to explain our current insanity – she would be my first delight and inspiration. But I won’t lie: I’m SO grateful to be living with this incredible adult version instead.

We love our home – although neither of us would win awards for best housekeeper and almost everything is shabby but not chic – we delight in this space. I look forward to getting my hands in the dirt, meanwhile adoring the cheery daffodils in our yard. We are lucky to have this home that I’ve managed to hang onto through all these years. The mortgage is almost down to what it originally was 24 years ago when I first bought it. – yes the bank will probably always own it. But thanks to refinancing (I have a great guy for this if you need one!) and my steady employment with blessed Barnes & Noble, we’ve weathered tough years in-place. We hope to continue to do that. I am very grateful to be quarantined in this sweet home – with a porch.

The list can go on. I’m sure you’ve got one too. Keep it handy. Of course I get anxious about this terrible illness disrupting our current grace-filled lives. I dread the thought of either of us, any loved one, any of you — losing our precious breath. But then — I breathe because I CAN — so deeply, filling my healthy lungs, expanding them as far as they will go and it feels positively joyful. I do this at night as I look at the stars – inhaling the cold night air while Rufus wanders the patchy lawn. I do it when I wake – stretching into the morning and gratefully taking a very deep, delicious breath.

How are you doing?

11 thoughts on “Combatting Worry-Creep”

  1. It’s good to get a peek into your days Tricia! I sit down every morning and contemplate my keyboard but I just don’t know what I have to contribute to the public forum. I DO feel grateful (and somewhat – as always! – guilty) that my self-isolation is in the company of my parents and 98-year-old grandmother, in a house that’s paid for, with sufficient food for months and a CSA subscription to our local farm. I think daily about the folks – nurses, doctors, grocery store clerks, etc – who are decidedly NOT having a pleasant experience during this pandemic and those who’ve lost their income and my heart bleeds. Your words do inspire me to share the mundane realities of my world – it’s so good to get a peek of life across the continent, in another state, and a fresh perspective on the day. Thank you!

  2. I’m loving the time I have to read. I’m pretty sure I will never come to the end of my TBR pile, but I’m going to crush my 2020 Goodreads challenge of 100 books. A hundred? Child’s play

  3. Gratitude calms me too. I’m glad you’re safe in your sweet little house with the adult version of your girl. I’ve been noticing my breathing more, grateful for that gift. Thanks for sharing your list.

  4. Hello dear Tricia! This was a wonderful piece, a little visit with you. I know how you love working in the yard and the Universe has certainly been kind to us in giving us her smiles in the form of sunshine, daffodils, forsythia, robins, and frog-song. What a blessing that Molly is home with you! Happiness! We’re all fine: kids, sisters, various spouses, etc. Like you, I wake up, take note that I feel fine (whew!), and revel in my ability to take a deep breath. Small pleasures we’ve taken for granted! Big hugs to you and Molly! XXOO

  5. So glad you have your darling daughter to keep you company! I, too, am fortunate to be able to work at home. But I am paid by the word, so my goal every day is to churn out a lot of them. I am trying to stay creative with my cooking, too. Making it a point to reach out my besties more often. Reading some, usually at night before falling asleep, which thankfully, I continue to do with ease. Be well, friend, and keep writing!

  6. I’m glad to hear you get to spend time with your daughter and that the timing on her NYC job didn’t go as planned. I have two daughters, one college aged, and spending more time with them is a definite highlight of this otherwise scary time. I’ve been thinking how hard it would have been if mine were both toddlers… my heart goes out to anyone trying to work and care for young children from home.

  7. Hey lady….another beautiful read…..thank you! I’m trying to work from home as much as possible, but the boss just came back from FL today and I believe some boundaries and shared scheduling is needed now. Not comfortable being in the office all day with another human who has been “inconvenienced” by this pandemic.

    Like you, I’m very grateful for my healthy lungs, as well! Big, deep breaths in the morning, while taking my (almost daily) long walks, and definitely as I step outside to drop the day’s recycling into the bin….and I look at the stars, too, and say hi to Damma (when the moon is out).

    Getting things done in the house is the theme, now that we both are there so much. You know how happy I am about that! Also glad to hear all is well with you, sweet Molly and Rufus, too. Happy spring. Hoping to see you again soon…..xo

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