Yesterday, I was completely frazzled and unable to handle my children and their constant needs. They are older now and their needs are so much more complicated than they ever were before. There is so much talking and so much wanting and so much fighting. I had to ask them to just stop speaking to me, because I really could not take it anymore.
And I felt terrible; but I could also feel the anxiety bubbling up in a physical way.
When this happens, it reminds me of when the shot clock starts on 30 seconds at Temple basketball game. The crowd is shouting "slow it down;" while the player is racing to the goal, destined to miss the shot. When I am feeling anxious, I am that player and the voice in my head is telling to slow it down; but I cannot and there is nothing I can do.
I hate that feeling. I know it bubbles up when I am feeling out of control and unable to dictate the script. My children bombarding me with requests--requests I cannot fulfill in those moments lead to me feeling unhappy with how I control the day. There are bigger things out of my control, too, including so many people that we love who are struggling.
It is awful to watch the people you love suffer through hard things. I pray irrational prayers for magic wands to take away their pain. I pray that I can be supportive and loving and what they need as they walk through their hard time. I am so grateful to know each of them--hard times and all. People are the sum of the good and the bad--they are a complicated mosaic of everything that happens to them and around them. When you love someone through hard times, you get to see the very best of them. It's a gift.
But still, it's hard to not be in control. For me, this results in a weird headspace, living somewhere between gratitude and fear. I am overwhelming thankful for every single moment on this planet with my family and the people I love; but I am so scared all of this could disappear. Sometimes, I wonder if I am trying to use gratitude as the bounty for safety—payment so that my fears don’t come true.
I know from experience that you cannot pay for a good, safe life. But, that knowledge is hard to live, friends.