Blogging, PSAs

When the Bridge Appears

When the Bridge Appears Go Jules go title graphic_15MAY2019

Ah, crap. If I keep going this way, the sidewalk is going to end, and the cars whip around the next corner like they’ve got a death wish. MY death wish… 

I was on mile nine of one of my daily half marathons -a favorite past-time since resigning from corporate America two months ago– and fretting over the pedestrian “F You” I was about to encounter.

…But if I turn around, I’ve got to go alllll the way back to that other sh*tty spot…

Just at that moment, my most recent audiobook uttered the phrase “addiction to worry.”

…Then when I get home I still have to write a blog post. Ugh. I have nothing to write about. …Is that a rain drop? Not again…

I spotted a worn down gravel path veering away from the main road. What the…? I hadn’t been on this particular road in years, but certainly this path had always been there. It seemed to wind through someone’s front yard, yet was clearly meant for foot traffic. Stepping onto it cautiously, Uncle Jesse and I soon turned a corner and faced a sweet little covered bridge, connecting the gravel path to a cul-de-sac.

img_20190514_120743

Once again dazzled by the treasures my long walks often gifted me, I stopped to snap a couple of pictures and investigate a nest tucked into one of the supporting beams. This little bridge would ensure that I stayed on safe sidewalks for the next mile or so.

“Worrying is like playing the slots every day,” Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap, continued. “Or worrying about the stock market crashing. Eventually, you’ll ‘win’ big. You’ll be right.”

Hendricks described the difference between worrying about things you can actually control -like someone who’s stepping on your foot- versus things you can’t. Most of the things we worry about, he said, are entirely outside of our control – because we make them up (what Brene Brown calls “rehearsing tragedy”). We imagine things going wrong because we all hit a certain happiness level and then subconsciously sabotage ourselves. Something inside of us -picked up from our early years, like most things- believes we’re only allowed a limited level of joy and success. How many times have you felt the high of a healthy lifestyle, only to gorge on potstickers and late-night Fuller House episodes (…just me)?

I thought about how I’d spent the past two months since leaving my full-time job: Ensconced in utter freedom, with plenty of money saved to travel, relax and enjoy my favorite things and people.

But what did I mostly do?

Worry.

How long will my savings really last? What will I do after that? Where am I going to live? What if I’m alone for the rest of my life? What if I wind up right back where I started? Why am I so lazy? 

I recalled countless moments where I’d caught myself having imaginary conversations that ended with me feeling angry, defeated, ‘less than’ or all of the above. When I downloaded this latest audiobook, I knew I needed to revisit some of the lessons I’d learned over the past few years. Gratitude. Visualization. Breathing.

Jules-meditating-Zac-Efron-spirit-guide
And a little Zac Efron fantasy never hurt.

It wasn’t hard to think of a million and one reasons to thank my lucky stars. Heck, just thinking of my Netflix queue brought a tear to my eye. The much harder part was believing I was worthy of this delicious slice of life. Was I doing my part for the planet, for society? Was it actually okay to quit a steady job, uproot my entire life, and hike every day? Was I leveraging my gifts and talents in a meaningful way? What I was really asking, of course, was, “Am I good enough?”

I stared at the little red covered bridge a while longer, remembering all of the bridges that had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, over the past year. Some literal, some not. Certainly if those bridges could talk, they would have said:

Duh bridge Go Jules Go Of course we’re all good enough. Why else are we here? As one of my very favorite passages goes, from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, “We did not come all this great distance, and make all this great effort, only to miss the party at the last moment.”

Lori-bday-kiss
So let’s party.

~*~*~*~*~*~

How do you manage the addiction to worry? 

~*~*~*~*~*~

 

15 thoughts on “When the Bridge Appears”

  1. I’m a worrier from way back. I’m not sure it’s ever really been detrimental to my life plan… but it sure does take up a lot time!
    Beautiful bridge pic of Uncle Jessie.
    😊

  2. FWIW Here is a quote I have found useful. Worry does not take away tomorrow’s problems. I takes away today’s peace. Good luck!

    1. Thank you, Sandy!! So far I’m really digging this book. The author does executive coaching, which is probably a second career I should consider more seriously. Holy $$$.

  3. This was so me! I used to think of all sorts of scenarios and plan how I’d deal with them. Worry after worry would come up, situation after situation. When the stress got too much, having something to eat calmed me down, until I realized food wasn’t really working so well anymore. Then I discovered healing work, which has changed my life. I love the little covered bridge! The bridge between worlds; between the hustle and bustle of life and the zen of nature, worry and calm.

    1. Hang on. Are you saying you reach a point where potstickers and $6 Trader Joe’s hooch stop working? That sounds like something I should definitely worry about.

      (In all seriousness, I LOVE the imagery you painted here; your comments always make me smile and reflect in the best way.)

  4. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” You’re onto something here, for surrrre. My method for dealing with worry is to accept that I can’t control anything beyond my own actions (and then only if I’m not hangry) and that things usually work out if i work hard and am nice to people. Lastly, I choose to live in a place that has great trails for being outside *cough Bend rocks cough*

    1. I’m banking on those trails, my friend!! And not just because I’m worried (heh) about crushing the latest Fitbit “work week hustle” challenge. (I suppose it’s not fair to accept such challenges when you’re not actually working, eh?)

  5. My worry meter has dropped about 90%+ in the last couple years. Mostly, it’s the “God, Quantum Physics, and Law of Attraction” connection at work. All things work out in the end. We are all good enough. Whatever you intend strongly and faithfully comes to pass. Due to money savings and budget rewrite, along with a change in supplemental insurance, I now have about $70-$120 a month more to live on. Sure helps. Intentions (positive ones) are tremendously wonderful. Glad you are getting there.

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