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? 

~*~*~*~*~*~

 

Animals, Booze, Chipmunks Forever, Just For Fun, Uncategorized

This One’s For You. Yeah, YOU!

Oh you, my darling Guilty Pleasure chipmunk*, let’s talk. Grab a chair drink. Can I just tell you something? I’ve been struggling with whether or not I should’ve emailed you at your personal email address when you subscribed to my blog. I wanna write and say, “Thank you. You’ve totally validated my existence and if you’re ever in Jersey I’ll be glad to make you dinner and let my dog lick your face raw,” but it seems like that might be a bit too intrusive. (In case I’ve worried anyone, if you’ve written me to thank me for subscribing to your blog, I was thrilled.)

Related to this, I wrote a very silly post back in April (2 months after I started this blog) which I intended to post should I ever catch that rare, Freshly Pressed unicorn (i.e., get featured on the home page of wordpress.com). Well, shockingly, I did wrangle the majestic, one-horned beast this week -when I least expected it, natch, and had long given up caring too much about it- but the post was sarcastic and clouded the true gratitude and humility I felt in responding to the exciting flurry of sweet comments.

So, lest there be ANY doubt how I feel about you, and by you I mean those who’ve ever read, and/or continue to read, my little blog, and share your lovely, hilarious thoughts (so yeah, this means YOU! Right now! You!):

*I love chipmunks. So much. This is the greatest compliment I know how to give. Besides sharing my Reese’s peanut butter cups. Or my vodka. No, no. Sorry. I got carried away. Paws off the Smirnoff.