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Friday, August 11, 2017

Beating Fear: One Step in Front of the Other

I'm struggling. After watching the news last night, it took everything I had not to search for a nuclear fallout center and buy one of those massive end of the world kits that includes a firestarter, tarps and enough dehydrated food for 90 days (after that, you're on your own.) I'm scared. I'm afraid that a Twitter war  is going to land us in the midst of a nuclear war. I can't stop thinking of the people on Guam who must be thinking "Hey, leave us out of it. We're just an island surrounded by gorgeous blue water. We just want to have a regular old Saturday here." I worry for them. I worry for us. When I worry, I go to the darkest possible outcome. What will happen if one leader  decides to pull the trigger rather than just state that they will pull the trigger? I can't stop thinking of what will happen? Could it happen? I majored in Politics.  I know all about conflict and the ramifications of war. It's hard to think about plans for the weekend when I worry if we will have a weekend. 

As I sit here outside by the pool at my hotel (Where I am for work), I'm watching a little blonde girl, wearing her goggles, swimming somewhat like an uncoordinated giraffe. She's happy. She's oblivious. She's splashing her dad who is busy, reading his cel phone on a deck chair.  As I watch the two of them, I realize I want to be more like her,  in her happy youngness. There is virtually nothing either of them can do to prevent a world conflict but the way they are approaching their lives is entirely different. She is taking advantage of this beautiful day, enjoying every moment of the way her body moves through the water. He's probably reading about what one leader said or another or how this will affect his personal wealth. He is missing the moment, busying worrying about another moment that may or may not happen.

Earlier this morning I was so busy worrying about what could or couldn't happen with the world in general, and what could or couldn't happen in my life that I was missing the moment I was in. The world will happen, it will go on, regardless of how much I worry or what I choose to do.  I'm not advocating dancing in the ash fallout, I'm about not worrying about things you can do nothing about, about not living in paralyzing fear.

So, I've decided to live life. To make plans. To stop worrying. I bought new running shoes online a few moments ago. Tonight, I'll bring a blanket and a tumbler of lemonade and I'll watch the outdoor movie under the stars (Tonight is the "Lego Batman" movie). Tomorrow, I'll take a long walk around the Saturday market in Portland. I'll visit Voodoo Doughnut and turn my face to the sun. I'll watch little kids high on sugar happily run around. I'll buy a doughnut for the person in line behind me. Life goes on. 

Choosing to live beyond fear isn't about avoiding the truth. It's about choosing life, choosing happiness and not allowing the darkness (or even the possibility of darkness) to win. It's about light and moments and sometimes, it's about Saturday mornings with doughnuts. 

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