Sometimes, after life has handed you the world’s biggest shit sandwich, topped with a pickle-shaped turd and served with a side of potato-shit salad and a big, red, Solo cup filled with shit-aid (instead of delicious Kool-Aid), ya get a little pissy. Occasionally I pass “pissy” and cross into “rage,” followed by “super-rage,” followed by “FUCK IT.” And “fuck it” is when you know you’ve had all the shit-picnics you can take, and you. are. DONE.
That is the point at which I found myself about two weeks ago. And then, suddenly, things got much better.
My problem, when things get better after a rollercoaster of holy-shit-this-fucking-sucks and wait-things-are-improving-now and then oh-damn-now-it’s-worse-than-ever to huh-I’m-getting-used-to-it-sucking is that I don’t trust things to actually be better. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am waiting for the inevitable disappointment. It’s not that I’m a pessimistic person; I just find disappointment less devastating if I’m prepared for it. I’m the emotional equivalent of a dooomsday-er– hoping for the best but definitely prepared for the worst. I want to enjoy the times when things are calm and boring and relatively predictable because those times are sadly few and far between. I love boring. Because I haven’t had a lot of it– I am so accustomed to operating in crisis mode that I’m not quite sure how to turn it off. But I sure as shit know how to freak the fuck out and be generally unpleasant to myself and everyone around me.
So now it looks like things are improving tremendously, and I am unable to trust it. I’m trying really hard to chill my batshit-crazy ass and stop planning for “what if.” And I think I have learned the key to it, for myself anyway. No joke, the best way for me to release all of that tension and anxiety and fear and trepidation is going to the beach. It works better than any medication or alcohol or therapy. It’s like therapy for my soul. There’s something about miles of yellow-white sand running down to seafoam-green water topped with azure sky that allows me to release everything. Add in the unceasing sound of the surf breaking on the beach and then roaring back only to charge forward again, and I have reached nirvana. It’s the only time I don’t have to distract myself or try desperately to escape my own head. I can just… be.
So this is my plan: in order to enjoy the calm that appears to have settled over our family for now, I have promised myself that , once a week, I will make the twenty-minute drive to Huntington Beach. And on the way home, I will go to Trader Joe’s or Central Market and get something awesome for dinner. I will take one day a week, with my husband or by myself, to focus on enjoying my life. Otherwise, no matter how “normal” things are, I will find a reason to be anxious. This is my challenge to anyone who reads this: go enjoy your life once a week. No errands, no work, no phones, no stress. Whatever you love that is easily within reach, grasp it and revel in it on a regular basis. The world will not fall apart without you– in fact, it will likely fall more into place when you return.
P.S. I’m going to write a book and market this idea as a lifestyle or therapy or something and make a million bucks off it. Then I’m going to buy a house on the beach, and throw a huge party for all of you.