Right now I’m out on my deck. A soft warm breeze caresses my skin while sirens wail downtown and Macy, our Chaweenie (chihuahua/dachshund mix) paces restlessly. She hates the Fourth of July. The unexpected bangs and pops scare the shit out of her.
Last night she prowled our small house looking desperately for a place of comfort. She smashed herself between Brett and my pillows hoping to muffle the sounds of death in the air. Finally our daughter got out of the shower and took her to her room where she had lavender and peppermint essential oils diffusing, a My Little Pony cartoon playing in the background, and lots of blankets to snuggle under. When I asked Codi this morning when Macy finally settled, she said it wasn’t until around midnight when people stopped setting off their firecrackers. We’d done all we could to make the poor little thing comfortable, but it wasn’t until the dust settled that she could self soothe.
Our world is filled with firecrackers. As soon as we think we’ve found a smooth road to travel, a meteor blows it up in front of us. We turn to all kinds of things to hide from the stress, but in the end we just have ride it out, keep putting one foot in front of the other until we come out on the other side.
I can be a lot like Macy hiding in the pillows, but recently I’ve gotten sick of that approach. You know why? Because as soon as one round of firecrackers dies down, someone lights a bottle rocket outside my damn window. There’s always something to stress about. I’ve allowed these stressors, whether they’re the size of the little pop-its kids throw on the ground or as humongous as the epic colorful explosions of a city’s firework extravaganza’s finale, to come between me and my dreams. I’ve all but stopped doing the work I’ve been called to do because I’ve let fear paralyze me.
This last week I’ve been reading Fail Until You Don’t: Fight. Grind. Repeat. by Bobby Bones*. I’ve started many (finished few) self-help books. I’ve read countless productivity blogs and constantly listen to business and creative podcasts. While they provide do inspiration, nothing has kicked me in the butt like this book. It’s all in the presentation, folks. We can hear the same message from ten different people, but there will be one person that can really reach us. Bones simple approach has me looking at my life and business in a whole new light. What was beginning to seem hopeless now is set before me in bitesized morsels that I can manage. I’d boxed myself into the limiting belief that I could only think about one little thing a day, leaving me unsatisfied and edgy and open to overreacting to every pop-it that snapped near me.
Yesterday I filled my day with writing, reading, shuttling my daughter to and from swim practice, errands, and making a batch of jam. If felt good to accomplish so many things. I thought back to when my daughter was a baby. I accomplished more in half a day at home during that time than I do in two full days now. There is such a thing as having TOO MUCH time. It gives me room to overthink things instead of just diving in and getting them done.
Thankfully for Macy, after tonight our neighborhood will return to its quiet self, but for the rest of us, life is a constant fireworks show. We can take the occasional timeout and burrow under some blankets and reboot, but we HAVE to come back out at some point and get back to work. One way to find the strength to tunnel back out is to identify your purpose. Why are you here on this spinning rock? Who were you created to help? We were all created to help someone or something (could be scared, little rescue dogs like Macy). Need some inspiration? Read Bobby Bones book or start looking up blogs and podcasts that fall in your area of interest. Then set yourself free and take ACTION! Mulling things over at nauseam does not count as doing the work. Trust me, I just called myself out on that one.
*Amazon affiliate link. I make a couple of cents if you order via this link.