Last night I was all ready to write the best blog. I was going to write a blog on Joy. I’ve been practicing Joy a lot and I’m getting pretty good at it so I was really excited to write this blog and bring joy to a lot of people. It was going to be clever and funny and all of the things I wanted it to be. Then it was going to go viral, Huff Post was going to pick it up, I was going to get a book deal and make millions of dollars as the modern day farming Erma Bombeck.
I am not the modern day farming Erma Bombeck.
I do not have millions of dollars.
I don’t even have a book deal and I’m pretty sure Huff Post has no idea I exist.
What the heck happened?!
Here’s what happened:
Last night I was getting ready to write. All of the kids were entertained and the chores were done. I was feeling pretty good. I was ready to write.
Then, as I was literally just walking to the computer to write, the room started to tip. Oh no. We do not have earthquakes in Wisconsin. Room tilting does not actually happen. If your room starts to tilt, it’s either really bad construction or there is something wrong with you.
Our house was constructed in the 1890s. The construction is perfect.
Next I started to get that weird feeling in my stomach. That same feeling you get when you have to speak in front of a large group of people, or in my case even a small group of people. Or just one people. It’s the same feeling I got when I would run into a boy I had a crush on in junior high, except a little more vomity.
Oh no, no, no.
I knew what was coming.
Thirty seconds later I was on the couch desperately trying to inhale. For some reason, when anxiety strikes I can exhale like nobody’s business, but inhaling is absolutely impossible. The big problem here is that I was trying to get rid of sudden onset anxiety. Not being able to inhale doesn’t make me any less panicky. As a matter of fact, it tends to make me even MORE panicky. Once again my body was betraying me. I was supposed to be writing a blog about JOY for goodness sakes! You can’t think about all the ways to be joyful when your body thinks it would be funny to refuse to inhale!
I have no idea how long I sat there all curled up trying to breathe. Finally I got the breathing thing under control. It was like my body finally said “Oh wait, that’s right! It’s in then out.” I was basically an exhausted puddle by then. Time to push on and write about joy.
I wasn’t writing about joy.
I wasn’t writing about anything because I was completely empty. I had just spent a very short period of time feeling all of the feelings that I had scheduled to feel for the next year and a half. I was out of feelings. It’s not good to write about joy when you aren’t feeling anything.
Everything had been derailed. I should just give up, right?
Every day there are like a billion disruptions in everything you do. If you have a spouse or children, you can add a billion more for each one of them. If we all gave up every time we were disrupted, nothing would ever get done. Some disruptions are small, like “Mom, have you seen my socks?”. Some disruptions are huge, like “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more we can do.”. How do we push on?
Sometimes we wait.
Now I’m not saying procrastination is a good thing, but sometimes we need to readjust our schedule so we can readjust our lives. I didn’t write anything yesterday. I wasn’t going to write a blog on joy that ended up depressing everybody. Instead, I waited until today and wrote a blog about being derailed that ended up depressing everybody.
Sometimes we find coping skills.
I recently read that the coping skill you learn as a teen are the coping skills you tend to use as an adult. This is why teen drinking and drug use are such an important issue. I did not learn any coping skills as a teen. I learned to panic quietly, alone. This is really no healthier than drinking. Therefor I had to teach myself new coping skills as an adult. Last night I spent some time outside petting fancy goats. I’m pretty sure that petting fancy goats has been clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety by 80%. The real take away here is that you should buy your teen fancy goats. You should also buy me some fancy goats because on the inside I am 22 which is practically a teenager.
Sometimes we change our expectations.
I didn’t write a blog on joy. Not at all. Maybe someday I will, but not today. Today I am writing a blog on dealing with life’s unexpected twists and turns. It might not get shared. It probably won’t go viral. Huff Post won’t pick it up and I’m highly unlikely to get a book deal. Maybe someone will relate, though. Maybe it will be just the thing someone else needs to read. Or maybe it’s just the thing I need to write. Joy will come again. It will probably be unexpected and hopefully I’ll be ready to write about it. Until then, I will keep on writing. And petting fancy goats.