The sun set at 4:32 pm yesterday. What a far cry from what seemed like midnight sun just a few months ago.
I had been boasting to a friend just minutes earlier that I lived a life without much anxiety lately. Sure, I get nervous for photo shoots but it’s a good kind of nervous that I use to channel into my work. And I get nervous before dentist appointments but that’s because I went two years without one cleaning/exam. And it wasn’t just two years of assuming everything was all right. Oh no. I knew I had to be going every three months because I have very sensitive gums and they need to be looked at often.
There isn’t as much anxiety lately, but there is the mysterious darkness that creeps in sometimes. It’s hard to find the light.
(Photo credit by Dan S. of http://www.aggressive.tv/)
Sometimes it’s little nuances of change, even when change is good. On Monday, Scarlet saw two of her “best” friends in one day. One was from her newborn days. Back when I felt that my purpose, at least then, was consumed with round-the-clock nursings and making new friends. The other friend she saw was a new friend from preschool. They have a fierce sort of friendship, and it grew strongly after several months of knowing one another. The closeness started at school so I wasn’t witness to it. At first.
I felt the slightest sense of grief later that day at her old friend’s house. Like I missed the newborn baby days. I guess I’m afraid these two won’t always be close. It’s even possible that on Monday, they weren’t as in sync as they normally are, but that could very well be because it was after 4:00pm and she was hungry, and anyway, who is normal after 4:00 pm in the darkness anyway?
What I feel for the mothers of the two girls, well luckily that isn’t fading or out of sync. You don’t always have to be friends with your kids’ friends, but one of these women has been around since the beginning of the parenting journey without drifting too far, and the newer friendship seems to be built of more-than-surface stuff too. What I’m even missing..I still have in my life.
I guess it’s just fear.
For good measure, I’m including a photo of another one of Scarlet’s friends. This was taken on their first playdate ever. And her mom is my friend too and I’m thinking of her today and I’ll generally use any excuse to look at this photo. It’s happy-making.
After the second playdate, I had to get home. Fast. I didn’t feel totally well. I had to make dinner for two hungry kids, and myself. I had to go through as much of pajamas and bedtime and laundry and dishes that I could do before Cassidy got home. Every now and then, I fall into a pocket of feeling lost and hopeless. A trap. When I’m in a lost and hopeless trap, I can’t find a way out right away. It feels ominous like I never, ever will. Even though I know I will, if that makes sense. It’s the only way.
And it has to happen.
The sun hadn’t set into total darkness when we left at 5:00 pm. We followed the last of the light through the clouds all the way home. I think that’s how I feel in general these days. I’m aware of the darkness. I beware of darkness, however, I follow the light and I follow it well. I know how to see its bright glimmer and I know how to feel the warmth that radiates from it.
And that’s the best anti-anxiety method that I know.
“Watch out now, take care
Beware of the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night” — George Harrison