I walked into my bedroom and looked at the alarm clock- it was 6:50 am. I had just dropped off Olivia at the rendezvous point for her Girl Scout rafting trip. For the first time in six years, it was a Girl Scout outing I would not be joining, the price of being in graduate school where I would spend the day.
She and I had left our house when it was still dark, the tree-lined streets of our community motionless in the predawn hours. “I can’t believe its still dark out, ” Olivia said from the back seat of the car.
“Makes it feel more special, don’t you think?” I answered.
Life always feels simple and pure in the early morning hours. I was still in that mindset when I returned home less than an hour later. I switched on my bedside lamp and heard a loud buzzing from the lampshade. I peered inside, expecting to find an agitated fly. Instead I found a nice, plump bee.With hardly a thought, I opened my plantation shutter, lifted the lamp, and tilted it near the open window. The bee, on cue, flew to its freedom.
It almost seemed too simple – like morning thoughts. Yet, with only one easy movement, my dilemma disappeared. I wondered, then, if life might not be the same way.
I’ve noticed lately my conversations – with myself and with my friends – have centered on worry about my future. Should I stay in this house, in this community? Are these the right schools for my kids? Should I work full-time or take on more consulting work? Am I financially in control?
They are all legitimate questions. It is the way that I hold them that takes its toll. Sometimes I feel as if I am standing at the foot of a mountain, not sure of how to scale it, not sure if I’m even wearing the right shoes.
But maybe the questions aren’t really mountains after all. Perhaps, like a tilt of a lamp, all I need is a subtle attitude shift and the dilemmas will dissolve. Because in my worry I lose sight that this precious life is an adventure. It is So. Much. Fun. I don’t know what is next for me, and that’s the best part. The unknown spawns creativity, and the opportunity for self-inquiry. It also gives me the gift of possibility. What could be more invigorating than knowing that life is so exciting?!
Fears, like bees, aren’t all bad. They pollinate ideas, and can propel me to action. But they don’t have to sting me. And maybe, just maybe, my fears aren’t even that difficult to let go. They are just silly pesky thoughts buzzing in my head. I can appreciate them for what they are and, with an effortless tilt of my outlook, I can set them free.