Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Check. Check. Check check.

I am totally an obsessive doer. As such, I like checklists and goals.
My current job: PERFECT. (Especially because I work from home) My job benefits me, but also benefits those who manage me, because every day I work off an electronic "to-do" list. I actually am able to check "COMPLETE," when I'm done with any given particular task. Ba-da-bam. Just what I like.

Even in my home life, I am a lister. I take pride in crossing off tasks on my lists. Occasionally, I write down things I may have already completed, just so that I can … cross them off.

What I am not certain about is when exactly worrying became a "doing" activity, right up there with cleaning, vacuuming, project-ing, planning, and somehow also a replacement for praying.

I pace. When I worked in an office, I would get into an empty elevator, and walk in circles. I'll fuss with my hair, I'll bite my lip. I'll clean and reorganize, redecorate, paint a wall… all in an effort to stay busy and be productive.

Then, the lights go out. The mind night light pops on and the wheels start a-turnin'. Was that a noise? Or lightning?
Was that a car door? Did I turn off the stove? Where's Nelson?

Earlier tonight I spoke with a friend and told a story about my basement at home. (Home (parents'  home, not Pearl home.)) I was around sixth grade, and it was the summer, and I had been roller skating in the basement- yes, I already know I'm cool.  I decided it was time to walk upstairs. Only I didn't just walk. Instead I imagined someone chasing after me, running faster and faster… so I quickly ran faster and faster up the stairs (keep in mind, this was a game I often played) I reached the top, turned the corner, and was knocked to the floor when I was smashed in the head with a heavy object! I may have hollered. To be honest, I threw my hands over my head, threw myself against the wall, and sank to the floor... and I screamed like they pay big money in Hollywood if you can scream-scream. Was my imagination that good? Did I actually dream up and create a real-life intruder who decided to run upstairs after me?

Nope. It just so happened that the hallway light fixture fell from the ceiling and bashed me in the head in the exact moment I was running underneath it.

Coincidence. Yes. I think so…
Although, if I had not let my imagination, crazy mind go wild, I would not have been running like a maniac through the house. Very possible that the light fixture would not have come loose at the moment I was below it. Would not have hit me on the head.
In the middle of my crazy "game," I ran into danger- or really danger hit me over the head. (No worries, I was totally fine.)

In a doers life, we like to be productive. I know I'm not alone.

The trouble is at some point there are items that cannot be completed with a check mark.
John is here with me for a few days. Although he is the same whether with me, or home, I am a crazy monitoring fool when I have him. I watch him. Make him look at me in the face so I can look at his eyes. I make him sit if he looks shaky, sleep if he seems tired. Doing. That's what I am is doing.

I also worry. Worry which becomes an obsession. Worry prevents sleep. Causes ulcers. Worry results in a fully lit house and high electric bill. Worry is not doing. It undos the work we want to do.

Here tonight, on the morning of New Year's Eve, I am setting my mind to the productive doer I want to be. Time is precious. We can hold on trying to grip minutes and hold them tightly, but we cannot. I cannot. I cannot spend seconds, minutes, hours worrying in 2014. I have things to do.

In 2014, I will work on being the Stephanie who takes moments of concern in order to pray. I will be the one who asks for wisdom to know the difference between reality and imagined. I will not be the sleep-deprived-Psycho-wild-haired-smelling-like-a-banchee-Stephanie, screaming through the house.
And, I think I'll save my wild imagination for stories that I put on paper.

Tomorrow will wait. Let's conquer today in a way that will amaze them all.

"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."

~Corrie Ten Boom


Candy R. said...

I could quote lots of scripture about worry (be anxious for nothing, etc. ....you know the ones)but in the last week the comment about worry that has spoken to me most is "Worry is a mis-use of the imagination that God blessed you with". In trying to be a good steward of everything that God has given me, it's a good reminder that when I worry I am not "taking every thought captive" as scripture instructs. Taking every though captive sounds so easy in theory...doesn't it? Yeah, not so much :)

Stephanie Hunter said...

So so so true. I have days where I wake up and I think oh I got this. Then, 2 hours later...lol