Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I've been feeling a bit untethered this past week- frazzled, overwhelmed, panicked, not present, generally anxious. I couldn't put my finger on it, but tonight, sitting alone in a quiet house while the boys were out, the long list of loose ends and 'not sure what to expects' outshone the rest of my thoughts.

One of my intentions for 2017 was to push myself beyond my usual comfort zone. Try things I might otherwise shy away from or avoid- not always, but sometimes. I have found that over the last 5 years, staying home and running my own small business has allowed my introvertness to flourish. For better or worse, I haven't needed to leave the house to work along side anyone, meet new people or 'network' (god, I hate that word!) so mostly I didn't. But along with that slow slip into quietness came massive bouts of anxiety when situations surfaced where I did need to go out into the world. The thought of attending a meeting with people I didn't know well, or helping facilitate a workshop, or even just going to a potluck at Finn's school was enough to push me into full-blown, stomach aching, head reeling, over thinking, anxiety mode.

So, slowly I have been trying to move beyond that default. In April, I flew to Anaheim with some colleagues to attend a tradeshow and help with the logistics of a workshop they were hosting. I won't lie, I spent two full sessions with my therapist talking about my anxiety and coping tactics I could use and those three days in California were INTENSE for me, but in the end, I did it! And I thrived! And I didn't vomit! All huge wins in my book. I don't want to do it again anytime soon, but I know if I had to, I could and it wouldn't be the absolute worst thing I have pushed myself through.

But strangely enough, past successes aren't enough to put my mind at ease now. The feat of that moment isn't enough to stop the wasted energy and worry and making myself sick that continues to accompany most new things going on.

I recently accepted a casual, on-call position with the Vancouver School Board- the prospect of which is of course super exciting, but the unstructuredness of being on-call coupled with going wherever they need me on a moments notice is definitely outside the parameters of my existing comfort zone. How will my new life and existing life coexist? Can they? I want to be able to continue running my business along side my new work with the VSB, but not being totally sure how all these moving pieces will fit together is unnerving and distracting. I know time will tell, and I know nothing is permanent- If it doesn't work, we recalibrate and move on, but for now, the worry flows.

I also registered myself for a graphic design course at Emily Carr. It starts in a couple weeks and is something I have wanted to do for a long time- My hope is that it will expand my skill-set, boost my confidence in that area, and allow me to do more design work (which I really love to do), but again, the worry and uncertainty creeps in. What if I suck? Or fail? Or can't handle the workload? Or don't have any good creative ideas of my own (that's a big one for me...)

I know that right now I need to get back to being present and focused of the immediate. I need to stop worrying about things beyond my control that may or may not be happening down the road. I know self-care, mindfulness, and mediation is what I NEED and will ultimately be the only things that gets me through this funk. Deep down I know none of this will be anywhere near as stressful or bad as I've built it up to be in my head. And like I said, all this change is so genuinely welcome- changes I have been wishing and hoping for for quite some time. Sometimes it takes dumping out your guts to remember that.