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10 Minutes of Calm (Resolution #1)

2010 January 4

“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.” ~ Maya Angelou

I don’t like to turn down an opportunity to make a resolution or two. Who couldn’t stand to improve themselves a little, right? Certainly not me. The question is always what changes do I want and do I think I CAN make in myself?

I decided after a year plus of all Lilly, all the time, my 2010 resolution should be a little bit about taking care of me. And if there is one thing that has been tossed to the wayside in the last 17 months, it’s my peace of mind. When Lilly was born, so was a little seedling of anxiety. That seedling grew a little bit with every ride in a car, every outing. What if something happens to Lilly? Or me? Would Lilly be alright? I’m not what you would call a mellow person, but this level of anxiety was a new experience for me. I accepted that fear comes with motherhood to some extent. It’s an inevitability when you put someone else’s life ahead of your own 100% of the time, but then realize that the security of that life depends also on the security of your own. Freaky, right!?

Then there are the tragic stories on the news every day. Children dying in tragic accidents, suddenly, with no warning. Events that can not be prevented, at least not by even the most attentive parents. It’s enough to paralyze a mother with fear. Suffice it to say, I now understand my mother’s irrepressible need to warn me about every possible danger from the unavoidable bumps and bruises of toddlerhood to highly unlikely parasitic infections from Floridian waters. It still drives me a little crazy, but I understand it.

So after news of a truly devastating Christmas morning fire in Louisville, which hit a little too close to home, and the many sleepless, anxiety-filled nights that have followed, I am resolving to find a little peace each day. 10 minutes. That’s all. Ten minutes of solitude each day to take time to breathe, to walk, to read, to meditate, to do anything that calms my nerves. Specifically banned from those ten minutes are technology (TV, computer, telephone, but not music) and multi-tasking. While banning anxiety may be more to the point, it’s not realistic. The idea is that eliminating the stresses of bad news, an overloaded to-do list and the pressure of dealing with those things, even for 10 minutes a day, will eventually help ease the anxiety. Time will tell.

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