Snow Globe

Life of late has felt like a vigorously shaken snow globe. Between writing deadlines, parenting demands, tunes to rehearse, vocal cords that need to be kept in shape, gigs to prepare for and the basics of sleeping, eating and exercise, my days are a chaotic whirl of frenetic bits.  I’m hitting it hard but balls are still dropping. Right here and right now, I have more on my plate than is humanly possible for me to manage. The overload sirens in my psyche are blaring. And I haven’t even started to think about the insanity of the upcoming ho, ho, ho. Cleaning my apartment and putting up a Christmas tree feels like a distant luxury.

 What’s a chick to do?

As is typical for me, I started to freak out a bit. I started to get sweaty and nervous. I began to ruminate on the sure catastrophes that were headed my way all because I was slipping. I braced myself for the doomsday scene that goes down when one woman can’t manage the life demands of three.  It was a gut punch moment. I knew I’d lost my balance. The grim writing was on the wall: I couldn’t do it all.

But then I realized that I don’t have to. In fact, sometimes it’s just impossible. And given that I’m not a heart surgeon or an airline pilot, nobody is going to die if my life equilibrium goes a little sideways for a spell. Probably nobody but me cares anyway. As I unclenched my grinding jaw and calmed the panic that was galloping through my brain, I remembered that I have a choice in the matter. I get to decide how I want to be. I can huff, puff and go cross-eyed trying to tame this wild and unruly patch I find myself in at present. I can approach my days frantically like some deranged kid banging away at a whack-a-mole game. Or I can chill out and let myself be human. I can approach it all a little more slowly, keep breathing and do my best. Instead of being hellbent on getting it all done, I can choose a more lighthearted approach to all of it. And who knows?  With a wink and a down dog or two, maybe I can even find a little grace and bliss in the crazy.

About a beat after I had this little epiphany, as if the universe were sending in reinforcements for the message, my wise pal Darrah Parker  posted this quote from Pema Chodron on Facebook:

 “As human beings we share a tendency to scramble for certainty whenever we realize that everything around us is in flux. In difficult times the stress of trying to find solid ground-something predictable and safe to stand on-seems to intensify. But in truth, the very nature of our existence is forever in flux. Everything keeps changing, whether we’re aware of it or not. What a predicament! We seem doomed to suffer simply because we have a deep-seated fear of how things really are. Our attempts to find lasting pleasure, lasting security, are at odds with the fact that we’re part of a dynamic system in which everything and everyone is in process.”

So there you have it. Holding it together is all a silly exercise in futility. In fact, it’s not even part of the big cosmic plan. What a relief! Sometimes the mail doesn’t get opened, the newsletter doesn’t get written and the laundry doesn’t get washed. Sometimes life dictates that you fly commando. But that’s OK. The burden isn’t the blizzard in the snow globe; it’s my reaction to it. Seems to me I could be having a lot more fun here, so why the hell not? Busy doesn’t have to equate with miserable. I’ll either get it all done or I won’t.  But I might as well enjoy the lights and the Hip Hop along the way, right?

The holiday season will be what it will be. Life will be what it will be. And we get a choice about how we want to be.