Sometimes, life and news and the world at large whirl into a giant maelstrom from which there’s no escape.
Stress at home. Death on the news. Disasters on every possible level. It all becomes too much. I think about all the things that could happen, the things that must happen, the things that might happen … and all of a sudden I want to do nothing but roll myself into a ball.
Things look so bad that even cupcakes cannot make me smile.
On days like that, when joy seems very small and far away, I force myself to re-focus in smaller scale.
No one can do all the things. No one can process all of the fears, all of the “what-might-be’s.” All of the days between now and forever stretch out into far too much for any one person to handle. I cannot do it. I cannot manage.
The ones that cannot be put off for tomorrow.
These things I can handle.
And so, it’s these things – today’s things – that become my focus.
I turn off the news. I put down the paper. I refuse to think about “what might happen” next week or next month or next year. Those things overwhelm. Instead, I finish one contract. I cook one dinner. I go for a walk. And after that, when the sun goes down, I sit at my computer and write or edit one single chapter – more if I can, but always, always one.
Sometimes it’s difficult not to let my focus expand to include the myriad worries that want my attention. When it does, I sit myself down and refocus once again.
A thousand things, I cannot manage. But one thing, today’s thing – this moment’s thing – I can do. And slowly, sometimes painfully, the stress subsides, the ship rights itself, and the cupcakes once again can make me smile.