Plot Twist!

Riding down the road with the family towing our new (to us)-going-to-be-the-best-summer-ever-camper, I gripped the “oh $h1#!” handle on my side as the vehicle miles in front of us tapped his brakes. My husband laughed as I told him, “I love how the dumb handle in the car gives me the illusion that I could in anyway affect the outcome of an accident.” Like my grip on this handle will somehow magically apply the brakes and save us all from plummeting to our deaths. The car was so far ahead of us, even I had to laugh at my disproportionate reaction.

I have a delusion that I am in control. Of all the things.

We recently found out we have a plot twist to the plans of the next couple of years as we transition out of active duty military life. This transition (after decades) is a big one, but also incredibly exciting. My anxiety definitely kicked up a notch or 6 as we continue to discuss what we want, where we want to live, second chapter prospects, kids’ schooling, etc. There are so many decisions to make over the coming months, and many questions that will be answered in time.

This month I celebrate 4 years of sobriety (YAY!). Pondering the plot twist made me wonder what it would be like if I was still drinking. I would likely drink AT the transition, in a feeble attempt at quelling anxiety, not recognizing that I would only be adding piles of shame, guilt and more anxiety on top of everything else. Using alcohol to not be in my head about whatever situation never makes it go away, and in fact makes it worse. When drinking, I would eventually get to an acceptance place when big things happened, but it wasn’t easy or quick by any means. Worry is like a rocking chair as they say – gives you something to do, but gets you no where. Instead of numbing out, I’m feeling ALL the things. The recognizing that one chapter is ending but a new one is beginning. Both sides of the coin, excitement tinged with a bit of sadness, as we consider options.

Feelings are nothing but currents of energy. They pass through as long as I don’t white knuckle grip them by worrying and stewing, like I’m actually in control. Staying present, taking each moment as it comes and just breathing. Everything always works out. It always has. Even hard stuff. Even the messy, emotional, exciting and terrifying stuff. It always works out one way or another. In the meantime, this will be the summer of amazing adventures, many decisions, and a BAZILLION camping get aways! Perhaps I will even learn to become less of a control freak backseat driver! Three of the four of us are vaccinated and we are ready to bust out of this bizzaro quarantine time and have some FUN with the peeps we love. This may be the plot twist we never knew we needed. At just the right time.

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