Messes (and anxiety)

I don’t generally think that I have “Anxiety” with that capital “A”, but I do worry a lot. And I’m working on worrying less. Being ok with disappointment and, perhaps more importantly, learning to be ok with disappointing other people when it really doesn’t or shouldn’t matter (mostly, I’m thinking of work life with that – but I suppose my mother fits there too 🙂 ). In any case, I’ve entered into stressful-bag-of-anxiety-land with my house the last many weeks. Right before Christmas, I learned that my “dry basement” as the former homeowners claimed is in fact not dry … not when it rains alot or snows a lot and then melts. (And how not dry the basement is in those scenarios is such that the former homeowners are DEFINITELY lying liars who lie–there is no way they didn’t know.) In any case, the magnitude of the wet in the basement (flooding, if you will, repeatedly) and the soupy mess my yard becomes means I’ve got to shell out $$$ to get it professionally fixed. Both the indoor and outdoor drainage issues. If that sounds expensive, that’s because it is.

Image of a wet/dry vacuum

And while I had several folks come out and bid, and I chose one and paid the deposit, and I even have a projected construction start date (because yes, the problem is big enough we’d call this “construction”), it doesn’t change the fact that between now and that date, it could rain and snow and melt and on and on. And… it really, really has. I’m now a pseudo professional wet vacc-er who uses wet vaccing as means of bailing water out of my basement. Sometimes, every hour, on the hour. So until I get to construction date (and please don’t let it slip because of the weather), I’m in a place where I wake up each morning and I obsessively confirm that today and tomorrow, there is no forecast for rain or snow. Then I hope all day that will remain correct. And I think – this much worry is probably not healthy, nor frankly is it productive. My basement will likely flood yet again before the construction starts. And it flood whether I paranoically worry about it or not. All worrying around it is doing is making me tired and unhappy. So why? Why is it a struggle to let the worry go? I don’t even feel that hostile about the $$$ the construction will cost anymore because I’ve gotten to the “acceptance” stage with that. It has to happen. And frankly, it will be a mental relief (and on bad water days, physical relief) to have it done.

I don’t have an answer here. Just an awareness that I do this from time to time. Fixate on something that is going wrong, for which i have done all the things I could possibly do and the rest is out of my hands. And yet, I still fixate. Then I’m too tied to do really much of anything that would feel good in my mind/body/soul. Because of that then I spiral more. Super fun cycle. But I’ve always been a worrier and a futile planner for how to avoid the worrisome thing. Hours I’ve wasted mentally planning how I’m going to talk to the ex about something for kiddo — no matter how many mental scripts I plan, the conversation never goes any of those ways. My worrying about a loved one being upset over a decision I’ve made only to discover genuine puzzlement when I ask about it because they were never upset. Whether my house will hold up to -30 degrees outside. And on and on. Hours of my life totaling into weeks probably years where I’ve worried instead of just living my life.

Image of cold winter beach at low tide with dark, craggy rocks in the background and dark blue ocean

Part of solving all of that has been my choice to live near the ocean. I’ve lived from time to time near bodies of large water and visited when I didn’t. And I’m definitely the kind of person whose internal heart beats, breathing, systems change instantly the moment I hear and see the waves. It’s a peaceful state I couldn’t deny if I wanted to. Even when the sea is raging, the rhythm of it calms me. I’m not sure if it’s the noise, the rhythmic nature of it, the visceral understanding that I am so so small in the grand scheme of things. Whatever it is, I’m grateful for. And I lean on it, even on the frigid days. If the sun comes out at all, I am finding time to get to the beach for even a short 20 mins. I always get home after with so much less noise in may head and my heart. So much more patience and acceptance.

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