I’m thinking about safety today, mostly because this morning I watched a segment on Good Morning America about all the dangerous things that can happen in the summer. The list included getting your hand chopped off by a lawnmower, falling off a riding mower, having someone drown in your pool, and various other things. To you, it might be a lovely backyard vista. But really, it’s a million accidents waiting to happen. Be careful! Cautious! Watch out!
The truth is, the world is a dangerous place. We all know this: we see the proof every single day. Bad things happen. But what I am realizing (entirely too late, I might add) is that you just can’t prepare for everything. And if you spend all your time looking for the danger in EVERYTHING (errant mowers, pools, backyards, flying insects, etc) you miss a lot, i.e. everything else. I’m the first to admit I’m an anxious person. I worry, I stress, I can work any little issue for hours: you can almost hear the buzzing of my mind when I really get going into a full-on fret. But lately, I’m beginning to see that while I’m worry about stuff, my life is going on. If this is my forever, is this how I want to spend it? Not really. I want to make good decisions, of course. I don’t play in traffic, I wear my seatbelt, get regular checkups, all that. But there’s got to be some way to strike a balance between constantly thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong, EVER, and not giving a crap about anything. I am striving for that middle, the easing up that means you’re not stupid about risk but also open to the possibilities life provides. I know I have to ways to go. But I’m trying.
When I’m thinking about stuff like this, my neighbor Randy comes to mind. He’s probably the most easygoing, laid-back kind of person you could ever meet. “No worries!” he says all the time, like this is even possible, and the thing is, to him, it IS. During the ice storm, when we were without power for nine or ten days, it was freezing, everyone’s spirits plummeting quickly, only Randy seemed to keep an even keel. Even when he’s frustrated or mad, he still maintains this sort of incredulous attitude: not “This sucks!” but more “Can you believe this?” accompanied by a shrug, and then he’s moving on. This is my goal. Of course, it’s not easy. But I am working on it. So while the yard may be full of danger, it’s also a nice day out. My cleomie (I know I’m spelling that wrong) are blooming like gangbusters—they’re the only thing the deer haven’t eaten—and while there are a lot of ticks and bugs, there’s also a rabbit in my flower bed that is very cute. I will be careful not to stick my hand under the mower, or fall off of a riding one, should I ever get on one in the first place. But I will also breathe in the smell of fresh cut grass, which is one of my very favorites. Maybe not no worries. But not ALL worries, either. Working toward that middle, one thing at a time.