“Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.”Abraham Hicks
I got my new library card this week! I haven’t had a library card since 2005…
I also got my hair professionally cut for the first time since COVID showed up and hair salons were closed down – in March, 2020! Of course, cancer was in the mix, too, and I had no hair to cut for months. But still, it was one of those Big Victories against the fear that has been the pandemic.
Little victories. We’ve all needed them more than ever these past many months. I almost chickened out, though.
Here I am – 80 years of life behind me – and I can still sabotage myself out of hours of serenity by grinding my teeth over small things. Like finding parking spaces and finding a library. I know, I know. What the heck?!
I can explain.
I don’t know when it began, but I do know that I have long been geographically challenged (GC). If I am faced with deciding whether to turn left or right at an unfamiliar intersection, I will always choose the wrong way. Always.
My city’s downtown has been undergoing massive construction over the past year and a half. Streets have been blocked off willy nilly so you can never be sure if your intended route will even be open today. That becomes a major challenge for those of us who are GC’s. We do not adapt quickly. We get lost easily. Very easily.
This is very hard on our self-esteem.
I had thought for some time about needing to get my now-curly, post-cancer hair a professional cut. But there were obstacles that held me back from sitting down and making the appointment.
My beauty salon is downtown in a hotel. The hotel’s ramp makes everything easy, until it’s not…until it’s full. I have to park several blocks away then, raising the specter of blocked streets and downtown traffic. And being lost. And being late.
I could use the massive pedestrian subway system, which I have walked dozens of times for Mayo appointments, but I couldn’t picture how I’d get from an unfamiliar ramp to the salon to save my soul. I worked diligently to imagine it all, to no avail.
My mind was on overdrive for weeks. I kept putting off making the appointment. My hair was looking stranger and stranger.
On Tuesday, I ginned up my courage and made my hair appointment for the next day. My salon was still in business!!
Once it was made, I realized that as long as I would be downtown, I could be really smart and go to the library and get a library card so that I can access e-books. I have no more room for the hold-in-your-hands comfort of reading live books, but I am so ready to read voraciously again.
But if road blocks were downtown and in my way, how would I find my way there? Where is another ramp that’s nearby? What if? What if? What if?
In Real Life, I left home bathed in unexpected calm and clarity. The best parking ramp was not full, and I found the ideal parking space!
As I left the ramp with my spiffy new post-cancer hairdo, I briefly thought, “You don’t have to go to the library today.” I knew immediately that if I didn’t do it right now, I wouldn’t do it for months. I kept going. Still calm.
The main drag through downtown was not blocked off after all, and I took a smart guess about where the library was. The cold wind blew me in there, I knew how to use the digital registration computer, and I walked out with a brand new teal library card that has the saying, “Anything is possible” on the front.
I had spent hours – weeks even, worrying about something I didn’t want to happen. About something that was not a problem in the end. Even 5 years ago, this would not have been such a problem. Now I know that it does not need to be one at 80, either.