I can’t do this again. It will end badly. I repeated to myself like some twisted, self-fulfilling prophecy.
The four short steps between the stove and the kitchen sink began to feel like the greatest distance ever traveled, but I hoped – as I always did – that my pacing would absorb the thoughts that churned inside of me and make this somehow easier.
My dusty yoga videos said that I should use deep, purposeful breathing to calm my nerves and steady my heart.
Breathing, schmeathing. I’m a pacer. I like to pace.
It seems more action-oriented somehow. Like I’m getting somewhere. Sure, I’m not actually going anywhere but I’m moving forward. Or back and forth. Or sometimes in a circle.
But still, I’m moving.
I can’t sit still and just BREATHE. That’s not for me. And so here I was, once again, pacing.
Pausing only briefly to smooth a wandering corner of the kitchen rug or wipe a rogue water droplet from the edge of the sink.
How could I have put myself in this situation again?
The dubious pattern was always the same: make a plan; get excited about it; tell my family; mark the day on our calendar; arrive at go-time; succumb to my anxieties; repeat.*
*Disclaimer: alright, I’ll admit it. There were times that I made my 5-year-old daughter do it instead of me. I would turn it into a game for her to play, while telling my inner, mocking voice to SHUT THE HELL UP.
“Game” or no game, I felt too guilty to pull her into this again. It frightened her too, and why wouldn’t it?
It was hardly for the faint of heart. In fact, there really should be a disclaimer about it not being safe for small children or the elderly.
Or, scaredy-cat mothers with good intentions for that matter.
Not this time.
I was not going to let this thing get the best of me. I hiked up my Big Girl panties and steadied myself. It will be over before it even starts, I reminded myself.
YOU CAN DO THIS.
The sound bounced off the counter and echoed through the kitchen.
And my heart exploded as the cardboard can of buttery crescent rolls twisted open.