2015 forced me to come to terms with one of the downsides of getting older. I’m not referring to the various lines, spots and sags that increase with each year that goes by. Nor am I talking about that pushy stripe of grey hairs asserting itself on my crown. What I am referring to is an unwanted increase in the companionship of that most paralyzing of human emotions: fear.
I now understand that I used to be something of an optimist. I approached new experiences with curiosity and hope. If I slept poorly the night before a big trip or important day, it was generally because I was excited. Now, I spend those sleepless hours carefully cataloging all of the dangers and traps awaiting me, whether I can prepare for them or not.
I am aware that parenting has a large role to play in this change. Being RESPONSIBLE for the impacts of ones decisions on little lives should lead anyone to consider the risks involved. But, I’m afraid that my level of pessimism is starting to get out of control.
Fear was warranted early in 2015 when g underwent emergency surgery. But it took months for me to understand what I should have known on all along- that kids are a hardy lot and we are fortunate to have access to excellent medical care.
This summer as we prepared for a vacation in Mexico, I thought of intestinal infections, road failures and mosquitoes instead of focusing on the potential of dreamy beaches and sweet towns. In the end, the beauty won out.
As our household income steadily decreased due to a strong dollar (G is paid in Euros), I worried about how we would manage instead of remembering that we have always lived comfortably below our means, a fact that makes us resilient. And we have been just fine.
As Mr D was slated to begin preschool at a new place, I agonized over the likelihood that I had made the wrong choice. I mulled endlessly over the slew of concerns that had presented themselves at the last minute. But Mr D did wonderfully from the very first day and has thrived immensely.
And during this holiday season, as we prepared for a snow trip to Yosemite, I fretted over the rainy forecast and cold temperatures. And then we had a wonderful time.
Over and over, 2015 showed me that my fears too often prove to be nothing more than a useless hindrance. I’m under no illusions that 2016 will be free of challenges but I have decided to clear some space for the possibility of good, even great outcomes. I’m going to fight this aging business in the coming year, a little Botox for the attitude. Because getting old is kind of a drag.