Well now, we've just arrived back at Mayhem Central from a little jaunt down to Alabama to visit some of my husband's family. The boys and I flew back this afternoon, but daddy left early this morning, headed back to Australia.
The heady exoticism of traveling to Australia all the damn time has worn off, in case you're wondering.
Anyway, since we're on the topic of travel, back in June, while visiting San Diego (for which the slightly more accessible heady exoticism does not ever wear off,) I trekked down into the shopping district of Solana Beach with a friend for an afternoon. There are several stores there that I love, Solo being one, but my favorite is The Leaping Lotus. Much like a flea market, it is all different booths, anything you can imagine being handmade, imported, designed, whatever, is for sale in this store. It's a great place for little hostess gifts or birthday presents that don't cost an arm and a leg, but don't appear cheap, either.
So I came across this magnet, about four inches square, and it says, in a typewriter font, "Do one thing every day that scares you." It is attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.
I bought it to give to a friend of mine, who was getting married for the second time. I bought it for her because she has been very brave, and also very scared, and she keeps going, and things always get better. I want to be like that. So it reminded me of her.
But I forgot to give it to her. And I came across it the other day, when cleaning out my suitcase from the remains of the last trip so that we could fly down to Alabama, and I found it there. (I am terrible about emptying suitcases. I've been known to step over or pull things out as needed for WEEKS. It's ridiculous.)
And I decided, you know what, that's actually some advice I need for myself. Because I have a tendency to bolt when the going gets tough. In my job, in how I deal with friends, children, my husband. I have a high fight or flight response, and I really only fight when I am backed against a wall. But I need to fight more. I need to stay, and work things out sometimes. I talk big, but when I get overwhelmed and get my feelings hurt, I run.
Thankfully, this has never really come up in my marriage. Generally, my husband and I are on the same wavelength. He is Southern, and so his flight response is even higher than mine, because you just don't talk about tough things when you're Southern. Every person in his family is a Master in the art of "Look away and pretend to be doing something extremely important if someone raises their voice." But together, if we come across a situation where it's time to bolt, my husband and I are almost always on the same page, and if not we neutralize and stabilize the other pretty well.
I got a little off track, (what a shock, I can hear you mumbling.) My point is, This is my new mantra. Do one thing every day that scares you. Today, I flew in an airplane. I'm not terrified of flying, I've done tons of it in my life, but I still don't like it. I often find myself bracing and holding my breath when landing, no matter how gently the pilot sets it on the ground. It scares me. But it doesn't keep me from doing it when I need to. I refuse to let fear lead me, in any direction.