What Is This Feeling?

October 10, 2011

Something strange happened this morning. I was driving to pick up my mother-in-law after she dropped off the rental car she needed following an accident that totaled her vehicle but left her with only some sore muscles, when I suddenly felt…happy. I felt the dark mood of worry and anxiety that has so often hovered over me this year—this year that was supposed to be all about “light”—lift off my shoulders.

My word of the year—light—has been anything but. If I wished and hoped it would bring me a lessening of problems and concerns, I was wrong. This year my family has had broken bones and family explosions and sick animals and car accidents. I’ve watched and mourned for those afflicted by natural disasters, and worried over the state of the economy, the nation and the world. And you know what? We’re still here. We still have each other, enough to eat, a comfortable home. We’ve coped just fine with everything 2011 has thrown at us, not because of my worry and anxiety, but despite it. Worry and anxiety have done nothing for me except steal the joy from the present moment.

Perhaps I chose “light” (it chose me?) so that I could begin to learn the lesson of letting go—letting go of what I can’t change or affect, letting go of worry, letting go of the future and concentrating on the now. No, not just concentrating on—rejoicing in.

For just a few moments this morning, I realized If I were to stop worrying about the future, I would be happy. I would feel a lot more light. And for a few moments, I actually felt that way.

Life is good
What have been 2011’s lessons for you?

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  1. Hmmm, 2011 have been a year of....challenges. Some good, some (it seems like most) not so good. In many ways, it feels like I've been marking time rather than embracing the moments of each new day.

    I'm learning endurance. I'm learning tenacity. I'm learning to keep moving forward no matter what today looks like. Interesting that my word of the year is move.

    Like you, it's been anything but what I've expected.

  2. Isn't it interesting how our words have had such unexpected meanings? I'm not sure how I feel about that!

  3. I didn't pick a word of the year so can't compare how my year turned out.

    It sounds like you've had a tough year but I am glad you got that feeling of weight lifted off your shoulders and a rush of happiness. Doesn't it feel good? You'll remember this for a very long time and perhaps be able to tap back into the feeling through the memory. It's happened to me before. It was something as simple as your drive to pick up your mother-in-law.

    I woke up one morning after moving into an old house I had bought in Minnesota for a whole $5K! I had been stripping wallpaper off the walls and scheduling someone to come sand and varnish the floors. It felt good to be working on MY house even if I lacked money and know-how. Anyhow, one morning I woke up and suddenly felt it was SO GOOD to be alive! I felt more energetic than I'd ever felt before. Why? I don't really know as I'd had many happy events and even a house before but the feeling was there and profoundly so.

    I've never forgotten the feeling which is why I say you will remember this too and I hope you do. It's fantastic to get a gift like this isn't it? Life really hits you in some of the simplest moments.

  4. I often worry. It's not something I like about myself, but it's real.

    A friend once told me to buy 5X7 cards and whenever you have "light" moment or one that's happy and totally present, you write it down and keep them in one of those albums you can buy at a pharmacy for pictures.

    Whenever you're feeling a loss of light, you look through it and remember the times when the "light" was there.

    I like the picture of the horse. There's nothing more comforting than grazing a horse. I loved it. The tail swishing flies away, the sweet smell of the grass and the quiet munching...Now, that's a light moment for me. Thanks:~)

  5. Timaree--Thanks for sharing your happy memory! I can see why you still remember it all these years later. Often I seem to have these little moments of happiness while driving...I don't know why.

  6. Sara--I like the 5X7 card idea--it's so easy to forget the little moments of joy and happiness. I'm glad the picture of the grazing horse gave you a lift!