I think I’ve stumbled across my motto for 2013.
The other day I was having a time of it. It was a spill your coffee, forget your lunch, late for work sort of day. Midway through that super annoying morning, my inner voice told me quite clearly to GO LIMP.
Go limp. That’s my new motto. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. We’re not all Ophelia beneath the waves over here. The “Go limp” imperative struck me as more about nonresistance and a certain watchfulness than languishing in despair. Stuck in traffic? Go limp. Teenage son not only refuses to sit in front of minivan with you, but chooses the very back corner seat so as not to get sucked into your spiraling vortex of excruciating unhipness? Go limp. Your inner voice maddeningly silent as to major life decisions? Go limp.
So often peering into the future looks an awful lot like pitching down a dark, dark staircase. You don’t know what awaits you in the room below: it might be rife with jagged glass and Justin Bieber CDs. It might be full to bursting with Marc Jacob handbags and four layer chocolate cakes. Who can say? The trick is not to harm yourself as you tumble toward uncertainty.
It’s no secret that most of my stress is self-inflicted, born of my tendency to become rigid in the face of change or ambiguous outcomes; a ridiculous habit to cling to, since apparently I cannot predict the future and nothing ever turns out the way I absolutely insist that it will, no, MUST. It simply must be better to relax, take your finger out of the dam and let things unfold, right? Right?!
I was able to put the whole thing to the test during last week’s snap of hideously cold weather. First, by way of comparison, you fellow Twin Citeans (Twin Citizens?) will remember that crazy huge blizzard we had a few years back. The one where the streets were just littered with abandoned cars, stuck every which way, snow half-way up the doors and every time you’d see the scene on TV, you’d wonder aloud, “Who’s the idiot going out in this weather?”
Yup. That would be me.
I had to work, gosh darn it! Someone was coming to the shop to pick up a whole two dozen cookies and I needed to be there! Hubby was roped into driving my cookie partner and I across the cities, spurred on by our collective will to GET TO WORK. The return was worse, many stops, many near misses, until finally, we arrived back in our neck of the woods, only to get hopelessly stuck on the far end of our block. I can not tell you how long we labored to free that car before we took a break, stood up and looked longingly down the block at our house…comprehension slowly dawning that there is no law that says you have to park in front of your own house.
Like I said, idiot.
Contrast that with this past week. No snow, just shocking, slap-your-face cold. High temps well below zero. Rather that push, push, push that set agenda, I let go of the expectation and just stayed home. No resistance, just delicious limpness.
I stayed in my pajamas. I watched a hilariously angst-ridden French film.(“I despise you.” “And I you, mother.”) The kids and I made home-made tortillas, their friends came over, and at some point I broke out “Big Blue”; a ginormous blue wine glass Little Man bought me for Christmas, possibly as a joke. (Or possibly to suggest mommy needs to find a twelve-step program. Ha! The joke’s on him. I love that thing– I can damn near fit my whole head in there!)
In short, I had a truly wonderful day, simply from having the sense to be flexible, to go with the flow, to go limp.
If this is the magic my new motto affords, I will be going limp more often… My legs feel like jello, already. Although I couldn’t promise 100% that Big Blue wasn’t involved.