Sunday, January 25, 2009

Anticipation Station

Let's get things out in the open, shall we?  Let's talk for a minute about the fact that bad things, terrible things, do happen.  Let's also acknowledge for the sake of this rumination, that trivial, temporary unpleasantries happen almost every day, that there are broken glasses, missed deadlines, failed projects, and of course, that proverbial spilled milk at least a few times a week. The big and the small, the unfathomable and somewhat expected sneak into our daily routines and tinker with our coping abilities, challenging even the most optimistic of us to stand and take what life throws, and then, in the words of our new president, pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off.  

That being said, let's also acknowledge that wonderful things, magnificent things, do happen. Let's also acknowledge that life is full of hopeful moments, inspiring fortune cookies, old forgotten money in coat pockets, unexpected letters, favorites, and late night ice cream.  The big and the small, the comforting and the inspiring sneak into our daily routines and nudge us on, cover and warm us, make us smile, and in turn, if we're lucky, make others smile too.

To both of those realities, I say this:  I am an anticipation station.  Like a factory for unnecessary parts, I crank out worry at a speed no body should ever be forced to package and process.  It's a part of me that inhabits both the good and the bad of life, it both comforts and saddens me, wraps me in its predictability, and strangles me with a lack of action.  No trains leave this station uncluttered with these thoughts of "can I," "will I," "should I."  No trains come into the station free of "what might go wrong."  

I'm writing about this because I have no interest in sugar coating the fact that things are often hard.  I'm not ready to give up a good cry in the name of being optimistic.  There is no optimism without pessimism - they're a team those two.  This past week I worked myself into quite a tizzy over getting a new license/car insurance/registration, and in about 5 minutes, I had already spun the possibility of not having enough proof of residence for license from missing the Feb. 8th deadline to jail, financial ruin, and loss of life.  Oh yes people, I can do it, unchecked worry is like speed in my bloodstream.  But, after a little wise motherly advice, namely, "You'll get it, stop worrying," I put all that on hold for a few days before the trip to the license office.  My station, Anticipation Station, shut down for a mini vacation, and well, all those cells used to chugging out worry, they took a much needed nap.  And?  Well, I have a WA license, tomorrow I'll have insurance, and next Friday I'll go register the car in this state.  It worked.  Nothing went wrong. The earth is still rotating and all my limbs are still attached.  

I'm not saying the station has shut down for good, it will surely be back in motion before the end of the month, but in those victorious moments post-picture in the license office, I felt a little nudge of the good, the optimistic, giving all those worries a little nod for their hard work and an ushering out the door.  

Sometimes things aren't as hard as we expect, and sometimes they are better than we imagined, like a stack of new (old) dishes, playing cards, and office supplies procured for under $4, dinner at Morrie's Drive-In with your husband and a crossword puzzle for not much more than that, a night out with friends, great music from an amazing guy who knew you in the very uncool days of 7th grade, and a morning of coffee and strawberries that turns into and afternoon of sparkling water and baked potatoes with cheese.  I love it when life surprises me with a derailed train - this station stays busy enough.  


barton said...


Anonymous said...

Ummm. I am pretty sure that my aunt has that plate. It is the one that is always out on the counter. She uses it as a spoon rest when she is cooking. It is beautiful.