The anxiety trap

Was reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, a bestselling author and blogger.

In it, she notes that she did not always find the support she sought for while writing what would one day be a best selling book, and yet, she kept pursuing her Happiness Project.

The subject intrigues me greatly. Happiness.

And then I think of anxiety. That can be some shaky tennis shoes there, when one starts thinking about writing something that could change the world.

Or when one embarks on a new project or endeavor of any kind.

Or when one is hatching such a plan in the middle of a pandemic.

King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, a book in the Bible, that many people had written things, many people had wealth, many people pursued futile things in life.

He came to the conclusion that “life waa meaningless” and “there was nothing new under the sun.”

A few times already, I have almost trashed the fiction book I am writing.

Hold that thought.

Was talking to a friend at the newsroom one day about how I need to restring my guitar and how I would practice more, but I might give it up because I will never be any good at it, and so forth.

I admire Dolly Parton and her long nails and happy attitude, and there is no way I could ever sing nor play like she does.

She is a legend.

My friend pulled on his long red beard and said “Why do you have to be good at it? Do you like playing? Do you have fun doing it?”

And I nodded that yes, I did enjoy playing, and suddenly had an epiphany.

That in all my hobbies, I always try to be the best. Of course I have fun.

That kind of thinking can corral creative enjoyment.

Be the best.

The anxiety kicks in when I am surrounded by music professionals in choir at church, when discussion as to what line or note we are on turns to Latin terms.

Learn Latin.

But then I start having fun and figure even if I have to lip sync on the high notes, hopefully God approves.

I think of all the times in my life when I just cannot relax. Either because I feel I am not good enough, smart enough, deep enough, creative enough, or because my head is spinning a hundred miles a minute.

A notebook and pen, and a garden bench, and wind chimes, flowers, sunlight and birds .. and before I know it, inspiration has lit my soul, and there you go.

Words on paper.

Am feeling the same internal fire I felt in the writing of my first book. I want to write a bunch of books. And I want people to read them, and in some way, for just a little while, to realize how beautiful life can be, that their place in this universe is by deliberate creation.

The written word helped provide a way out for me when I was a kid, stuck at home, with no money for band lessons or cookies, and tormented by the thoughts swarming my head during those often dark days.

I still love reading.

Anyway. We are having homemade waffles and bacon for supper. One of the cats has curled up on my lap, and I find the pressure from the tropical storm or whatever it is .. is messing with how I feel tonight.

On a bright note, here is a picture of my feet this past summer, in my favorite pair of tennis shoes. Six bucks, Walmart.


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