When you’re facing a three hour long practice, or a long race, or the beginning of a grueling season, looking forward can be daunting. Trying to consider all of the possibilities, work to be done, and “what if”s can quickly short circuit your emotional reserve.
I have a series of photos, taken by a team mom, that show me waiting alongside a nervous 7-year-old in the lineup behind the starting blocks for her race. She had worked herself into a frenzy at idea of standing there waiting by herself, worrying over the race, how she would do, what it would feel like. I stayed with her and did my best to keep her just in the moment, talking, joking around, showing her she could talk to the other girls to pass the time.
When the things to worry about get too big or too challenging, the trick I learned (during my divorce) is to shrink things down into manageable bites. That old saying “take it a day at a time” is very true, but sometimes even a day is too big of a bite. Sometimes the mantra is “take it an hour at a time” or even just “this moment”.
It is a meditative practice to be in the moment; to realize the past is locked and the future is fantasy, that the only reality is in this moment. It is the only thing you have control over, this moment and what you do with it.
So breathe, and check in with yourself. In this moment, am I OK? In this moment, do I have a home, a job, food in the fridge? In this moment, are the people I love OK? If you have challenges in this moment, what can you do in this moment to deal with those? Try to let go of the need to look out weeks and months, and churn over what might be, what the worst could look like, and how life might be different. Do your best to make THIS moment good and peaceful, and when the moment comes that there is a challenge to deal with, your soul will be ready.
Right now, most of us are waiting in that line behind the blocks, scared at all that we have stirred up in our heads. It is not our turn to face the challenge. We can be in this moment of waiting without being scared, we can lean on each other, we can find ways to laugh.
In THIS moment, we can be OK.