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Right Now

I am a plan ahead kind of person. Actually, that is not true. I am a worry ahead kind of person. You know those people who stock their kitchen pantry with canned goods, bottled water, Tamiflu and a chainsaw for when the inevitable end is upon us? That is not me. I am the one who stays up late into the night frantically visualizing the zombies eating my brains but never actually boards up the windows. 

When Hurricane Sandy was upon us, I bought candles. I also spent numerous stressed out hours imagining our dark apartment with no TV and no wifi. 

Of course, we never lost power here in Brooklyn, but we did get glass in our feet for a week after I accidentally smashed two of those candles all over the floor. (See, the hurricane was dangerous!) 

Last week Matthew's father had surgery. The type of surgery doesn't matter. Well I am sure it does to him but for the purpose of this selfish story (which is all about ME)  it will suffice to say that a doctor cut him open, fixed some stuff,  and then sewed him back up. The operation was early in the morning. I stayed awake for most of the night before. The doctor was supposed to call us with an update around 2pm that day. By 4 pm I was pacing the apartment in a full fledged panic. 

Matthew was napping. This is not because he is an insensitive jerk who doesn't like his dad. No, he just figured he would worry when there was something to worry about. The doctor said this was a pretty low risk procedure and Matthew believed him. 

I believed him too. But that didn't stop my brain from imagining all kinds of horror movie scenarios. The more time passed, the more likely everything was going wrong. 

Nothing went wrong. The doctor called at 5:00. Matthew's dad was fine. Everything had gone according to plan.

Today in NYC, we are expecting a bit of snow. Aside from closing the dojo slightly early, we are going about our normal day. Which for me means checking the hourly weather report for the exact inch counts so I can visualize every aspect of my commute uptown and then our commute home tonight. I asked Matthew questions about visibility and anti lock brakes. (I don't drive, therefore, I am clueless.) I stuck a flashlight in my backpack. (The news told me to!) 

I need to emphasize where we live. Our dojo is on Columbus Ave on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, where snow plows go by every five minutes. Our entire commute home is via major highways and heavily trafficked streets. There is a store on every corner. Over a million people live here and half of them have snow blowers in their basements.

Here is what is going to happen today. I am going to spend most of the afternoon nervously looking out the window at the white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. I am going to imagine our car in a snow bank. Never mind that this is NYC and we do not get snowbanks here. In my mind it will look like that movie Frozen. There will be a knot in my stomach all day. I will have ridiculous fantasies about having a heart attack and the ambulance not being able to reach me. Never mind that I am in perfect health and there are about 5 hospitals within half an hour of my home. (Because I live in a fucking city!) Then, at 8pm, we are going to get in our car and slowly but uneventfully drive home. And I will wonder, yet again, what the hell I was so worried about.

Nothing is going to happen.
Nothing ever happens.

Well, that isn't true. Sometimes things happen, and we deal with them, and we move on. But the thing I am most afraid of, NEVER happens.

I always ride the subway with Advil, Tums, a KIND bar and a full bottle of water in my bag. Are you getting the full picture of my psychosis? 

Let it go.

I don't like snow because I can't control it. I can't control when the doctor calls either. Or how the subway runs. Or what happens on the highway when Matthew is driving to jiu-jitsu. In fact, I can't control most of the things in my life. 

That's why I like martial arts so much. For the most part, I am completely in charge of my body. It goes where I want it to. It grabs what I want it to. It hits when I want it to. Ok, sometimes it gets choked when I don't want it to but hey, that's part of training. And I am ok with that. 

Let it go.

Right now, I am sitting in a chair in my living room, wrapped in a cozy blanket. Right now, pretty white flakes are falling from the sky. Right now, everything is good. 

Who cares about 6 hours from now?

Maya has been watching the movie Frozen over and over for days now, which means there is always a song in my head. Usually its this one.

In case you don't want to watch it (and are not one of those people, aka parents, with an intimate knowledge of everything Disney), the song is called "Let it Go." 

Do you see a theme developing here?

Ok, perhaps a song about coming to terms with your isolating and terrifying super powers is a little melodramatic for a day that involves eating a sandwich and teaching some karate classes. But the point is there.

Instead of hiding in my bed, perhaps I should put on my boots on and dance in the snow.

With a bottle of water, and a flashlight, of course.
Just in case.

Baby steps...


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