Thursday, June 14, 2012

Overcoming Fear - A Marathon Not a Sprint

There's a reason I'm not Martha Stewart or Ree Drummond. I can't live up to their magazine perfect examples. If I had a behind-the-scenes crew, I'd be done now too. I'd like to blame it on those two divas of design who probably hijacked my missing crew. In reality, I can't.

I could blame it on ADHD too, but I think the doctor would bust that rouse in short order. My dirty little secret is simple. I don't want to start. I just want to be done. I want the pretty magazine picture of a rehabbed life without the grime and inconvenience in between.

Cabinet doors have haunted me for a year now. No matter how many times I go to sleep and wake up, they are still there mocking me. Telling me what a failure I am because I gave up in mid-stream. What about you fraidy cat, does failure mock you very time you look in the mirror?

There are lots of reasons my project came to a screeching halt when I was in the midst of a frenzy of completion. Mostly, I felt defeated. Discouraging words do that to you. They suck the vigor out of your desire and the vision out of your plan. 

 Words took root. Before I knew it, my feet and heart were rooted to the ground. I shoved the doors into a corner and ignored them. Ignorance is bliss if you can ignore what you don't want to see. Ignorant bliss will only last so long. Take it from me.

I've decided to grab the paint stick by the handle and get busy with it during our summer break. My brain is willing again, but my body is in revolt. When my body gets with the program, my heart abandons me because my brain says I can't possibly overcome the obstacles between me and the finish line. I'm at war with myself as usual.

I'm my own worst enemy until I sit up and decide to be my own best friend. What about you, fraidy cat? Holla! I am learning to forge ahead even if failure might be around the corner. I'd rather fail while trying than fail because I sat frozen with fear and let life unwind around me. You have to know me to know what a victory I've won.

 Here's the thing about overcoming fear: it's a project of marathon proportions. You can't defeat it without facing obstacles. For fraidy cats like me, obstacles are often the death knell of desire. I want to kill the cat quickly. I want to sprint to the finish line triumphant not fall across it gasping for water.

This morning, my brain darted from one idea to another like a hummingbird between morning glories. I must overcome the obstacle of space to complete this door project. Space is sorely limited, and we have to live in the space while I'm working. Obstacles everywhere.

The challenge of space is enough to make the sprinter in me give up. I don't want to slow down and figure out a system, I want to get started and run with the job till it's done. Even if I lose sleep and don't eat. I want to run the project like a sprint when the reality resembles a marathon. My brain began to work feverishly as I tried to figure out how to finish in a hurry. In a sprint.

An unexpected thunderclap of insight arrested me. I looked outside to see if it was my brain or an approaching storm. I know it's not rocket science, but when you've run scared all your life, it might as well be. It was as if Jesus wrapped his arms around me and said, “Oh, my little sprinter, slow down and enjoy the journey. You can stop running now, fraidy cat.”

Ain't that crazy? I slowed down to a complete stop for an entire year, so how could I not be in a hurry now that I've started again? But, the message was clear: It's o.k. for this project to be about the restful pursuit of accomplishment vs the fevered rush for perfect completion.

Whatever I would get done today would be more than I finished in a year now. I set up my convoluted assembly line and filled door knob holes in the doors. While the wood glue dried, I went outside and wrestled with the ivy that is trying to engulf my porch. There's more to do on both projects tonight but less than there was this morning.

I spent the day hot, grimy, thirsty, and doing battle with wasps. (If I had to guess, I'd say they were ticked off about the wasp-cousin I killed on that same deck last weekend when he stung me.) I had grit in my eyes, bugs in my hair, and glasses so caked in sweat and filth that I could hardly see. Neither Martha nor Ree would be caught dead looking like that, so I'm not posting my pics either. I can see blackmail coming with my eyes blindfolded.

The path to overcoming fear is fraught with obstacles, grit, and grime. It's a marathon not a sprint. The process is not magazine cover pretty. When it's all said and done, it sure beats letting life unwind around us because we were too afraid to live it. 'Nuff said? 

 Courtesy B. Creasy 2010

 Love you long and strong, but you knew that already, didn't you?

Ecclesiastes 9: 10 (ERV)Every time you find work to do, do it the best you can. In the grave there is no work. There is no thinking, no knowledge, and there is no wisdom. And we are all going to the place of death.


  1. Another inspiring post.

    1. Good grief! I don't know how I missed your comment all this time, but I've missed several! YIKES. I always love it when you drop by. It never fails you appear out of thin cypberspace when I least expect it and most need it! Love you, friend!

  2. Wise words, my friend. I still don't believe you're a fraidy cat. You seem pretty brave to me.

    I wish I lived closer~ I'd come over and bring my work crew with me.

    1. If we lived closer, you'd KNOW I was a fraidy cat! I wish you lived closer to. If only Scotty could beam us up!

  3. I used to be ADHD but all the "H" is gone now.

    1. Alas Friar Don, the older I get the less 'H' I am as well.

  4. Hi Carol Anne, I nominated you for The Sunshine Award. Check it out on my blog....

    You are awesome!

    1. Girlie, you are the sunshine-y one, but I thank you for the compliment! I smile every time I see your face pop up on facebook and that's not enough let me tell you. I know you have your hands full. Take care!