Window Seat

When I fly I like the window seat. I like to see when we are turning and what direction we are headed. Left, right, straight, up, down. I like to see. I like to watch the world go by below me. One time in college, flying back to the midwest after Christmas break I saw the flat expanse, covered in snow in little houses. The little houses were covered in Christmas lights and the ground below me twinkled extra. It was the best.

It is difficult for me when I can’t see where I am going, when I don’t get the window seat. Sometimes I get motion sick, sometimes I get anxious and bored and full of are-we-there-yets.

I had big plans for writing over the weekend, but an unexpected funeral had me jet-setting home for an overnight. It was sad, it was lovely, it was thoughtful. Not many people in my family have died, I’m not well-versed in death. I am the first person to tell you that I’m actually not that great with death. I never know what to say or how to act. I feel as though I have a sunnier disposition about the whole thing than I suspect is appropriate. I am not a bandwagon griever and I find those who get upset over a coworkers cousin’s boyfriend’s death to be obnoxious. I think that sometimes means I am unsympathetic.

There are many things happening behind the scenes in Lauren-land right now. Some changes, some scheming, some normal every day life stuff and some not-so-every-day-life-stuff. Things will unfold as they do. I say this because the thoughts I’m about to share come somewhat because of the contemplation paired with a funeral, but mostly because of other things happening simultaneously.

It is not enough to live enthusiastically. I guess that was my jumping off point. Life is an adventure! Make your own adventures out of every day household items! Take risks! Be afraid! Scare yourself! Accomplish something you never thought you could! Etc.

But it is not enough.

Something happened to me after I got married, and then something happened to me after I got pregnant, and again after I had Gabe. I got better. I became a better me. Before these events I was anxious, high strung, lost. I was unhappy and heart broken. I was struggling. I struggled with on and off depression brought on by a lot of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder. I have occasional panic and phobias. Xanax was my savior. I took it to turn off racing thoughts at night. I took it when my stress bucket became too full and I was overflowing with anxiety during day-to-day tasks. I took it to prevent panic attacks. I took it frequently. I never abused it and the dosage is low, but it was something that was necessary at times for me to just get through it.

I haven’t taken any xanax in 15 months. Maybe more, but I know that number for certain because I stopped taking it when I got pregnant. I faced all of my fears and anxieties and FEARS and ANXIETIES while pregnant without any pill-sized assistance. I figured out other ways to manage. And then Gabe came and I stopped having things to be anxious about. I don’t know how that happened or why. I am a mom, generally that means I just added about 100000000 more things to be super worried about, but the opposite happened. I’m not devastatingly anxious anymore. I have passion but I do not have an emotional pendulum. I have concerns and problems to puzzle out, like the trying to fit in family travel obligation with my very small amount of vacation time. But these are normal and do not keep me up at night.

I don’t want to just get through it anymore. I haven’t been “just getting through” anything for awhile and it is really awesome. I’ve found a way to be present even with my unending need to plan 5 years in advance (ask me about our vacation schedule through 2014, and I will tell you in great detail).

But this, though great, is still not enough.

I want to live with integrity, compassion, and honesty.

Because life is too short for bullshit.

If you’re mad at me, tell me, I’ll do my best to make it right. If I’m mad at you, you’re going to hear about it. I’m not going to hold it inside and whisper to my other friends and talk about how pissed off I am and how you should really just up and change because how could you NOT know? Because, duh… what a waste of time and what a colossal negative block of doom.

If I love you, I’m going to tell you I love you. I’m going to buy you happy presents because I feel like it and I’m going to hug you and kiss you and love on you with all my might.

I’m not perfect and life is busy and sometimes I’m short sighted, sometimes I am too sensitive, sometimes I get ahead of myself. But life is too short to be focused on the rain instead of grabbing a jacket on your way out the door. Life is too short to not look out of plane windows and see alllll the twinkle lights. Life is too long to allow the small cuts to turn into big bad lesions. It is too long to be ruled by fear.

So, I’m trying. And, really, it’s not even that hard. It’s actually kind of amazing.

21 thoughts on “Window Seat”

  1. I love everything about this. You are such an inspiration to me. I feel like having a kid will be the same for me- the relief, rather than the added stress. Keep on doin’ what you’re doing. I love it all.

  2. Beautiful post to start the day with. This is something I’ve been striving for the past year or so — and it’s hard. So, so hard. I’m so impressed that you seem to have a good handle on it.

    And I’m very sorry to hear about the unexpected funeral. Don’t feel bad about how you deal with death. We all confront it in different ways.

  3. <3

    I love the changes you found in yourself and that you are working with them even more actively. It's a nice feeling to steer your personal/mental ship a bit, isn't it?

    I think I had a mini-this around 21 when I decided, Nope. Done with drama and silliness, just move forward and cut out all that other stuff. Doesn't stop it entirely but it has perks.

    As for death & funerals… I had much the same reaction when losing grandparents I loved but didn't get to spend much time with. It wasn't until the past ten years when it seemed like we were losing people left and right that it became really hard to deal with. My hope is you always retain this sense of dealing with it like so.

  4. What a great philosophy! I think we could all use more of this attitude… thanks for sharing!

    And amen to this line in particular: “Life is too long to allow the small cuts to turn into big bad lesions.”

  5. I’m looking to start anti-anxiety meds to get on top of things, so I can start having a life thats not full of anxiety (its worse since LJ arrived). Hopefully I wont need them for long, I want to take some of it away so I can experience some freedom, and work on making that my norm!
    Good work on enjoying your life more 🙂 Long may it continue!

  6. And this is why I love you. Thank you for being YOU… honest and loving and GENUINE and all the things that make up an all around good, fun, ever evolving & growing, true friend <3

  7. I really wish we had met in person before I left Cali because this makes me wonder if we could have been great IRL buddies. I could have written this post (the anxiety part, though never as eloquently as you!). I’ve dealt with anxiety forever, but I’m like a completely different (more calm) person now. I had blamed it on hormonal changes, but maybe I’m shortchanging myself.

    Either way, I’m so glad for you. It’s amazing to live a less anxious life, isn’t it?!

  8. I didn’t struggle with anxiety necessarily, but I can be super high-strung and controlling. I thought being a Mom would make this worse, but I don’t think it has. It surprises me when I am laid-back about things with Z. It’s a nice change from being all overachiever about everything.
    I love your words about not “just getting through.” A lot of times I think that about the workweek, but that’s not fair to squeeze life into two short weekend days, so this is a great reminder to me to find moments during the workweek chaos that aren’t just “surviving.”

  9. This is such a good post. I feel like I get what you’re saying, which reminds of a similar “awakening” in my life.

    This is the mantra I would say aloud (which are just John Lennon song lyrics) when I decided to give up on the anxious spiral I was living in. For me, not being anxious was really about letting go.

    I’m just sitting here
    Watching the wheels go round and round
    I really love to watch them roll

    No longer riding on the merry-go-round
    I just had to let it go
    I just had to let it go
    I just had to let it go

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