Some years, I make interesting and concrete goals, ones that I can accomplish. I remember in 2002, I resolved to do things I was afraid of–to take my fear as a challenge and a call. That year, I rode the third-longest zip line in the world, braved my fear of rejection to land a great internship, and signed on to direct my first full-length Shakespearean production (the actual production went up in 2003. I was twenty years old. I can’t imagine what I was thinking). In 2008, I made a resolution about reading high-quality biographies of the first half of the American presidents, as a way of learning more about my own country’s history. I only got through Jackson, but I gave myself a pass on it because I went back to grad school that fall and had too much reading anyway. I learned a lot from it, and I’m hoping to pick up where I left off someday.
Last year, I don’t think I had any official resolutions. I don’t always make them. As I look back on 2012 and think about what I would like to go differently, I keep returning to generalized anxiety. Early in my pregnancy, I found that I had terrible, consuming anxiety. I couldn’t sleep, even though I had all the first-trimester tiredness. My mind wouldn’t stop moving. I worried about the baby, the birth, my career, my car (a valid worry…), my art. If JC was half an hour late getting home, I started constructing nightmare scenarios about an icy patch of road and a sharp drop-off. If Silas slept half an hour longer than normal, I couldn’t just enjoy the quiet because I had to creep in and check that he was breathing. If the baby moved a little more or a little less than usual, I worked myself into knots over whether to call the midwife–where is the line between concern and paranoia? I hit up Dr. Google far more than any sane person would.
My anxiety didn’t arise from any of those things. It was anxiety looking for a worry.
Outwardly, I think I was pretty much okay. I kept it under control. I was sometimes able to distance myself from it enough to understand that it was mostly hormonal. My midwife suggested taking magnesium, and it helped a bit. Sometimes, it felt like a miracle, and other times, it barely took the edge off.
I thought it would go away with the pregnancy, but recently, I’ve experienced a resurgence. I don’t want anyone to worry about me. It’s not PPD. It’s not debilitating. It will probably work itself out, just like my skin breaking out and my hair shedding, and all the other things that are part of my body returning to its normal, un-pregnant state.
I was rereading some old journals, for a project I’m working on, and I found that I would obsess for weeks over decisions or problems that I don’t remember now–eight or ten years later. So much energy wasted on stuff that didn’t end up mattering! I do tend to be a bit anxious anyway, hormones or no.
In 2013, I have a number of opportunities ahead of me. Each one represents a very different path for my next few years. I don’t know which ones will pan out, or which one I will ultimately pick. Each one would bring with it a unique set of challenges. So I don’t know what resolution to make, because there are so many different ways it could go.
One thing that will help me, regardless of how it all goes, is to just take a deep breath and roll with it. I’m resolving to remind myself that, in the big time-scale, it doesn’t matter. It’s all okay.
All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.