Tubes of Anxiety
While I was getting dressed this morning, my little one decided to help me.
Now while I really do enjoy trying to get dressed while trying to keep my eye on him as he destroys everything in my under-the-sink cabinet, I had to stop him at one point.
So, I told him it was time to clean up, and, being the ever wonderful, yet typical two year old he is, he refused.
Knowing his stubborn personality, combined with my time constraints in the morning, I didn’t have time to get him to help. So, I began to put things away; seeing how the activity was changing, he thoughtfully decided to join in. He was actually doing a good job, some of the items he had pulled out actually made it back to their correct spot. As he threw (remember, he is only 2) the last tube of cream back, he tried to close the cabinet door.
It wouldn’t close. Ever resourceful, he opened the door again and closed it a little harder.
When it still wouldn’t close, he tried the same tactic again. No dice.
He was starting to get frustrated, so, he opened the cabinet and started pulling some of the stuff out again. So, I gently (“Umm. sweetie? Don’t do that! It’s okay! Mommy will do it! Sweetie, I said no! I. Said. No! I said, NO!”) redirected him, and I started putting everything back.
Then, I tried to close the door, it wouldn’t close.
Now, thankfully, my deductive reasoning is higher than his (well, at most of the time), so I bent over to see what was in the way. There was nothing obvious blocking the door. So, at first I was confused.
I actually also tried to close the cabinet door . It still didn’t close.
And, then I got concerned that maybe the door was broken. So with the thought of having to pay a handy man, or, having to buy a new cabinet swirling through my mind, I bent down to get a better look.
That’s when I saw it. A small plastic tube that was stuck in front of the bottom bracket on the door. Small, but, significant.
That’s what was in the way.
Just a small push by me got the tube out of the way. The door closed.
How many of those big-but-really-little things keep you from getting where and what you want? We think the problem is big, huge. We may needs tons of money, or effort or other intervention to fix it. But, really, the block is small. Insignificant, really. One small change in action or focus or thought, and what we think is insurmountable, becomes easier, if not sometimes effortless.
Even when the solution may not really be effortless, just getting started can move you in incredible ways. But, that’s how anxiety can stop you. Instead of focusing on the one part of the problem in front of you, your mind takes you to every possible other problem that could even (tangentially) be connected to the problem in front of you.
That’s when you freeze. Anxiety wants you to, because it is much easier than fighting it.
But, you can be stronger than anxiety. Just take the time to break down the problem in front of you into the small pieces that it is.
And, take care of them. One by one.
And see how far you go.