Hi friends, I’ve been ruminating on anxiety recently, because I’m going through a particularly anxious season. Even taking the time out to write a blog seems like a luxury, because there is so much to do. Launching a startup is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I’m also a girldad and a fishdad, so I have “life” to deal with as well.
To give you a sense, we are re-launching our website next week, manufacturing our “products” and starting to take orders, packaging the orders and fulfilling the orders (all next week). In the midst of that, I went to close out my pond for the winter (later than usual because of the unseasonably warm fall).
And the problems start..
I looked in, to find that two fish had died, and four were dying (in complete distress). This seems like a little thing to most people, I know – they’re just fish. But you see, my grandmother always taught me that if you keep an animal or fish, their well being is your responsibility – they can’t speak for themselves. That’s farm life. Animals are working as much as you are, but they are your responsibility. I felt like a failure because it was my fault – I’d gotten complacent and not tested the water quality going into winter (water was clear so I assumed it was good).
Literally the same day, my daughter was sent home from school for the week because the classroom was shut. Thankfully we got her tested and she’s clear.
This is all particularly funny, because that same day I read on the Bible app, the verse of the day :
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5
It really felt like I was being given the encouragement before the trial. Just to close out the story, I called around to all the pond people in a panic. Eventually, I got in touch with the previous owner of my house (we still keep in touch, story for another day :). He was so kind, and calmed me down, letting me know I was not the only one to lose fish or make such a major mistake. He suggested an immediate water change. Even though it was down in the 20s, I went out and did it, and miracle of miracles, two of the fish revived and the rest look healthier.
I say all that to say this – anxiety (worry about the uncontrollable aspects of our life) doesn’t provide us any action plan. Worry eats away at you and doesn’t let you rest. It fills up your time and mental space so you can’t be a blessing or help to others. Worry is selfish and focused on me.
So I chose to be less anxious, and hope more. Have a little more faith, and exercise that faith muscle.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?Matthew 6:27
Things are now looking up, our business website redesign is nearly complete, the kid has learnt some more math, the fish are doing better. I’m sure tomorrow will bring its share of worries, but again :
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.Matthew 6:34
Getting rid of anxiety is probably an impossible goal, but we can choose to set aside anxiety. Focus instead, on actions you can take – as I’ve taken to saying like a mantra “One problem at a time”. This intentional choice will enable you to move ahead in life and have a greater impact in your life.
I’m taking my own advice. Taking several deep breaths, starting on task 1 on my list and working my way through it. As Elsa would say “Let it gooooo”..
I hope your Friday is filled with action and joy. Speak soon, friends. Remember, one problem at a time!