I'm Addicted

I’m addicted to the chaos, to the upbeat percussion of my life, being needed, feeling accomplished, it is rewarding, but even more it allows me to ignore my anxiety.

“Can you take me to the river?” She asked with excitement.

My chest cavity tightened slightly with annoyance. I had just finished up giving Katie a riding lesson and her scheduled time was up. I quickly ran through all the answers I wanted to give in my head. I’m busy. Your time is up. No! But all of that seemed too harsh, for a child that simply wanted to see the river. So to the river we went.

I slowly climbed down the steep embankment, placing my feet carefully. I didn’t want to get too dirty or wet…this trip to the river didn’t need to become “a thing.” Just get in, get out, let the kid see the river. We got to the river bed and Katie made some small talk about what we could possibly do in the beautiful water. I stood, disengaged, on my cell phone, checking emails, trying my hardest not to be present. 

God forbid this little field trip take time out of my precious day. After all, I’m important!

A few times I looked up from my phone to see a little girl obviously trying to get in the river without getting wet. She had her leggings rolled up to her knees and cowboy boots on.

“I would rather my boots get full of water than my pants get wet!” She explained

“What? No! You have to take your shoes off to get in the water.” I corrected

“But, there might be glass, or….” she trailed off nervously.

Shaking my head, I put my phone down, walked to the waters edge, took my shoes off, and walked in the river. “See, it’s fine. You have be willing to take your shoes off, if you’re going to enjoy life!” As it came out of my mouth, I realized how contradictory it was to my actions. How often do I take my shoes off? How often am I still, soaking in the enjoyment of life?

Building a nonprofit from the ground up is rewarding and overwhelming. From the children we serve,  building a board, taking care of the horses, designing new activities, securing donors, making connections, defining policy, training volunteers, running advertising campaigns, planning events, it’s all a whirlwind. I wrap all this insanity up as ‘my calling’ and feel justified in my decisions to keep myself busy in the nuts and bolts.

But it’s all a distraction, a fear based distraction. Why is being with me…just me, so hard? Even when I schedule a “day off,” I fill it with STUFF to do.

It’s a productive defense mechanism that I’m all too familiar with, if I’m working, I’m worthy and even more, I can buy into a poor me, victim attitude when I’m burnt out. I try so hard, for everyone else. 

I’m addicted to the chaos, to the upbeat percussion of my life, being needed, feeling accomplished, it is rewarding, but even more it allows me to ignore my anxiety.

In the rare occasion that it all stops, that I hit pause and find myself without a to-do list, I don’t know what to do with myself.

I’m anxious, and the root of the feeling is I am not enough, just me being me, is not enough.

Rationally I can say I’m incredible, amazing, radiant, powerful, but not being able to just be shows me a lot about where I’m actually at.

So Im excited about this awareness, and excited about working in more time to just be. I’m ready to connect, create, listen, understand and love unconditionally. Mostly, I’m grateful for a little girl who wanted to see the river and reminded me to take my shoes off.

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