One Day at a Time

I woke up this morning feeling relatively calm. Then I burst into sudden tears.

That’s not unusual these days.

I want to FIX everything. And I can’t. I am so freaking frustrated and overwhelmed.

The shitshow that is 2020 is triggering childhood trauma, big time. When I was little, I was surrounded by abuse, addiction, and mental illness. I felt overwhelmed, scared, confused, and powerless. I somehow decided it was my job to fix it all, and when I couldn’t, I felt frustrated. Like a big failure.

Feelings that are very familiar these days.

Just yesterday I told my wife Kate how proud I was of the great advice I recently gave to my siblings, to focus on the things we can control, and let go of the rest.

That was yesterday. This morning I’m a sobbing mess because I’m outraged and heartbroken at the ongoing, traumatizing injustices instigated by our government, and frustrated that I can’t FIX ANY OF IT.

Kate held me tight as I cried on her shoulder. Then she rummaged through her drawer of cards (she seems to have one for every occasion) and handed me this:

one day at a time

It made me laugh. It helped me remember: I may not be able to control the outcome of the election, but I can send postcards to get out the vote. I can’t undo hundreds of years of racism, but I can work on dismantling my own biases. I can’t comfort everyone who’s hurting, but I can check in on my neighbors and friends.

I can’t go back in time to prevent the child I was from being hurt, but I can go inward to that hurt child inside me. The part that feels scared, and small, and silenced. I can reassure her that even though the world is really challenging, she no longer has to deal with it alone.

I’m there for her. We’ll face it together. We’ll do what we can, and let go of the rest.

One day at a time.

 

Veronica Beck

Veronica Beck is a technical writer, blogger, and formerly reluctant parent.

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Judy
Judy
2 months ago

I want one of those cards – I NEED one of those cards! I know it’s important for me to control what I can control (which isn’t much), and let the rest go, but sometimes it’s hard to remember! Do what you can realistically do, and do the best you can – it IS enough, and it’s all you can do!

Sherry Blackford
Sherry Blackford
2 months ago

What are these cards?

julie
julie
2 months ago

your writings! they make me think, feel sad and hopeful and I love Kate and her remarkable cards 🙂

Devi
Devi
2 months ago

I feel ya. All our deepest lack of control triggers are getting pressed these days. I appreciate you writing about the entire journey, and not just the comfortable parts.

You have a beautiful way of bringing out the juice. This paragraph, especially, touched me:

“I can’t go back in time to prevent the child I was from being hurt, but I can go inward to that hurt child inside me. The part that feels scared, and small, and silenced. I can reassure her that even though the world is really challenging, she no longer has to deal with it alone.”

Thanks for all you do!

Jeanne Waters
1 month ago

V, Once again your words move me and give me strength. Way to go! I’m so glad you’re my Sis and my pal.

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