Last night I couldn’t sleep.
But let’s rewind just a bit.
Earlier that night we had just returned from a run to our local grocery store to pick up some Green Tea ice cream. As my husband and I sat on the couch, both indulging in some creaminess and some television, my heart was signing. I had sugar, I had my four month old baby in my arms and my husband by my side showering me with kisses. Total perfection. Total bliss.
But it didn’t last long. And life has a way of doing that doesn’t it? It sometimes just moves along without us–in many ways without our permission. Last night was no different. There I sat in all of my parental and marital bliss and then something changed. I don’t know whether it was the moment one of the characters alive within the television lit something on fire, the moment I watched that flame rapidly burn everything in its path, or whether it was just simply that ticking motion of life on the inside of me that was saying, “Ok, we’ve been here too long. It’s time to move on. Let’s feel something different.” Either way, I snapped out of bliss and into worry. And boy do I know how to worry. When it comes to worry I have the imagination and creativity of all of the great inventors and painters combined. I can create the worst and I can picture it too. Kind of like a doomsday psychic.
This time however, I was worried about what we would do if there were ever a fire in our home. I worried about my husband and my daughter. What if they got caught in the flames? I imagined myself standing on one side of the flames, unable to reach them–and I could almost taste the sulfur of char and flames in my mouth as I imagined what it would be like to have to watch someone I love suffer. It brought tears to my eyes and pain into my chest. That would literally be the worst day of my life I thought to myself as I somehow managed to withdraw from the room.
As I recoiled further, that worry turned into fear. I feared for my husband and for my daughter. I feared from their lives because of this imaginary fire. But most of all, I feared for me. Because I love what I have so fiercely that if I lost it, it just might destroy me.
My husband, immediately picking up on the fact that the space between us had become quiet empty, got his crow bar ready to pry. That sweet sweet man–I surely do not make it easy for him. But with a little bit of patience, and some elbow grease, he always gets to the bottom of it with me.
When I told him what I had been thinking about–about losing him and our daughter, he first tried reassurance. He told me that we’d be safe and we’d have a happy and wonderful life together. Nothing could break us apart. He wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t ready to get all rainbows and butterflies yet. My stubbornness reared it’s head and I stood my ground. I was upset. He tried a few kisses on my neck, forehead, and cheek, and when we moved back to our bedroom for the night, he attempted to hold me tight to let me know it would all be okay. I became even more difficult and rejected him. It’s funny how we humans are so capable of doing that–rejecting and pushing away the very thing that we are actually so afraid to lose. But that’s because I was acting from my fear–the fear of loss kept me paralyzed–frozen in that moment and feeling so stuck. So powerless. For lack of a better word I was fears bitch. And I was acting like a bitch. Again, my husband is a saint. (Not many would stay to comfort the person who is afraid to lose her spouse yet simultaneously pushing him away). But mine does. Bless that man.
After a few minutes of our marital tug-o-war I finally breathed a deep breath and I let out a meager apology and a few tears. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to push you away. I just love you and Ellie so much that if I lost you guys it would destroy me. I have never had anything I loved and cared for so much in my life. It’s scary to think that I could lose it.” I detected a small shift in my husband’s energy–just a small tweek and a deeper connection within him. He had felt this feeling before too. And I knew that he was there with me now. “I know. I’ve been there too. I’m afraid every day.” I cuddled in a little closer towards him. It’s nice knowing someone else has been there too. Then he said something that sent my fear running for the hills. He said, “Even though it’s scary, wouldn’t you rather live believing that everything will turn out all right–focusing your energy on imagining what you want to happen, rather than what you don’t? ” And the answer was YES. I would rather live imaging and creating a wonderful life with my family. Hearing those words reignited the spark that permanently resides within me, and I became the fire. I was ablaze and I was ready to work to create the fullest possible life. Goodbye fear….until next time.
The truth is, that fear is real. And it has a purpose. Fear gave me an opportunity to consider something I hadn’t before–what my family would do in case of a fire. And it gave me an opportunity to take action. Get fire extinguishers? Check! Create a map of our house and devise ways to get out from every room? Check! These are things I considered because of the presence of fear. I kind of owe it to fear for helping me be prepared–so that I can be ready for whatever life throws at me. But the thing is–fear is fleeting. Nothing lasts for forever. And just as everything has a time, a place, and purpose–once the fear helped me it was time for it to leave.
Being a wife and a parent and getting the things I most deeply wanted brings out a combination of pure elation and outright fear in me. I’m so happy with the life I have and so naturally very scared to lose it. It’s a daily journey to drop the fear because it’s like quick sand–paralyzing and sticky–freezing things in place. And to instead choose to act–creating a wonderful life of motion with those I love so dearly. To live FULLY, in spite of the fear. Oh dear heart, happiness is a choice.
I nestled in between my daughter and my husband and with that…sleep came.
RECIPE: SOURDOUGH PIZZA CRUST Yeilds: One 12″ Pizza
- 12 oz sour dough starter at room temperature
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- about 1/2 c of flour
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- Pizza Toppings of your choice
- Pull your sour dough starter out from the fridge. Let it sit for 1-2 hours to bring it up to room temperature. If you plan to keep your starter going make sure you take about 4oz and feed your starter during this time as well. Ideally, you should use the rest of your starter to make dough so none of the starter is wasted. We use this technique in our house and end up eating pizza about once a week for about $5 or less!
- In a standing mixer or in large bowl with a wooden spoon mix your starter, olive oil, and salt together. Gradually mix in the flour, and allow a few seconds of mixing in between to keep an eye on the consistency. This can vary depending upon the wetness of your starter. We are looking for a dough that is shiny, smooth, and cohesive.
- When the dough easily forms a ball and sticks to itself using the dough hook attachment on your mixer or use your hands to knead the dough for about five minutes. When finished wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator. This long period of time will give the live yeast time to break down the flour in the dough and create air pockets. This will create and some nice air and lightness to the pizza, as well a deep rich full body flavor!
- Take the dough of the fridge about an hour before you’d like to eat. Allow it to warm up to room temperature and then flour a pizza stone or baking sheet. Put the dough directly onto the stone and roll out into a square or circular shape. Top with desired toppings.
- Bake at 450 degrees of 15-20 minutes or until edges turn golden brown!