The last few months have been filled with unexpected events that would cause any normal person to have some degree of anxiety. My mother was hospitalized and in critical care for eight days. She resides in another state nine hundred miles away and spent a total of 55 days in a healthcare facility of some level. My husband and I traveled emergently to be by her side and support my dad, as well. I stayed for 17 days. I was strong and weathered the whole event with only one bout of tears.
We also took a trip. The trip did not have my usual level of micro-managed planning. It was a hiking trip and I had not made day-by-day plans of where we would hike. Instead, I waited until the night before and planned our next day at that time. It worked fine. Growth.
We had some home improvements we willingly undertook. Those also turned out fine, although at certain points things did not go as planned.
And, of course, during all of this, the pandemic picked up its pace again. For me, 2021 was more challenging than 2020. We’ve been vaccinated since last April. We still wear masks when the employees of stores and restaurants are required to wear them. This is out of respect for them. We will get our booster shots soon.
We planned another trip. But, now we have the Omicron variant popping up. There are plenty of unknown factors. Will it be worse? Will we have to lock down again? Will there be a quarantine we have to deal with if we travel? Should we have made travel plans?
All these unknowns and more are causing my anxiety to bubble up. It’s interesting to me that it is happening because I’ve handled the stress of my mom’s hospitalization and travels over the last year, as well as all of the home improvement issues without rising anxiety levels.
But, now, I feel anxious. I didn’t sleep last night. There were at least five different issues causing me anxiety. I counted them. They are not all connected to each other but connect to me in some fashion. I knew before I went to bed that I was going to have trouble sleeping. And, I did.
The future is bothering me. Decisions made now will affect the future.
Additionally, I am wondering if I should try to set up some community education. I am an environmental educator and enjoy teaching. But, without ties to a specific site or non-profit, I feel like I’m in no man’s land. Do I have to get permission to lead a hike on public lands? Will those agencies lay claim to my “event” and put “stipulations” on them? This is something that makes providing community education hard. That and the fact that I want and feel I need to be paid for my services. I’ve given of my time and talents for so long, I am in need of the sense of value being paid would provide.
After some thought about this, I reached out to a neutral party this morning to see if using government lands, as opposed to conservancy lands, was possible if I’m not affiliated with their organization. I don’t want to put faith in working with those at the land trust I left because we had communication issues – I definitely do not want to be drawn into that again. Plus, I feel that the organization’s staff and leadership would lay claim to my outreach if I asked to use one of their pieces of conserved land – even though there is public access. Nope. Not going there again. But, that also makes me sad. I wish it were different.
So, as we head into the month of December, I feel more anxious than I have in over a year. All I can say is that I hope it goes away soon. I really have nothing to be anxious about. This is life.