Last year I wrote about my theme for the upcoming 2011: community. Little did I know how big that one word would become.
We moved, as planned, about halfway through the year. When we did, my old friend Anxiety came to live with me. This time, Anxiety revealed itself in the form of panic attacks.
Frequent. Severe. Debilitating.
Mostly they happened while I was driving. For a person who spends hours in the car each day this was not A. Good. Thing.
Quickly, I learned to stay out of the driver’s seat, unless it was necessary. And close. And all of a sudden I found myself limiting girls nights out, because they were too far. I stopped going to functions at my church. And I let friendships in my old neighborhood lag because I simply couldn’t drive that far.
I was much too embarrassed to admit my failure to anyone. It was even hard to admit it to J. So I made excuses and cancelled plans.
Finally, in a meeting with my spiritual director, she encouraged me to find community in my hardship. She encouraged me to ask for rides to those places I viewed as out of reach. She urged me to be upfront with those people important in my life about my troubles. And in that reaching out, I might find healing. Or at least a ride to dinner out with friends.
It worked. I have had some great conversations with friends as we tool around town. And as I work through my anxiety in other ways, I am slowly getting my driving ability back.
As we rang in 2012 I thought about my word community, and how being intentional about it shaped my 2011. What did I want for 2012?
Otherwise known as putting your own oxygen mask on first. Changes I have already started making will become even more intentional this year. I’ve started practicing yoga. I am limiting alcohol and caffeine. I am trying to eat mostly whole foods with limited refined sugar. I’m also trying to be intentional about how I spend time with the kids. I want to be present to them, without wearing myself out.
I have to admit, this motto seems more unattainable than last year’s did. This will require more effort on my part. Luckily, self-care also includes knowing when to ditch all the limitations and just splurge. Irish coffee, anyone?