My imagination has been running wild lately and I would like to put a halt to it. Hannah leaves for college in a week and here is what I have been imagining:
- Roommate troubles
- Wild & raucous parties
- Hemorrhaging money
- Her first drunk dial home
- Wanting to go anywhere but home for the holidays
- Lost cell phones
- Academic probation
I have no idea where any of this is coming from. Hannah has always been a great kid, a solid student with awesome friends. Why does a mom’s brain always go to worst case scenarios? It is a paralyzing pattern fueled by my crazy imagination. Well . . . maybe also fueled by personal experience and her three older siblings.
But I will break this pattern with brain training. Here is a productive (and healthy) image:
- Hannah will build her communication skills with her roommates
- Her parties will be civilized and infrequent
- She will get a small job and save money
- She will call us every week (sober)
- She will miss me
- She will excel
This is going to be tough.
My human brain also runs rampant with worst case scenarios, but lately the most horrifying thing is that those images are not my imagination.
- Neo-Nazi’s and other white supremacy groups are marching in the streets in battle fatigues and armed with assault rifles
- Two leaders of nations with nuclear capabilities are playing a horrifying game of chicken
- Russians hacked our elections
- Healthcare for women is under attack
- #notmypresident is a spineless, infantile, misogynistic, ignorant, demagogue
We are living in horrid times. I am feeling as nervous, scared, anxious and uncomfortable as I was right after the election. This is not the world I want to launch Hannah into. And frankly, I don’t need this added stress just days before sending my youngest off to college. Can I just call everyone home, snuggle, watch movies, play games and hide from the world? A few good rainy days (or even weeks) forcing us to stay inside would be helpful. So would potato chips, popcorn, Milk Duds and Reese’s.
But no. What I need to do right now is more brain training and set an example. I must be a kind person and send loving energy into this ugly world and hope that the ripple effects keep Hannah as well as Emma, Ross, Max, Kate and Carter – and everyone else I love safe.
- I will shower my family with love – always
- I will do my best to look everyone in the eyes and smile
- I will not shadow my heart with judgements and prejudice
- I will use my voice to stand up to bigotry and hatred whenever and wherever I see it
- I will advocate passionately for reproductive rights, gun violence prevention and climate justice
I live to support my children and grandchildren and help them find their way to peace and happiness. Through all this we will do our share to make this a world of peace. This part should be easy.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. –Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.