Roller Coaster

Roller coaster

Image courtesy of Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-roller-coaster-106155/

During a recent family vacation to an amusement park, we discovered that our youngest son loves roller coasters.  Like a true adrenaline junky!  We visited the park on two different days, and the highlight of both visits was the roller coasters.

While my husband and son enjoyed the rides, I was the designated backpack holder and cell phone keeper because I hate roller coasters.  In fact, hate seems too mild to describe my feelings.  Under no uncertain terms do I enjoy going uber fast, compounded by steep and unexpected drops, sudden, jerky movements, and/or being flung upside down.  No thank you!

In spite of my aversion, I agreed to ONE ride.  It was a family vacation after all, so I agreed to give it one try.  It was the worst two minutes of my life.    Afterwards, we walked around the park for an entire hour before I spoke a single word to my husband or my son.  Did I mention that I hate roller coasters?

Later on that the evening, my husband asked me a question that really got me thinking: why do you hate roller coasters so much?  And I really had to think about it.  I can’t recall a bad experience or anything traumatic related to roller coasters.  I don’t even know when or how I decided I don’t like them; I just don’t.  I was stumped.

Since I couldn’t come up with a why, I started thinking about the way I feel on roller coasters.  And that is when I had my “AH-HAH” moment.  It’s the physical sensation that I dislike.  It starts in the pit of my stomach.  It’s a tightening deep in my belly, where my insides constrict.  The feeling slowly spreads, moving up through my stomach, creeping upwards towards my chest.  Next comes the sensation of being restricted, a literal squeezing that extends from my lower belly up through my chest cavity that grips me.

It is paralyzing.

It is oddly familiar.

It is fear.

So here’s my truth: I don’t like roller coasters because they are a physical manifestation of fear.

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Visualize Success

“I don’t visualize failure; I visualize success.” 

Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson

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I am quite skilled in visualizing failure, imaging the worst possible outcome.  I can take any situation, dissect it, examine it, and see all the things that can possibly go wrong.  Constantly, over and over again until my anxiety level is sky high and my negative thoughts consume me.

Focusing on the negative is my automatic defense mechanism, a way of preparing myself.  And it can be a good thing until it is not.  And lately it’s not.  I am constantly stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious, always waiting and expecting the worst in all possible situations:

  • A road trip would be fun, but what if we get a flat tire on the way?
  • If I buy this, I’ll probably just end it returning it because something unexpected with come up.
  • I can’t leave my job because I’ll lose everything.

But what if instead of failure, I visualize success:

  • After the road trip, I am relaxed and recharged
  • I will keep this thing, and use it to bless others
  • Taking a leap will allow me to achieve success in another area

I am no longer bound by negativity, weighed down by anxiety.

My thoughts are free.

My potential is limitless.

I AM SOARING.

~kay

The Real Enemy

Image credit: http://discovermagazine.com/2015/nov/12-my-own-worst-enemy

Enemies

Foes

Opponents

Haters

Naysayers

Detractors

Dream snatchers

There are dozens of words and euphemisms to describe those who are against us.  People who view our failures and shortcomings as triumphs, who will stop at nothing to sabotage us.  They are both known and unknown, big and small.  And they matter because they keep us on our toes.

It may sound naïve (and maybe it is), but I don’t have any enemies.  I don’t have any external enemies, but internally, I’ve got plenty.  In fact, you could say I am my own WORST enemy.  More than anyone else, I do an extraordinary job of sabotaging myself.  No one else.  Me. Myself. And I.

Don’t believe me?  Let me show you how:

  1. Negative thoughts – “that looks really hard…..”
  2. Past experiences – “remember what happened the last time…..”
  3. Present circumstances – “you can’t (fill in the blank) because…..”
  4. Learned behaviors – “you are too (fill in the blank) to (fill in the blank)…..”
  5. Expectations of others/society – “you are a mom/wife/daughter/professional…..”

This is MY enemy.

This is all internal.

This is what I war with, day after day.

It paralyzes me, keeps me from moving forward or even getting started.

Who or what is YOUR biggest enemy?

~kay

 

Three-Ring Circus

Synonyms for three-ring circus

Image courtesy of: Synonyms for Three-ring circus. (2016). Retrieved 2018, September 22, from https://thesaurus.plus/synonyms/three-ring_circus

I am struggling with this post.  Really struggling.  I think I know what to say, but not how to say it. My last post was January 8, 2018, but my last true (original) blog post was back in 2017, over a year ago!  After such a protracted absence, an explanation is required.

So what happened?  The short answer is A LOT.  That seems like a cop out so I’ll clarify, and say life happened.

At the beginning of 2017, I got a promotion on my nine-to-five, I really BIG promotion which meant more responsibility which translates into an even bigger time commitment.  BIG important title with a BIG important pay raise.  Something had to go, so reading, writing, and blogging  were all sacrificed.

And then the family stuff, some good, some not so good.  The good – the really good, extraordinary in fact – is my oldest son graduating from high school and starting his first year of college.  We are extremely proud of him, but it was no easy feat.  As a child, my son idolized Peter Parker aka Spiderman (played by Toby Maguire).  In one of the movies, a professor described Peter Parker  as “brilliant but lazy.”  This is my oldest son every day of the week and twice on Sunday.  But he – rather we – made it.  My son is happily ensconced in the hallowed halls of academia two hours away.  And I miss him terribly.

The not so good involved major health crises with members of my family, all of which seemed to occur simultaneously.  I was literally fielding calls and text messages while sitting at my big important job trying to decide which direction my car would travel.  I was making life and death decisions, pondering whose bedside required the most immediate visit, and the level of survivor’s guilt I could stomach if I choose wrong.  Dramatic yes, but I am not exaggerating.  At all.  Fortunately, everyone is on the mend, but the situation remains precarious, and I remain hyper-vigilant, just waiting for the next phone call.

In the midst of this three-ring circus, the cracks began to show.  Like really, really show.  And not just cracks.

Huge, gaping holes.

Stress fractures.

The weight became unbearable.

The foundation gave way.

I fell apart.

In reality, the old me fell away, and the real me started to emerge.  I had to make some changes.  Not just words, but real changes.

First, I cried.  A LOT (still do, in fact!)

I started seeing a therapist.

I took a much-needed vacation.

I started journaling.

I rediscovered reading.

I returned to my writing.

kay returned to Kay Morris Writes.

I am pursuing my passion once again, rebuilding my foundation.

And it feels marvelous.

Scriptina Regular

 

 

Feeling Less than Brave…

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Image credit: http://inkygirl.com/wwfc/

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new and inspiring.  Of course, I feel guilty about the lack of originality, hence the occasional inspirational post from Facebook or Pinterest. These things go a long way to assuage my guilt and lack of attentiveness to this blog.  I hope you enjoy them as well.

Like any good procrastinator and self-proclaimed slacker, I have tons of reasons for my absence as of late, but I will spare you all the “what had happened…” excuses, designed to elicit both pity and coddling.  The truth is I am a bit – actually, A LOT – afraid about my next steps.  I’ve been busy reading and writing and writing and reading, and now I am at a crossroads where I must make a decision about rather to move forward or remain stagnant.  Unfortunately, stagnation has won.  By a landslide!

During the summer months, I took a gigantic leap of faith and found an editor.  With a vice grip on my husband’s hand, I surrendered my first manuscript and held my breath.  The process wasn’t nearly as bad as my anxiety-laced brain thought it would be.  She offered great suggestions and really tidied up my work.  I am grateful for her skill, talent, and unyielding patience.

Now the tough part: where to go from here?  The story is written and edited, ready to be shared.

And I am terrified…

~kay