I have this self-diagnosed syndrome. I will name it CTW (Chasing The Wind). CTW is basically trying to create the optimal situation at all times, or at least most times, in an effort to feel joy, satisfaction, peace, etc. I suffer from this the most on the weekends. Largely because Adam is home from work and the weekends are for cleaning the house up, accomplishing major gratifying house projects, going on some sort of epic outside adventure, and maybe a little pinterest project at the end of the day. That all sounds do-able, right? So, when the cleaning up consists of moving the dirty dishes from the counter to the sink, the gratifying house project is changing the batteries in the downstairs smoke detector, the outside adventure is walking to get the mail, and the pinterest project is pinning more projects, the day can end up feeling somewhat disappointing compared to my grand hopes.
I call it Chasing The Wind Syndrome because, the few times that my grand expectations have actually materialized, it never feels as satisfying as I imagine it will. I find myself chasing the wind, often. And the problem with this is I end up missing the moment I am actually in. All of the energy I could be giving towards being thankful for the moment I find myself in, or even acknowledging it, I give over to mentally arranging the to-do list like a game of Tetris. Always looking for the most efficient, productive and satisfying way, but leaving little room for actual enjoyment.
CTW isn’t just limited to the weekends though, it also likes to visit me on holidays, and birthdays. About a week ago, as the calendar flipped closer to the 15th, I started to feel the rising tension that generally accompanies my birthday, and can be associated with an early onset of CTW. I had never noticed it in previous years, but this year it made me stop and think about what I was feeling, and why?
My mind started racing with all the possibilities of how I could spend my birthday. Lunch with friends? Dinner with friends? Which friends? Pedicure? Massage? Leave Lydie? Take Lydie? But, then I started to reflect on the moments over the past few months where I have felt the most satisfied; the most joyful. Most of those moments I was either celebrating or loving someone else, or just being with Lydie and Adam. This of course sent me into a different kind of tizzy, because I thought, “If I don’t plan, hint, or nudge around about what I want…nothing will happen and I won’t feel celebrated! And I’ll be stuck in my cycle of quiet disappointment again…” OR… I could just be still, wait, and trust that what I need to feel joy, satisfied, and celebrated will come TO me! And whatever comes will be just what I need and just enough, whether it’s a fan fare (which I wouldn’t really want anyway), or a quiet day at home with Lydie.
What’s truly amazing about loosening my grip and being open to what the day brings, is I feel more thankful for the little things. I woke up this morning to a peaceful, sleeping baby at my bedside. When I consider where I was this time last year, that in itself is such an amazing gift – a longing fulfilled! Since little bug wasn’t up yet and needing “the milk truck”, as I’m so affectionately called at home (What woman wouldn’t love being referred to as a truck?), I laid in bed and felt my heartbeat, and watched my chest rise and fall as my lungs filled up with air. I thought about how I sleep well when I get to sleep. I don’t have chronic migraines or back aches. I have friends and family who love me and support me.
Unwrapping each thought with thankfulness.
Adam made me Eggs Brooklyn, one of my favorite breakfasts we made a lot when she was home with us. It’s the most delicious way to remember her. Lydie slept in some more so we finished our coffee in the backyard. And, tonight we’re planning to take a walk over to one of the local restaurants around us for dinner and dessert. This was such an added bonus when we bought our house a little over a year ago. He knew it would bring us so much joy to be able to walk to pretty much anything we would really need (or want), and still be tucked away in a quiet suburb with a backyard of beautiful trees. Getting to enjoy all these aspects of our location, makes me feel so loved.
And why does it all matter? My health, my family, my home…because it’s been given to me. In my final lap of my 20’s this is what I want my life’s focus to be.
No searching, maneuvering, adjusting, scheduling, plotting, chasing or labeling necessary.
If it’s been given, it is a gift.
2 thoughts on “CTW Syndrome”
You are such a great writer! I really love reading your posts. Thanks for sharing! I relate to this completely.
And YOU are a gift, Corrie! Happy Birthday!!! So glad your b-day morning began beautifully & peacefully with precious, snoozy girl cooperating and you & Adam enjoying each other’s company quietly with a special tribute to Brooklyn. That is peace and rest. THEN…sneaky Adam made sure you were surprised and celebrated with zero maneuvering on your part. (Except at the end when he insisted on walking on the “woodsy” side of the street to go get a snow cone!!)
Love to you & enjoy this nice little victory lap in your 20s. I’ve loved each new Tens Place I’ve entered & it seems you’re learning these little lessons well & in good time! I may have been in my 30s before I took the hint to chill it out a bit. :>