Back before my knees decided they didn’t like high heels and therefore wouldn’t allow me to wear them without taking Aleve before putting them on and upon taking them off, I had a real thing for shoes, and I don’t mean just buying them. I had books about shoes, pictures of them framed and hung on my bathroom walls, and pajama bottoms covered in them. I still have the books (as well as a Kate Spade makeup bag decorated with high heels and beach bag bedecked with flip flops), but these days my big thing is quotes. In fact, my compulsion for seeking out and collecting quotes is probably bigger and, certainly less expensive, than my passion for shoes ever was.
Almost every day I find another quote or three that I print out and tape to the wall above my desk. At this moment, the most prominent is one that says, “Don’t Be A Whiny Little Shit,” which I love because sometimes I am and sometimes my kids are, so it does double duty in the reminder department. But my current favorite is the one that simply says:
Every morning when I come into my office, those eight words are the first I read. Before I wake up my computer, light my vanilla-scented candle, or read the to-do list I left myself the night before (because God knows I remember nothing these days), I look at that quote and ask myself:
Am I afraid?
If the answer is yes, I ask myself what specifically I’m afraid of.
Am I afraid of:
one child never moving out,
the other moving back in,
discovering my life insurance policy doesn’t cover suicide,
never writing another book,
finally writing another book but being unable to find a publisher,
or getting cancer and having to count on my kids who can’t get their act together to fly the coop to take care of me?
Of course I could be and frequently am afraid of other awful scenarios I haven’t listed here, big stuff like not being able to pay my mortgage…