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Blustery Day

April 21, 2015

“The wind was against them now, and Piglet’s ears streamed behind him like banners as he fought his way along, and it seemed hours before he got them into the shelter of the Hundred Acre Wood and they stood up straight again, to listen, a little nervously, to the roaring of the gale among the treetops. ‘Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’ ‘Supposing it didn’t,’ said Pooh after careful thought.” ― Milne, A. A.

Today is a very blustery spring day here in southern Indiana, with flowering trees tossing their slender branches back and forth like bright scarves fluttering in the wind. Cherry blossoms lie scattered like snow on the sidewalk, and the bright buds of the crabapple tree are doing their best to hang on. When the gusts come, the house makes mooing noises and frightens the cat.

I am planning a visit to my parents’ house, and I worry, much like Piglet worries about a tree falling on him in the gale. I worry that I’ll pack the wrong clothes for the weather and that I’ll be too cold or too hot. I worry that I won’t pack the right shoes. What if we go out to a nice dinner? What if we go for a hike? What if it rains? Is there room in the suitcase for an extra pair of shoes and a raincoat?

I worry about the drive. Will there be road construction and detours? Will I get lost? Tired? What if the hotel loses my reservation? Where will I go? What if I can’t handle the traffic and get into an accident and die? Will my husband remember to water the plants?

A lot of “what ifs” plague my thinking, and when that happens, I need to remind myself that I am really not thinking at all. In reality, I am reacting to something that may never happen. I am allowing myself to get sucked into the future – into a space and time over which I have no control. On a good day, I will catch myself catastrophizing and will remind myself that the only time is the present moment. I can deal with a moment. I am here. I am now. If I breathe deeply, I become calm, and I feel free from worry. I can even smile.

Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’ ‘Supposing it didn’t,’

I’ll suppose the tree will not fall, and I will pack my suitcase — one moment at a time, and I will breathe.

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