Courtney vs. The Chainsaw

Hello! As I write this, I’m at my parents’ house while my kids are at home with the babysitter. I thought I was going to record a new podcast episode and then start recording the audio version of my book. But no, the neighbors across the street are having their trees trimmed and a noisy chainsaw has interrupted my plans.

Seriously, every time I come to my parents’ house, there is either a chainsaw or lawnmower or some other mechanical monstrosity ruining my sanctuary of silence.

There’s a lesson in that, right? Right!

Life is uncertain. We can plan and plan and prepare until we think we have managed every variable, but still, we cannot control the universe.

I have a choice today. Choice A: I can let the tree trimmers’ chainsaw ruin my day. I can throw tantrums and call my husband and whine about the cruelty of life. Or, Choice B: I can be flexible, take a deep breath, and do something else. There’s a lot of things on my To Do list, so it’s not like the entire day is lost.

I have to be honest. For about ten minutes, I went with Choice A. I didn’t call my husband, but I did rant in my journal and then text my dad about the noisy tree trimmers.

Then I realized I was clinging to the river bank. Last year, when I was in weekly therapy, my therapist and I often used the metaphor of a river to talk about life. I realized that when I cling to the river bank, and resist the flow of the river, my energy clogs up and I feel generally miserable. When I let go of the river bank and surrender to the river’s flow, I enjoy my life and discover that things that seemed like catastrophes – e.g. the tree trimmers across the street – are actually little serendipitous blessings in disguise.

So now I am on Team Choice B. I am no longer clinging to the river bank and have instead climbed into a sturdy inner tube to enjoy the journey. Who knows what will happen today? I didn’t plan for it, but the journey is much more exciting when I let the river show the way.