March Slowly by guest blogger Heather Minter

Heather Minter is a writer, a mother, a seeker of understanding. She is mostly a wanderer and a ponderer through life. She writes through her journey at Today she’s cold and wondering how she’s going to start moving again.

It’s halfway through March already. Can you believe it? This year started cold and harsh. Our family suffered the loss of several loved ones. Our plans for moving abroad have been uncertain. We’ve had illnesses (so many) and work anxiety (so much). Let’s not forget about the arctic temperatures. It’s been a topsy turvy tumble into a trippingly stumbled start. I haven’t known which way is up. Things have been uncertain, unsteady and unsure, and the cold left me miserable, cranky and stiff, in my body and in my mind. And when the weather gets frigid and the road washes out, I often retreat into a cave of icy panic.

I start freezing.

What’s the best thing to do?

What is the right thing to do?

I look at the camp brochures, the relocation package, the doctor bills and the backlog of work all with a frozen sense of dread. Then I begin with the negative thinking.

There’s no way I can handle all of this.

There’s too much.

I don’t even know where we’ll be living in three months.

And then I’m frozen.

Being frozen means being immobile. It means nothing gets done. The classic, buck-up thinking suggests that we pull up our bootstraps and get busy. But we all know what happens when  things get defrosted too quickly. They are ruined. The way to get out of a frozen place of uncertainty is not to try to do a whole bunch of things. Don’t get those atoms moving too quickly, or you’ll burn out and turn into a big weeping pile of mush (trust me, I know). The way to get out is to begin the process of a slow thaw. And that means taking it one task at a time.

Just do the next thing.

Don’t try and tackle it all. Don’t try and think through it all. It is too overwhelming. There is a lot to do. There are a lot of balls in the air. You don’t know what’s going to happen with your health, your job, your future. All that is true, and you can’t change it. Instead, start a slow March thaw. Just take one thing and do it. I’m going to mail off my taxes.

Doesn’t that feel better? Now do the next thing. Hey, we got this. Maybe there’s something to those bootstraps. We’ve got a rough road ahead. It’s time to start our slow march.

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