Part one of Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control is one of my favorite posts. You can find it over here.
It is a few minutes after six and I have just finished exchanging a series of texts with my cousin. Her aunt, my cousin died today. It wasn’t unexpected but that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for those she left behind.
The funeral will be in Chicago but I don’t think that I am going to be able to make it out this time. There is an off chance that might change but the likelihood is relatively small and I have already confirmed with the family that it will be ok.
It has been a brutal day here for a million different reasons ranging from taking care of a sick child and sick dogs to craziness surrounding work. In approximately one hour I will leave to go play ball and will do my best to expunge the demons of the day upon the court.
Part of the challenge surrounding the day is the feeling that I might have taken three steps forwards and two steps backwards. I am running through the mud and carrying two sandbags on my shoulders. When I was 25 I might have been happy to prove how strong I was by doing this but I haven’t any need for that any more.
There are constant interruptions and I am short tempered with everyone. This is not how I want to be nor who I want to be.
Chicago is never far from my mind which is kind of funny since I have never lived there nor have I wanted to. It has always been a place that was home to a million relatives. It is the city my mother was born in as were most of my grandfathers.Â Although my father wasn’t born there he did live there for a while so it has great meaning and memories to him.
That is not to say that I look upon the city with disdain. Sure, I make fun of the pizza and lament the inability to get a good steak or hot dog but I could see living there. It would take some getting used to. It is a city that only has 90 days of good weather, none of them consecutive.
Once upon a time the Shmata Queen used to tell me that cleveland was like Chicago and I used to laugh. I’ll spare you the reason and details.
Jim Croce is singing in my ear now that New York’s Not My Home and I am beginning to feel that edge lose some of its bite.Â I am taking deep, measured breaths and look at old posts to see if they’re worth linking to.
But none of this addresses the underlying concerns of it all.
Fear is what is bothering me now. Fear, uncertainty, insecurity and frustration are the current four horsemen of my apocalypse. I won’t name or provide specifics here because it is not necessary. There are boundaries in blogging and you don’t need to know everything. Nor should you forget that I show you large snapshots but not everything.
All of that is a side issue to that four letter word above. I told the horsemen that I will ride out upon the field and do battle. I will go to war because the anticipation of what could happen is making me crazier than I already am.
Sarah McLachlan is singing Possession now and my thoughts have taken wing and left this world. It is 1985 and I am in a bar in Jerusalem watching Live Aid. Some friends and I are talking about the future and making plans for what happens when we return to Los Angeles.
I tell them that I can’t wait until I turn 17. I don’t know why but I think it is going to be great. But what I am most excited about it is coming back to Israel for at least my freshman year of college, maybe more.
One of the girls asks me if I am ever afraid of anything. My nickname is Rambo and I ham it up because I am 16 and I can. I tell her that I am afraid of nothing and take another deep swig of beer.
It is a baldfaced lie but at 16 I can’t admit it, especially in front of girls.
That is not the case now. Now I can tell you that some things frighten me. Now I can tell you that I am not fearless but I have learned through time and experience how to walk the razor’s edge.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments where I am less certain and not as sure footed as that 16-year-old boy was. In the back of my mind I can hear my grandfathers speaking to me. They tell me don’t worry about what you can’t control and I nod my head.
It is excellent advice and I work hard to follow it. They whisper other messages and I silently nod my head. Don’t know if these are echoes they have left behind or a visit from their spirits but it doesn’t matter because the words and memories are comforting.
All I need to do is heed their words and remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”
Looks like I need to work on my five minutes.