With the hockey season winding down, I’ve started to think about our homecoming move to New England. In particular, I’ve thought about finding housing, seeking employment, and applying for health insurance. While I’m ready to return to a living situation where I can speak the same language as my neighbors and hop in my car to visit family and friends, these thoughts have reacquainted me with some old stresses that have put my newly developed life mantras to the test.
When we first landed in Italy, I knew the end of the season would come and we would be forced to make some decisions about what to do next. While we had the tentative idea of living at my family’s cottage and putting money into much-needed renovations as a substitute for paying rent, our plans did not go much deeper than that. And, fortunately, my super-planner personality was bested by my Italy-inspired take-it-a-day-at-a-time alter ego. I lived every day to it’s fullest, and focused my energies on the things I’d missed in my previous years of living on a tight schedule.
But when I recently started considering what I should do for work when I get back, it led me to wonder what Kevin will be doing in the Fall. Would he even have a job in hockey? If he didn’t where would we go? If he did, what would I do? And what about the year after that… As the complex web of what-ifs unraveled in my mind, I couldn’t help but worry about what it would all mean for my career, for my life, for our lives.
And that’s the problem with worrying about what’s next… there’s always something after that to worry about too. And pretty soon you are worrying about a whole mess of things that you have absolutely no control over in the present tense!
When I realized what was happening, I stopped myself. I’d caught a glimpse of my former self. The Sarah that panicked without a carefully strategized next step, and spent a lot of her energies trying to control the uncontrollable factors in life’s path. I’d tasted a small sample of the worries that once overwhelmed to the point that I sometimes forgot to live in the moment. And I didn’t like it…
I acknowledged that, yes, the unknown is scary. But I reminded myself that the unknown is also exciting. The unknown is what makes life worth living… seeing what comes next is all part of the experience. I realized that while I can prepare for the unknown, I can’t necessarily plan for it. So preparation became my new focus…
With Homecoming Preparation the modified objective to my original Homecoming Planning scheme, I feel much better about the weeks to come. I am increasingly excited to return to my New England home, but I am aware and accepting of the challenges it may bring. And, I am mindful that I have to continue enjoying every day that I have in Italy in the final weeks before we leave.