I’m at the stage of life that involves potty training, homeschooling, working from home, dealing with anxiety, and tending to everyday duties. Yep, I have anxiety. Not just feeling anxious, actual anxiety. It’s not the same, and it doesn’t really ever go away. So why do I go out of my way to create a special recipe, a fun movie night, or a creative DIY? Because I believe that life is full of magic. You just have to find it or make your own.
It Isn’t Easy
It’s not always easy though. Anxiety tells me that it’s always storming and I need to hide away under my umbrella. It’s easier to hide myself from the world so I don’t have to face it. I hold tight to my umbrella. I second (and third, and fourth, and so on)-guess my choices and when things go wrong, I assume it’s always my fault. I cling tighter to my umbrella. Anxiety convinces me that I’m a bad mother, wife, friend, blogger, etc. So I assume I’m better off under my umbrella.
Anxiety is not something that is easily explained. It’s a bit like trying to live every day inside a tornado. Thoughts are constantly spinning around in my head. The “what ifs” and fear take over. Then all of a sudden my brain feels overloaded. It causes me to feel weak and exhausted. My heart is racing as I type this because I want to hide under my umbrella. But I would miss out on so much if I stayed under there. I would miss out on the magic. I would miss out on helping others. And I would miss out on making memories with my family. Anxiety does not define me. I still hold on to my umbrella and take it one step at a time.
I’m Not a Stranger to the Dark
Anxiety guarantees that I’m not a stranger to the dark. I can’t constantly fight it off. Instead, I’ve learned to appreciate the darkness. After all, if there was never any darkness, we would never see fireflies. When I peek out from my umbrella, I notice that there’s magic all around; like fireflies. And there’s nothing more magical than fireflies. Those magical fairy lights floating about, right outside in our backyard, make me smile every time. (Yes, I am a true southerner that calls them fireflies instead of lightning bugs.)
Finding the Magic
How do I use this to find the magic? Well, since I ask a million questions and notice a million details, I turn that energy toward creativity. When I create a DIY, when I shoot and edit a photo, when I bake a new treat, I can focus all that nervous energy into making it as amazing (and magical) as I can. I can’t stop the analysis of every little thing, but I can channel that thought process into creation, build something up, instead of breaking myself down. And then when I finish something, and especially when I see my kids’ faces light up, it doesn’t feel like it’s beating me. Maybe I can’t stop it, but I can still win. Even when the fireflies aren’t out, those lit up faces are still magical.
Anxiety isn’t me
I will not let anxiety define me because I am so much more than anxiety. That is why I am so passionate about finding magic and sharing that magic. We all need magic. We need to find the joy in the little things. Those little things, those little moments are what make life big. Some days anxiety will win and it will feel like life is crushing. But I will not let it win the war. After all, life is what you make it. So I’m going to make it magical.