You’d really think I’d be really good at fielding hard-hit curve balls by now. I mean, big picture, everything is fine— it always is. The last few years have taught me nothing if not that somehow it all works out. But dammit, once in a while I want to stomp my foot like a petulant child and just have it go my way. Laugh with me.

But there’s something else I’ve learned too, and it’s manifesting in curious ways. Lately, even when things don’t go the way I hope or think they should, there is this odd calm where once resided anxiety. So much has happened that, while unexpected- or even difficult- ended up opening doors to unforeseen opportunity and even joy. So lately, when crap roils up, as it will, I kind of have this zen thing going on where I sort of look up and go “Ok. So what shall I do instead? Show me my direction.”

My grad program was in jeopardy of not being funded- that’s the risk when you’re part of an inaugural cohort, and I knew that when I signed on. But this program in ASD has always looked like the best program, despite the risk. When my advisor and I last met, she was encouraging me to apply to a parallel program with guaranteed (very sweet) grants and funding and a spot for me. But the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to do it- it wasn’t where my passion lies, and I knew it. I had until November to decide, and I had all but made the call to tell her I was going to pass on the program behind door #2, when she called me and told me my first option was going to be fully funded and I had my spot. Hooray!

But…

The program won’t start until spring. Originally it was January, and that’s what I had budgeted and planned for– eeep, spring. Crap. What am I going to do? I can substitute teach in my local school district. I can keep winging-it with free-lance work. Oddly calm, I just felt, again, like it was okay.

That week, Abby was diagnosed with some health issues pertaining to her bones, and our schedule suddenly filled with doctor appointments, specialists, and trips into the District to visit Children’s National Hospital. She will be fine, and it’s nothing life-threatening, but it’s going to eat up a lot of time and energy; suddenly grad school not starting in January revealed, in sharp focus, the blessing of postponement.

On the heels of the slew of scheduled doctor appointments, I received an offer about a regular free-lance gig. A paid gig. Yes- writing for income. It’s true, I’ve made some income from my book, and it’s helped to float the boat this long, but whoa… I can take care of my kids, I can pay my rent, I have a guaranteed spot in grad school, and I have a few extra months to get all my ducks in a row.

May I remember this calm when I’m again strewn to the water of chaos.

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