Monday, October 7, 2013

Three-Branch Storm On The Way

It's early October and the sky is gray. it's windy as all get out and the world outside my office window is like a autumnal snow globe, but instead of white plastic puffs circles of yellow locust leaves dance. It sounds pretty, like a fan on a field of sunflowers, but it isn't. We are under a tornado watch and the world is incorrectly warm, around seventy-five horrible degrees. That is not right for this part of the world in mid-autumn. I can see the sheep on the hill laying down in the soft dirt, watching the other side of the fence where the grass is growing outside their paddock. They had a breakfast of hay and fresh water, and usually by this time of day several of them (Ruckus, Brick and a lamb) have jumped out like hinds and are eating the illegal grass. Not today. Today even the most athletic and bravest of ewes is hunkered down. I'll be doing the same.

I had a hard time sleeping last night, which happens to me a few times a week. My mind reels with anxiety, worried about everything from the mortgage to pieces of idle conversation that may have gone wrong earlier in the day. I worried about the fact that my email had been down for 36 hours and it is the only way I make a living anymore, through that little inbox. People signing up for advertising spots, or for workshops, paypal and such are all connected to that simple email address. The small Ohio-based company I buy hosting through was closed for the weekend and I just wanted my old email account back. It's back now, which is a relief.

I get confused by my anxiety. I don't trust it. While things are tight now and I'm behind on my mortgage, I'm only a few weeks behind and I've been self-employed for a year and a half. That is a pretty solid track record. Nothing to be proud of really, but nothing to grant the kind of hell I put myself through alone in the dark. The lights have never been shut off, the dogs and I have never missed a meal. Hell, a chicken has never missed a meal here. The garbage still gets picked up on Tuesday mornings and the truck payment is up to date. Besides snow tires, chimney cleaning, cordwood, and a few personal dental concerns things are pretty solid. I can not complain. And to have such mundane concerns going into your second year of self-employment makes me feel darn blessed. I need to remember this when I get worried. I need to remember I always find a way to make it, and come hell or high-water, I'll keep making it. Sorry for the cliches, but they apply.

So why is it that at night, when we are alone, we worry about things WE KNOW we can handle during the day? Why do we have that heavy feeling on our chests and dryness in our mouths? Why do we fuss? Why do we doubt the blessings we know so well? I have proof of the good, the bad is always going on spec… I feel like a fool, most of the time. The anxiety steals this holy month away from me. It makes me writhe and rub my hands together. Last night I forced myself into a calmer state. It took some work, but it got me back to sleep. Another blessing, that.

Let's hope those blessings carry over to the storm. Being the old fashioned gal I am, a trio of birch, maple, and holly get gathered and hung from the front door. It's a prayer against damage, and something people have done on sheep farms since time out of mind. It can't hurt. When a three-branch storm is headed your way you take caution. I'm not a total fool.