In less than three weeks, I will go to Switzerland and France for a week and a half. I feel a sense of hope mixed with worry. I don’t know how well my husband can care for the kids without me.
I also feel guilty. Yes, as a mom of three school-age children, what gives me the right to such happiness? such liberty? Once we’re parents, we’re are no longer free. We must be responsible-type people. We must not traipse around Europe with a backpack (I do intend to take a backpack and a fanny pack!) I feel guilty I will miss the girls’ 10th birthday.
But for survival reasons, I MUST take this journey. In order to fulfill my proposed sabbatical, I must go. To jumpstart my lagging spirit, I must go. To gain the language fluency I dream about, I must go.
Yet, yet, yet. I still feel worried and compelled to downplay my excitement. I wonder why. I wonder if there is some soap scum residual ring of dread around my psychic bathtub. If in my childhood, I was told not to look forward with hope. I must scrub that psychic tub.
Here are some reasons NOT to worry. Chris has said he’s adequate to the task. I have a cadre of friends, neighbors, babysitters, family who can help.
I must embrace my uncertainty. I must embody those stupid cliches – like, Jump and the net will appear.
It’s human nature to want to know if the house will increase in value before you buy it. Or to want to know if the kid’s soccer team will at least have one victory before you sign them up.
I have tons of swagger and humor, yet also carry oodles of self-doubt.
Yet, yet, yet. I am going to embrace my liminal state. I do not know the outcome; I am fearful. I am going to take Goethe’s advice to the young poet and (paraphrasing here) “Love the questions themselves, like books written in a very foreign tongue. You are not given the answers because you are not yet ready to live them. But you must live the question now. And that is the point. To live the questions now and someday you will find you are living in the answers.”
Live the uncertainty. Embrace the unknown.