Step Backward to Move Forward


Remember that movie Awakenings? Do you remember how Robin Williams’s character, the doctor, had a theory that these unmoving people were actually moving so much that they became frozen and that’s when he decided to try the medicine used for Parkinson’s? I haven’t seen the movie in a while, but it was something like that, right?

That’s how I feel sometimes. Frenetic to the point of paralysis. It’s like rush hour traffic is surging through my brain. So many little travelers in the form of ideas, tasks, stressors, that they clog up neural pathways and none of them get through. (Not really trying to be scientific here, you get the idea, I hope.)

Recently, I took the initiative to get a neighborhood watch group started at our condo complex because of incidences of vandalism. There was a lot of talk about getting it started, but I know from past experience that it often takes one person to step up and actually get things going.

My intention was to get the meeting set up and let the wave of democracy take over from there. In my head I was thinking that everyone in attendance would take an equal part in leading the meeting. Then it started to sink in that things rarely work out that way with a large group of people. There often needs to be a leader or two, even temporarily, to keep things on task.

The baby is “due” in two weeks and I’m leading a neighborhood watch meeting tonight. Am I insane?! What is it about me that makes me think I’m worthless if I’m anything less than superwoman?

Maybe I’m exaggerating. I don’t really think I’d be worthless if I didn’t plan this meeting. I just couldn’t stand the stagnant feeling of hearing so many people say, “yeah, we should get on that” and I knew what needed to be done to get on that. I was excited about it. Now I’m scared. I like getting things started, but not necessarily seeing them through to the end. (A man my friend Andrea and I met at a coffee shop recently told us this is because I’m an ENFP, but that’s a story for another time.)

I did get smart after starting the planning process and clarified with everyone that I might not be able to take a very active role in the watch once the baby comes and, in fact, might not even be able to attend the meeting (although the kid seems to be holding tight so far). <—-But check out that language that I just used. "I **might** not be able to take a **very** active role…" What?! Realistically, I should plan on disappearing altogether for at least month or so, right?

[Deep Breath]

I'm learning. I'll get through the meeting tonight, despite the stage fright, and then I'll hand off the leadership role to someone else. And here's the important part, I'll trust that everything will be fine without me.

I didn't really intend to write just about the meeting tonight. I guess that must be the most urgent traveler clogging up the brain at the moment. I also have a meeting of my writing critique group tomorrow night for which I'm totally not prepared (they'll understand, though!) and there is a writing contest deadline coming up fast (there will always be more contests!).

Then there's all the baby stuff left to be done: pack a bag for the hospital, finish the music playlist, yell at the insurance company for not paying for an ultrasound, pick up the dresser/changing table, the final draft of the birth plan, practice relaxation techniques for the birth.

I think I'll start with that last one.


One thought on “Step Backward to Move Forward

  1. Yes, you’re right about the movie. I own it and watch it periodically. I cry every time. I would definitely be crying if I were trying to start a neighborhood watch with only two weeks left before giving birth. Oh, my dear!

    I’m not exactly sure how I got to your blog. I think I started at uphillwriting – then medieval minds – then. . . Anyway – I’m glad I found it.

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