Lately, I've been suffering from a bout of catastrophic thinking. Do you do this? It is a thing and I've only known it to be a thing for few years now when I heard Maria Bamford talking about it on a WTF pod with Marc Maron. I don't know if it's been all of the celebrity deaths this year or just the general suckiness of 2016, but this week I had to drive my kids a couple of hours away to visit family and I'd decided that we would definitely have a wreck, my house would burn down and my cat would get run over. And once the thoughts start, they just cycle over and over until I'm exhausted. I thought for a minute that I was the only one plagued by this, me and Maria Bamford, but when I posed the question in a secret Facebook group, turns out I'm not the special snowflake that I always assume I am. This is something I've always done and since the monkeys are no longer sedated, the intensity has only gotten worse in sobriety.
Simultaneous to the recent feelings of dread, this word has been jumping out to surprise me from every corner. It has passed through my ears from podcasts, shown up in my tarot cards and horoscopes, and has even taken center stage from all of my recent book recommendations. Just as change and death are inevitable, so is paradox, and thank god because this word has given me a way to distract and redirect my thoughts. I decided to make it my word to focus on in the coming year. Much like my chosen word for 2016, EVOLVE, kept me focused had me saying YES to so much that I couldn't help but evolve, I'm determined to continue my quest to find what brings me joy, and do that. I'm determined to find joy in giving and receiving, find joy in community, creativity, in the bigness and the mundane. I realize that joy won't necessarily always be waiting for me in toilet cleaning and dental chairs, but if there is one key that unlocks this whole thing we call existence, it is that our thoughts create our experiences, and those include roadtrips and toilet cleaning.
Today, on January 1, I climbed 1000 feet up a giant granite rock into this big, blue beautiful sky. Even as shit may swirl around us, I will keep filling up my joy cup. Let me know if you need some.