Age 6: I dreamt about writing stories other people enjoy reading. (I also hoped to become a garbage person, maybe that is next.)
Age 18: I wanted a degree in psychology.
Age 20: I decide to become a lawyer.
Age 21: I made a list of qualities I wanted to find in a person to love, marry, and with whom I could build a life.
Age 22: I wanted to sail around the world.
Age 24: I wanted to live in a house with a front porch, a vegetable and flower garden, a fire pit, and a dinner table where I could host garden dinner parties for my friends. I wanted a house with mountain bike trails right out my back yard, half way between work and a good sailing lake, in close proximity to Costco.
Age 25: I decided to pursue partnership at a law firm.
Age 27: I decided to free myself from debt.
Whenever in a bout of childish optimism I voiced one of these objectives aloud, people who love me counseled caution. I should moderate my expectations, lest I be lost or disappointed: “You make plans and God laughs.” "All you can control is the present." “Life doesn’t work that way, you can’t have everything you want.” “Life is not fair.” Once, Andrew told a dear person that I applied for and had been accepted into law school. This person responded, “Well, that’s good, but lots of people start law school and drop out.”
Part of me agreed any or all of this could be true, so I developed a long term habit of looking over my shoulder for trouble. And, while I may not trust life, I do not begrudge it. I figured misfortune must come in equal proportion to good fortune. Some may view this as paranoid (Andrew); I view this attitude a protective measure likely to help me succeed.
So, I made plans anyway. Grand, glorious, master plans with ten sub-steps, day to day task lists, and even some contingencies to deal with expected potential misfortune. What choice do I have if I wish to accomplish larger goals? Life did throw me a couple curves I didn't expect. So, I worked around it as best as I could, climbing over, around or through when I must. I adjusted, but I didn't abandon my plan. I knew my target, I knew the framework of necessary steps, and when I get bounced off course, I didn't have to start from square one to find my footing again. “Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars!” Right?
But, as more of my hopes come to fruition, the more and more nervous I get. With the recent sale of the house, we’ve cleared one of those major life challenges I cling to as “the row I’ve had to hoe.” Now that we’ve “recovered” in our way, what horrible misfortune awaits me next? Anxiety building, I'm ripe for Over-Thinker's plucking; she's about to have everyone under her control again.
“All right, everyone, listen up. We are off track! The circumnavigation is at risk, nothing is going right at all. We need to tighten up our focus and get back to work!” She takes up a pointing stick and slaps it on the white board behind her.
It seems, though, Over-Thinker overplayed her hand. Murmuring commences. “Off track? I don’t feel off-track. Do you feel off-track?” Ms. Sensitivity asks Over-tryer. Over-tryer shakes her head and scowls, confused.
“Yes, off track! We should be sailing across the Indian Ocean right now.” Over-thinker slaps the whiteboard with her pointer-stick again, making ticking sounds next to each boat name on the list of sailing friends who are currently crossing the Indian. “We are over budget,” Over-thinker slaps a list of figures from the last six months scrawled in red, “and, we are not working hard enough out here. We need to start a business.”
“Start a business?” Over-tryer asks. “Ms. Sensitivity, are we supposed to be starting a business? From sea? I don’t want to start a business from sea, that sounds awful.”
Ms. Sensitivity scowls and looks into the ether to see if there are any messages from the Universe that we should be starting a business from sea. “I don’t see anything. I don’t see anything about starting a business…Over-tryer, what is she talking about?”
Over-tryer and Ms. Sensitivity stop listening while Over-thinker is on about statistics demonstrating our impending failure.
“She’s lost her mind,” Over-tryer whispers.
“… at this point, what could we do? There will be no respect for…” Over-thinker is still going on.
“I think she’s stressed out.” Ms. Sensitivity responds.
Over-tryer nods, then shakes her head. “We have to do something. She’s ruining everything.”
“…that interview will not pan out…” there is hand waving, the use of a calculator, “see what I mean?”
Just as Andrew drops the anchor over our new Belitung sand patch, Over-tryer jumps from her seat and lunges at Over-thinker.
Over-tryer tackles Over-thinker, knocking her down and covering her as though they are subject to gun fire.“What the…!” …” No, hold…still” “What!? Let go of… Me! Aggghhh!!” “Ms. Sensitivity, tighter! Hurry!” There is wriggling and splaying of arms and legs, hands. Over-tryer overpowers Over-thinker, as of course Over-tryer is the more physically fit of the two. Ms. Sensitivity winds hammock strings around Over-thinker’s ankles and wrists. With Over-thinker successfully hog-tied, Over-tryer stands up, dusts her two palms together and readjusts her outfit and hair. “There, jeeze. I’ve had enough out of you. You are OUT of control.”
Donning a concerned look on her face, Ms. Sensitivity wraps a gag gently as she can around Over-Thinker’s mouth. “Is that too tight?” Ms. Sensitivity asks, Over-thinker’s eyes are wide with the shock of betrayal. “Here, I’ll get you a pillow. Ms. Sensitivity props Over-thinker against a pillow and lays a cold washcloth against her forehead. Stepping backward, away from Over-thinker, Ms. Sensitivity puts up two hands. “okay, okay…you just relax for a bit. It’ll all be better soon.”