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I was always so awed by tightrope walkers. Sliding their slippers across a high wire, arms stretched like wings, a wisp of wind may have a gale force effect and a steady mind would be the thread that could make it all right. Well that’s what these days feel like.

I’m lucky to be able to golf with friends during the Pandemic. Pushing our carts and walking 10,000 plus steps, grateful that there are moments that there is not a care in the world. It’s a guilty pleasure to be sure but it comes with its own kind of masked reality.  The fear that lurks just below the surface when a little wisp of news comes into this orbit lives like a pilot light waiting for a match deep inside.

So, there we were walking the 15th hole and, my friend’s phone buzzed. “Shit, looks like the Covid uptick is going to mean a change in travel and I’m not sure my kids are going to make it here… I haven’t seen them since February.”

“Me either, mine are all on the west coast and I was allowing myself to believe we would have a visit this summer.” Each time I talk to my kids I slip in, “have you booked your flight yet?” It’s turning out to be a very naggy kind of question. They have lives where they live to be sure and they will definitely come if they are able because they love to visit. They have assured me over and over, they are coming. But then the news comes in that flights may be further limited and it leaves me suspended at the height of the high wire, teetering with insufficient support, and a gust of “breaking news” blowing me off balance.

And if that wasn’t enough, another friend lobbed in yet another news update.  “This is such a crazy world, did you hear about those Murder Hornets?” 

“No, I had not heard about the hornets and, are they actually killing humans? I thought they were just biting off the heads of bees…But humans?  I hope they are far far from here and nowhere near my kids.”

“I think they are in Washington State,  maybe Seattle,” my buddy chimed in.

Shit, I felt myself falling off the high wire, my ballet slipper had faltered and I was in free fall. 

“My kids live in  Seattle….are you kidding?”

Let’s just say I missed the next few putts.

 

Murder Hornets

My heart rate took off and I started to sweat and my body fell into the paralysis of “March Brain”, and exited my “end-of-June Brain”.

My March Brain was wildly grasping for any understanding of what our new world with Covid meant. My End-of-June Brain had found some comfort zone around our new lives. My June Brain was hopeful that my kids would make it here sometime this summer from LA, my March Brain thought I would never see them again and now had added killer hornets to the mix.

My End -of-June Brain felt that we were all doing the right thing and the summer would be our peaceful time between the bookends of out of control spiking spring and second wave fall Covid numbers. Now my End-of-June Brain had a July 4th firecracker blow early between my ears. And it took so little to ignite it.

But over these past few months, I’ve learned a few tricks to steady myself and thank goodness for that. Deep breathes, inhale “Let” exhale “Go” and quiet humming. (I was hoping my golf buddies couldn’t hear my little calming routine). “Really,” I thought, “you aren’t controlling anything here except your next drive so at least do that. Look at that damn ball, because that’s the only thing that can help you right now.” 
 
And so I channeled my breathing and quieted my brain, I drove the shit out of that ball and followed it up with a clean second shot and a 2 putt for Par. It was glorious, I let my worries go for that moment and I finally understood why golf was one of the sports allowed to open during Covid.
 
Mindless golf and  and mindfulness meditation are the perfect companions when chaos strikes. I felt better and was once again gliding across the wire, in full balance,  praying the wind would stay steady.
 
 

 

Teetering When The News Blows In was last modified: by

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