A is for Action

I’m teacher and we borrow good ideas! My husband writes a blog and in an effort to get his mojo going again, he's doing an A to Z Challenge. I, too, need some mojo in my writing life, so I’m going to borrow his idea. According to our ChicagoNow blog manager, that’s ok.

I was originally going to write about anxiety because that’s on my mind ALL THE TIME. And I’m sick of it.

So, it seems like a better idea to write about something else and distract myself.

Action is a great way to get out of my head and move forward. It doesn’t even matter if the action is big or small—sometimes just THINKING about the action I might take is enough to help me feel less anxious.

Last week, an amazing friend died after fighting another bout of cancer. Nancy, or Thirk, as she was known to many, beat breast cancer over 15 years ago and was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. Nasty, nasty disease.

This woman, full of life and laughter, generosity and compassion, fought the fear, the exhaustion, the unknown, until she was too tired. And just like that, she was gone.

No more daily calls on the way home from work. No more coffee on Saturday mornings. No more softball games. No more visits with my kids on snow days. No more stories about her amazing students. No more pictures of Luna. No more wise words.

And sometimes it feels like I’m going to be bowled over by the tidal wave of loss. I will go under and never come up.

So I take action. Something I learned to do from Nancy.

I call a friend to check in on them. I take a walk. I email my mom to tell her I love her. I read a meditation. I do jumping jacks (rarely). I help someone.

Taking action reminds me that my emotions, my thinking, my anxiety cannot control me. Taking action helps me get out of myself and focus on others, on nature, on connections, on God. Taking action is a way to honor Nancy’s legacy. Taking action is a way to heal.

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