Caroline’s alarm goes off early and she’s gone before I’m fully awake. I listen to the rain that has finally arrived. As soon as I begin to worry about her friend driving her to the mall, I know I cannot travel this path. This worry, so familiar, is no longer my friend.
There’s so much to think about and so little of it is helpful. An hour later, I don’t let myself read about the car accidents in the paper. I mean, Caroline is clearly already at the mall.
Instead, I read a book galley written by Pico Ayer, a meditation on autumn and death and family and Japanese culture. I turn over the corners of pages with sentences I want to read again. The words crimson, time, daughter, wife, familial, ancestral, all of it is interesting, stunning, better than thinking about cars and the rain and how I need to believe the future has gifts, and although I can’t make the future promise me safety, I can work to override my brain’s negativity bias.
I mean the truth of the matter is that Ayer finds pleasure in his days through playing ping pong with senior citizens. The truth of the matter is we take pleasure where we can make it and find it. Worry gives me no pleasure. I train myself to notice and then step away, step back, step into something else. Whether it’s reading a book, working on a deadline, putting together a puzzle or cleaning the kitchen. The bigger question is what gives me pleasure. I don’t think the answer is ping pong. I think there are many answers. I hope some of them surprise me.
See you tomorrow!