Holy Anxiety

I wore a skort to church one Sunday when I was 9-years-old.

I mistakenly sat at the end of the wooden pew which left me susceptible to outside hand holding during the “Our Father”. Sure enough, the young (cute) boy across the aisle reached out with his clammy right hand, ready for my awkward embrace. The rest of mass he kept glancing over in my direction. My crimson face didn’t do much to hide my embarrassment.

It’s my skort, I thought. I am definitely seducing him with my skort.

Needless to say, I didn’t wear a skort again until sophomore year of high school when boys started to be more appealing, yet equally as frightening.

As a third generation worrier, I’ve had some level of anxiety since I can remember.  I didn’t really label my strange childhood nuances as anxiety until adulthood, when I came to understand the feelings on a deeper level.  

Most days I’m grateful to be able to manage my anxious thoughts and worries with prayer, yoga, breathing, writing, positive mantras, travel, running, calming rituals, and so on.

Mental health is seemingly at the forefront of conversations lately, which is really where it should be. Or maybe I’m just noticing it more because of the people in my life who are increasingly affected by it.

After leaving my doctor’s office this week for an annual physical, I couldn’t help but feel like our visit was incomplete.  Why didn’t she ask me how my brain was feeling? Why didn’t she ask how I’ve been doing emotionally? Isn’t that just as important as a skin check and breast exam?

It also got me thinking about what I can do as a mom to encourage enough moments of serenity in the beautiful chaos of life for my daughter and family. I think it’s probably a combination of leading by example and sharing coping tools, activities and open communication. 

As of now, she spends most of her time squealing with joy and doing headstands with her 5-toofed smile. I hope she stays this care-free forever.

But just in case, for fashion’s sake and all that is holy, I think I’ll spare her the skort experience altogether.

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