Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thoughts...on thinking.

more tea

I think a lot. I know that's a weird statement to make, but sometimes I think I think too much (see, there I go thinking again...about thinking). But really, my mind is always going, and I'm always pondering this or that, here or there. I have not only a wild imagination but in the past I've also tended to worry more than necessary, which is not always the best combination. I'm incredibly introspective and I often think about strange, morbid things. Why I don't know, but I've been this way my entire life.

Sometimes I find myself thinking about how happy I am. I feel very, very blessed in my life. More than anything, I'm grateful for this love I have with my husband. I couldn't imagine anything better in my life, and as silly as it sounds, Hank is really and honestly my dream come true. I think we have a very special kind of love, and I feel so fortunate to experience it. With that said, if I think too much about being happy, I start to think about what a precarious perch happiness is. There's a Death Cab song that says "And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time." This couldn't be more true. It's crazy to think that every single day is a silent little hope that we make it to the end. It makes me think about one of my closest friends, my "little brother," who passed away a few years ago unexpectedly right around this time. I had seen him earlier that day, and I was able to give him a hug and tell him I loved him. I didn't know it would be the last time I'd ever see him, and that our plans for the next evening would never happen.

This kind of thing terrifies me. After Kendall died I became obsessed with thinking that every time I saw someone I loved it might be the last time I ever saw them. There couldn't be a more true statement though, because that is really a true possibility. It's scary and upsetting and I hate thinking about it. I don't know. I get into these emotional moods where I just start thinking and thinking about loss and how quickly everything good in my life could be gone. Does anyone else do this? It's a weird, weird thing that I don't do often but when I'm feeling emotional it's thoughts like these that make me feel so sad.

I think though, that with happiness this fear comes hand in hand. Of course when things are wonderful, there is the chance it could disappear. But what does this mean?

To me, when I feel this way, and I get over feeling down for those moments, I am reminded to love so hard, and live as much as I can. It is indeed true that everything we love can be gone in a moment, but isn't that just the way it goes? Life has a tragic frailty to it, and if we live our lives in a bubble of fear, if we go about our business with this in the back of our minds at all times, how can we enjoy the beautiful moments? If we fill our head with worry, how will there be any room for joy? Over the past couple of years I've taught myself to take the fears and negative thoughts I have and spin them into positive ones. It's not easy, but when I start to feel upset, or start to get those familiar doomsday thoughts, I remind myself that I feel that way because I am in fact happy. To have good, there must be bad. Happiness does not exist without the other side of the coin existing as well.

Life makes no promises, whether we worry or not, and the sooner we can accept this, the sooner we can go through life with a light heart. I'm sure once my little one is born I will be filled with a new kind of fear. Life will soon be about Henry, and with that deep love that I can't even fathom at this point, comes that familiar reminder that life is fragile. And that moments are fleeting. And I know I am going to be so, so scared of all of the unknown for him. I'm scared now. I'm frightened about this huge responsibility of raising a life, protecting my son, and all of the things that will or won't happen. But dwelling in the what-ifs and the oh-nos will only take me away from the happy moments. So I remind myself to enjoy. Life is short, and we don't know what will happen tomorrow. But by focusing on the happiness I have today, and loving and living, and trying my best to make sense of this crazy world, I can regain some sense of balance.

Reminding myself to let go of the negativity isn't always easy, and some days it is downright impossible. But like anything it takes practice. You fall, you get up, you try again. I'm getting to a place where falls are rare, but I still have my skinned knees and bruised shins to prove where I've been. They fade with time, but luckily they are always there to remind me to keep going. Nowadays I allow sad times to push me back into happy ones, the down thoughts to remind me that up does, in fact, exist.

Above all else, life is beautiful. If we could predict every little thing about it, most of that beauty would be dulled. So I keep on going, keep on loving, keep on...keeping on. Reminding myself that all I can do is continue to strive for positivity, a light heart, and days full of love and laughter and peace...and I hope you'll join me. :)


  1. I am the same exact way. I thought I was the only person who did this. I constantly catch myself looking at a loved one and I will start to tear up thinking about losing them. Even if we are just eating dinner! I constantly worry about everything and anything and always thing the worst has happened when someone doesn't answer their phone. And the list goes on. I try not to think like this but it kind of consumes you. Then I just try and get back to the mindset that I can not live always thinking this way and that I need to enjoy the here and now. Thats the reality of it :) Good to know im not crazy!

  2. I completely understand about thinking too much. I do that a lot as well. It drives my husband crazy... He's always telling me to let go. I really try, but it is indeed difficult. I was watching a wonderful marathon of Miami Ink today since I was sick and really, what else is there to do when you're sick? There was a customer who was explaining how when people see tattoos their first question is, "Did it hurt?" What he said next was just like.. DUH. But it hit me. He said "Doesn't anything worthwhile hurt or put you at risk to hurt?" And its true. Just living life (fully) puts you at life to experience pain, but when you let go and live, its always worth it.

    I'm sorry for your loss, Hun. But, at least you had the great of experience of knowing such a great friend. :) Could you imagine if you were so caught up in worry & thinking that you cut off people from your life & never got to know such amazing people?


    Love, Bridgette.

  3. I know exactly what you're talking about - I had a close friend pass away out of the blue about a month ago, and since then, that's what I think about when I say goodbye to anyone I come into contact with.......

    This was so beautifully written

  4. I remember when that happened. We were in the same year in high school. People your age aren't supposed to die. It shook my view on things quite a bit.

  5. I think it's only natural to get hung up on this stuff especially as an introspective person. Or if not, then I'm weird too :)

    It sounds like you have it right- let yourself go there and explore those places without letting them take over if you can help it. Having lost a close friend, and being so close to having Henry must heighten all of these feelings. <3

    The thing is that you'll be amazing and you'll teach little Henry to look out for himself, and he'll have a whole legion of people looking out for him. Being actively engaged in our lives and the lives around us means we have a lot to lose- but it means we're brave every day, in every connection we make and every meaningful moment we're a part of.

    And it's not brave unless you're a little scared :)

  6. I totally know what you mean! I face those fears all the time.

  7. This is completely unrelated to your post, but I've always wondered. What does Hank do for a living?

  8. Absolutely, I think about these things often, and come to the same conclusion as you. It's a process I have to go through over and over, to come to the same conclusion. Once we have tremendous suffering or loss, we cannot- should not - see life the same again.

    YOu are very pregnant- like I am :)- and these kinds of things are much more on my mind lately as well.

  9. wow I do this all the time. I even take it to how would I live with out Jesse or our little guy I love them so much. I make it so morbid in my mind I seriously make myself sick. If they take too long at the grocery store and don't answer their phone I worry they could of been in a car wreck and I'll play the whole thing out and start panicking in my mind. Weird right. But I've also started thinking of all the good things in my live as soon as I start to dwell on things I do not have control over. And so far it's worked. In my mind I have to have any situation resolved or my mind just keeping going over it whether it's about myself, family, or work related. I'm defiantly an over thinker too.
    I love these bits you write, makes people not feel so crazy:) Oh and along with motherhood comes so many more what ifs and fear but like you said a completely sheltered life in a bubble is not a beautiful one.

  10. Hi, I just wanted to stop by and give some blog lovin. I really enjoy reading your blog!

  11. I love this. I blogged instead of commenting, here http://www.niceties.co.nz/2010/10/brainspew.html

  12. You have hit on something I've been feeling since my Mum passed away, and I really appreciate your openness on your blog. You have a great way of writing and expressing yourself, and it helps me think through some of the everyday life stuff that just get a bit hard sometimes. I love your positive spin and recently I've been making a huge effort to let my loved ones know how special they are. I am going to keep this post in mind from now on. :)

  13. This is me as well! I love reading posts like this (and the wonderful comments left on them).

    Someone told me today one must remember to "live well in the absence and presence of depression"/insert whatever your thing is. I had never thought of it like that before, but it is so, so true. Live well, even during the Down times. Life is too short of be put on hold when we aren't experiencing the Up.

  14. I'm sorry for your loss.
    I recently had a health scare. I've had several over the past few years...but this time, I was really scared. It seems as though things are going to be okay...but I've got three boys, ages 4, 11 & 12. The thought of not being there for them to watch them grow...and the thought of not spending the years with my husband that I was sure we would have was frightening. You truly do have to let loved ones know how much they mean to you and live each day to the fullest.

  15. oh goodness... this post hit home for me. i am totally an overthinker, my brain is constantly GOING, and i think about a lot of these things, too. i find myself being afraid of this and that and "what if this happened?" and i literally start to make myself crazy. and then i realize that focusing on the negative takes time away from all the positive things to focus on in my life, and i need to tell my mind to slow down and just enjoy every single precious second that i am given on this earth.

    this week has been one of those times where i've been focusing on fear and negativity, and reading this post was just what i needed to snap out of it. you are a dear soul, danielle, thank you. <3

  16. You have such a wonderful outlook on life, so so wonderful. I'm so bogged down in the negatives and the fear I often forget to simply live.

  17. I know that feeling.
    But it's normal to think about this kind of stuff. It makes you sad, but it's just another reason to celebrate life and be happy :)

    xx Thanks for the wonderful post

  18. You are most definitely in my mind. Heh.. who knows... maybe we would get along? I am the same way. But, even when the negativity consumes me... I can count on myself to wake up and the emotions are reset to 0... every day. It's like I have an emotion-timer. Haha.. so weird.

    Definitely loved this post.

  19. We may have been separated at birth... ;)
    Don't let anyone or anything steal your joy.
    Don't let anyone or anything steal your peace.

    You have beautiful blessings in your life... when you find yourself worrying just repeat that. "Nothing can steal this joy!"

  20. my friend very recently passed away and i have been obsessing over these same thoughts, it's like you've read my mind and written down my thoughts better than i ever could have. the whole life/death thing becomes even more so real when you have a baby or you are getting ready to bring a baby into the world. it's like you look at this little human and truly, fully realize for the first time just how fragile life really is. scary.

  21. I can completely relate!! Really. Thank you!

  22. This is a beautifully written post and a nice remind to enjoy today. In high school, three of my classmates died in car accidents over the four years I was there. I couldn't help but be filled with worry and anxiety anytime someone I loved would be on car trip. At 16 years old having friends pass away suddenly is a shocking wake-up to the fragility of life, but as you said we can't live each day filled with worry and missing out on joy.

  23. I honestly think I could have written this exact post. Wow.
    Before I met Brian I feel like I kind of lived really freely and somewhat carelessly. Now I can't even get on an airplane without hyperventilating and I'm a HUGE baby driving in the snow, I have become a hypochondriac of sorts always thinking Brian has some terminal illness. Someone asked me recently what the heck happened to me and after days and days of trying to figure it out I realized that I'm deathly afraid of losing my happiness. It really is a silly way to live but I've never been so happy and so grateful to have someone in my life and I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop / plane to drop? I dont know.. but I think I'm getting better at just enjoying life and trying to only be concerned about the things I can control. oh and yoga helps! siiighhh!

  24. I am the exact same way. Sometimes I wish I could just turn my brain off so I can enjoy the moment I am in to the fullest. I am so inspired by your honesty and bravery for posting these thoughts on your blog. I often get embarrassed and think I am crazy for thinking too much about how I think too much and worrying about things I have no control over. It is often difficult to just let go of fears and let yourself be really happy. Thank you so for inspiration and for letting me feel like I am not alone!

    p.s. i LOVE your blog:)

  25. I love that song, although it is one of the most sad and true songs that I have ever heard. It was running through my head when I visited my grandfather in the alzehiemer's ward at his care center. Because it takes a lot of love to watch someone die.

    And I can relate to your anxieties so well! Almost 6 years ago I log a very dear friend unexpectedly on a Sunday. My mother and I discovered the body of her best friend that Wednesday. He had likely passed on Monday. I'm sure you can imagine the level of anxiety I dealt with after that (and still do). I can't help but get very concerned if I don't hear from friends or family. I try to keep it under control, but it is hard, even half a decade later. If my husband doesn't answer his phone after three tries, my mind immediately jumps to such rational thoughts as "He got in a car accident on a test drive (he's a mechanic), and no one bothered to call and tell me). He laughs it off pretty well, but it makes me feel crazy just admitted I feel this way. I nkow that I have plenty to be grateful for, and I know that worrying certainly doesn't stop bad things from happening, but still the head and the heart aren't alwayss on the page.

  26. And I should learn to proof my comments before I publish. Sorry for all the mistakes! And I claim to be a lover of words. I guess it goes to show that your post struck something in me and I wanted to get it out, errors be damned!

  27. This is such a beautiful post! It takes a deep person who has undergone a great deal of growth to come to these conclusions. It is so easy to remain stuck in the fear-based mentality but much harder to recognize it and make a conscious change in attitude. Keep doing what you're doing! Hopefully more people will begin living this way!

  28. Oh honey. I'm sorry about Kendall I had no idea. That must have been completely devastating.
    I'm also right there with you on overthinking/analyzing EVERYTHING. It actually made me feel a bit better knowing I wasn't alone in this, ha! It's usually when I'm alone in my thoughts like laying in bed or driving without the music on.

  29. Danielle - I love this post.

    Angelina Jolie once said: “If I think more about death than some other people, it is probably because I love life more than they do.”

    I think that is so true. Not only do I love life, I love the people in my life and the world around me. I do think about death because I don't want to leave this wonderful place and the people who fill my heart with more love than sometimes I think it can hold.

    I think people (like you and me) who unabashedly love and relish life and all that it entails are different in a lot of ways, one being that along with that love comes a fear of not having it and we tend to think about that more than others might. That is my theory anyway.

    About eighteen months ago, I had open heart surgery at the age of 32. It was unexpected, very whirlwind, emergency surgery and there was, of course, a chance I would die. My heart beat only with help from a machine for 48 minutes during my three hour surgery.

    Since then, I feel like my heart has literally been burst wide open. I do cry sometimes when I see people I love. I can't help it. My dog will do something cute and I cry. My cat will lick my face and I cry. They aren't tears of sadness at all. They are more tears of joy for being where I am, for being as blessed as I am, for being thankful and ALIVE. And, perhaps, a bit of them are tears for the sad thought of not having all that I'm blessed with anymore.

    Since the surgery especially, I make an effort to be completely who I am and to tell those around me what they mean to me, even if it happens to come at an odd time. I just BURST out and say it because, what better time than now?

    I do feel the sadness and worry that you feel and I totally get it. I've been truly afraid of dying and know what joy it is to be alive and blessed as I am.

    So, maybe there aren't a lot of people out there who think just like you do (and I do) but know that it likely means that your heart is fuller and more open and that is a good thing.

    Sorry for the epic post. :)


    Karen Beth

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  31. I am so sorry to hear about Kendall! I also lost a loved one around this time. Reading this blog post inspired me so much because I've been having such a hard time lately. I always try to stay positive and think of all the beautiful things in life! You are such a beautiful person! And I want you to know just how much you inspire me. Thank you so much for sharing this - it means a lot!

  32. I thought about losing my loved ones especially after I had my baby. She brought so much joy to our lives, and then I would get thinking about losing her or me dying and I would bawl.

    Its something I still find my brain thinking about, and I gotta keep telling myself that I need to enjoy the time I have for however long it will be.

  33. i feel just the same way. now i'm finally at a place after many sudden sadnesses where i know that worrying about something doesn't prevent it from happening, and that rather than worry i need to be present in all of my moments. I try to not take anything for granted and my husband is the same way. because of that, our partnership is slow to anger, full of love, and we are both very easily made happy. life is good the way it is, and when things are painful, it stinks, but if we learn and grow, then life is all the better. there are things we can't prevent, and we don't have many regrets if we are present all the time. so. that's all i got.

  34. "Life has a tragic frailty to it, and if we live our lives in a bubble of fear, if we go about our business with this in the back of our minds at all times, how can we enjoy the beautiful moments?"

    I really needed to hear that today. The last few days have been fraught with fear/panic for me... I am trying my best to take a step back and gain perspective. This was so encouraging!


    All this is Grace and Charm

  35. I also think all the time. A lot of times I can't fall asleep because my brain won't shut off.

    I dont worry about things though. I'm too laid back and carefree.

  36. Admittedly, I sometimes have thoughts similar to this, also. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if someone really close to me died. Or if I died. What would happen to the people around me? My puppy? My things? Would I be forgotten? Is everyone forgotten? I think this is completely natural, and it takes moments like these to make us remember the ups! Without the downs, there'd be no ups. See?


  37. You clearly aren't alone :)

    I do this same thing too ... I've always been like that, but it got much worse after nursing school, going through clinicals and all the ICUs in a major area hospital. All I could think about was what could possibly happen to the people I loved. I thought about my patients' loved ones a lot, and what I would do and how I would feel if I was in a similar situation.

    Luckily, I worked through a lot of that, and don't dwell on it like I used to. I try to focus on the positive, and how good my life is :)

  38. i think the same way... it's been really getting me down lately. thanks for your encouraging and positive words!

  39. My Dad died a little over a year ago. And then my Grandma just a few weeks later, both unexpected.

    I am still too afraid to answer the phone sometimes, knowing that because I live a few hours away and I wasn't there for them when it happened. It is something that hits you at moments when you least expect it and it's all part of life.

    I guess the moral is to cherish the ones you have when you do have time with them.


  40. i have (unexpectedly) lost way too many loved ones in my life so i can completely relate to those thoughts. the only way to not go crazy is to live every day to the fullest and expect the positive. if the negative happens, there will be enough time to worry about and deal with it. doing it too often just takes away possibly beautiful moments instead of enjoying them. sounds easier said then done but hey, it's a start! :)

  41. Glad I'm not alone on this. I think SO much and sometimes I feel like maybe it limits me from living to the fullest, but then I realize that that is all the more reason to be spontaneous and keep doing things, because you never know when my time will be done here. My dad died unexpectedly when I was 16, so I know what it's like to lose someone close -- and then even when my pup died on 7 mos. old a few years ago, it terrified me! When I got my new puppy this year, I just wanted to call in sick and be with her at all times. I just hope that when i'm a mama, I'll be able to get my shit together! ha. :)

  42. I thought about things just like you though after your friend Kendall died. It prompted me to write about some close friends of mine that died over the past few years. Here's the link if you are interested:

    I love reading your stuff and it makes me think about so many things that are good to think about!

    Thanks =]


  43. i teared up reading this. randomly my mind goes into a dark corner and i think about this kind of loss. i honestly thought something was wrong with me. seriously, who thinks up these things...apparently a lot people. thanks so much for this post.

  44. i definitely feel the same way about seeing someone for the last time. since my grandfather died, i've always had this fear, especially with older family members. a few times i've said i love you and given an extra long hug, afraid it would be my last, only to find out shortly after that it was. chin up, lady. <3

  45. I started to think/feel similar things after my father passed away (10 years ago) Eventually it subsided, and i stopped always worrying, until my son was born. Now i worry, constantly about him. I think it's normal though, and i'm sure all parents do this to some extent. Some people have never experienced the loss of someone very close to them, it can be hard to understand. I think it helps me appreciate him more. I treasure even the cranky moments.

  46. I'm the same way with the death thing. My brother was never around very much because he was into bad things. We saw him, but it wasn't like he was really a part of the family. On August 14th 2006 he killed himself. I have 2 other older brothers who do drugs and drink. And when my brother died, I knew I wasn't there for him in every way possible. And now any time my older brothers have problems, here I am their little sister, who doesn't drink, do drugs or have been through anything really 'that' hard in life. I force myself to be there for them. At all costs, because I'm scared that even if they are having a bad day because they stubbed their toe, I may not be there if that 'one thing' puts them over the edge and I'm not able to save them. Like I couldn't save my brother who died.

    I also find so much similarity in just your little paragraph on the side of your page. I too hope to be a stay at home mom. I'm engaged, waiting to be married. Can't wait to start a family. And live in a farm house on the outside of a city that has a starbucks. :D hah.

    Dreams that will someday come true. But as your blog started, mine ends. I think myself into insanity sometimes. I actually have a blog of my ramblings, nothing important. not even logged on to post this so I post semi-anon.

    Feel better. <3

  47. You are so lovely!! :} you will definitely be a fantastic mum~~