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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

What If...

Today the mobile vet made a return visit to our home. They were due to come at 1030 AM so I set an alarm on my phone so I could whisk the patient, Dexy, into the bathroom where she could be held captive for the duration for the exam. The dogs alerted me that the vet and tech had rolled in early so I roused poor Dex from her nap, ran her into the bathroom and turned on the water. I then attempted to shut the closet style, bi-fold door. We had just re-hung it following the hallway floor being re-finished last week. The door fell off in my hand and I let out a shriek. I ran downstairs and flung open the front door in greeting.


“Is everything alright? We heard a scream.”

“Oh. Yes. Door fell off. Oops!” I glanced up the stairs to see Dex scooting out past the door that I had propped against the wall and door opening to block her exit.

“Shit. Just a minute.” I ran upstairs, laid down on my bedroom floor and swatted at the cat with a dirty sock while frantically texting Andrea.


I ran downstairs to fetch the cat nip.

“Sorry. One sec. Catnip.” I mutter, grabbing the cat nip and running back upstairs.

Dex shoots out the other side of the bed and down the steps. In a miracle move, the tech gathers and the 4 of us hustle into the downstairs bathroom where I breathlessly, re-explain my concerns.

“Dex is drinking a lot of water. More than usual. I think she’s lost weight. I’m no vet, that’s why you are here, but I think it’s the diabeetus. I’ve taken to calling her Wilfred Brimley.” I say - probably even with a southern accent but I cannot be sure.

They laugh and probably will never return to my home again because who says that?!

I agree to the senior panel of blood work and give them so much money that, on second thought, they most certainly will return. What’s a little crazy?! I’m harmless.

I spend the remainder of my day fighting with Valvoline about my car. This goes on into the night when the area manager calls me and pronounces my car fine. I behave like a lady and refrain from using the F word. I think. I actually laugh when he tells me they will reimburse me up to $25 a day for a rental car.

“You can’t even rent a Yugo for that!”

He again insists my car is fine. I again say the mechanic disagrees. He suggests a 2nd opinion. I agree and say I will have the car towed to the dealer. He again tells me my car is fine - I can drive it to the dealer. He tells me which dealer, urgently and insistently. I laugh again. No. Not that location. You’re far to interested in the location.

“But this location is much closer.”

“Who cares. I have AAA and can have it towed anywhere at no expense to either of us. Up to a 100 miles.” I argue.

I do say something like, “I am not just some woman...”. But I’m not. You won’t push me around, Valvoline man. This is not how this is going to go. You’re wrong. He tells me they aren’t just going to pay over $7,000 for no reason. You’re right. You’re paying that because you fucked up, I think. I bite my lip. My voice is shot - this cold and I was so mad and upset this afternoon that I just sat down and cried. The diabeetus. Or worse. This car. Will I have a job in the new year? I don’t know but I wanted to know today because what if I need a whole new car? So many unknowns. Does Dex/Wilfred Brimley have diabetes? Or is it something worse? So much stuff - it feels like it’s happening at once. What if... what?

I have decks of tarot and oracle cards. These work through energy. Really. And today I pulled the one below. I consider ripping up all these cards and then burning them outside but that seems like a lot of work so instead I surrender to the message and jam it into this teeny hand so it can taunt me. Yes.... the time it needs isn’t the time I want it to take.

The other day, I talked to someone about how I felt anxious and wanted to do something about it. To fix that feeling.

“What if you just gave yourself permission to be anxious?”

When I was in my late 20s, I experienced this free floating, souls crushing, debilitating anxiety. I tried to drown it in booze. It didn’t work. The anxiety floated to the top. I went to therapy. I learned boundaries and other strategies to combat the anxiety. I stopped drinking. I got super tight with Thich Nhat Hanh and I learned mindfulness. I thought about this the other day - mindfulness and Thich Nhat Hanh.

What if.... you gave yourself permission to sit with the shitty old anxiety?

Yesterday, a work colleague and Facebook friend posted about Thich Nhat Hanh (TNH) and mindfulness. And another colleague remarked that he had a daily reflection book by TNH.

“What’s that called? I must have missed it.” I asked.

“Your True Home.” My colleague replied.

“Thanks! I must have missed that one!” Tonight I snuck into my zen room so I can get all this out and lie down and what did I see on my bookshelf? Your True Home by TNH.

“Jesus.” I mutter and snatch the book off the shelf.

I flip open to 287 since it’s the 287th day of the year. And I find this... Okay.

I resign myself to begin there, in a single breath, in the not knowing. In the anxiety. Giving it the time it needs.

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