When my kids were little, they used to describe the weird feeling of having a fever as having “big/small”. They said that the world felt small, tucked tight around them. But their hands and feet felt big, as if they were filled with helium.
The strange part is that I knew what they meant. I got it.
Now that I am an old lady with sleep and pain issues, and am a happy user of cannabis at night, I REALLY know what they mean.
The room is small. The sounds are big.
So. I was thinking about all of this bizarre focusing in and out and size changing today. Because I was home on my own all day, and I read, watched and listened to WAY too much news.
My focus on my world was BIG. I was forced to confront a crashing stock market, a raging fire in our Amazonian “lungs of the world” and two new cases of deadly EEE in my state.
The big world is terrifying to me right now.
I am afraid of the ticks (lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis). I am afraid of mosquitoes (West Nile Virus, Triple E). I’m scared of getting a sunburn because my Dad died of melanoma.
But even more scary is the fact that the oceans are rising, the largest forest on earth is on fire, and the Russians are promising to create and deploy a new super weapon.
I can barely force myself to leave my house!
If I shop, I’m afraid of e-coli in my produce. I’m afraid that some pissed off guy with a gun will decide to shoot up my grocery store.
The big picture is freakin’ terrifying.
So I turned my focus inward. I made it smaller.
I rubbed my doggies’ bellies. I walked them through out quiet neighborhood. I chatted with my friend and her beautiful one year old daughter.
Looking at the bright blue eyes of that little beauty, I started to think that all was well. My focus was back on my immediate and beautiful world.
I looked at the flowers in my yard. At the crazy weeds jumping out of the fertile earth. I laughed at the ridiculous pumpkin plant that it now ten feet up in a tree.
It felt safe. I felt comforted.
But then I got home. And looked again at Twitter.
The big came back; the lies and insanity of our President hit me in the face.
I clicked off and scrolled through pictures of my grandchildren.
I thought about my own kids. About how deeply and purely I loved them when they were little, and how much I love them now.
Big focus: My retirement fund is melting before my eyes.
Small focus: My house is clean and calm and comfortable.
Big: The world can’t live through this much climate damage.
Small: My yard is blooming effortlessly, and the grass never went brown.
And so it went, my focus and my fear swinging wildly from the worst to the best of feelings.
The oaks are full of acorns. We may have a cold and snowy winter. But I have a freezer full of corn, beans, peas and carrots.
Social media is full of rage and hate. But my grandchildren, my dogs and the lovely little girl next door are full of unconditional love.
I need to learn how to keep my focus on the little things, and keep the big things in my peripheral vision.