She was so happy that she almost felt frightened.

Cavendish Grove

It is no secret that I am a half-empty sort of person. The word pessimist doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sometimes it comes across worse than I intended, simply because I prefer to think things through, to consider possible consequences. Sometimes I drown myself in those what-ifs, overwhelmed to the point of being paralyzed.

So I have been surprised lately to realize that I am feeling – it’s hard for me to even say it, for fear that I might jinx it – content. I know, I know, you think it’s because of the baby. But I have some witnesses who could tell you otherwise. The baby is still exciting and terrifying me in equal measures. It’s not just the baby that’s a good thing in our lives, though. There have been several things this summer that have made me realize what a good place we are in, with our beautiful house, our great jobs, and the time we have spent together. I feel – and, again, I don’t want to jinx it – as if I have begun to learn how to choose to be a better version of myself.

It’s frightening to admit to being happy, even to myself. It’s hard to keep from believing that it’s the calm before the next storm or that something terrifying might be coming. And maybe that’s true. That is how it seems to work. That’s my usual mode of operation. Maybe I will look back and laugh at these feelings of contentment.

But maybe not. Maybe some of the things that have happened in recent years have taught me something about growing. Right now I feel as if I am not just growing a baby, but that I am growing into myself.

As I was writing this, I knew that it echoed something I had read many times. I finally realized that it was my old friend Anne Shirley, which was appropriate since we just visited her Island. Even hopelessly optimistic Anne worried about happiness from time to time. I am comfortable being in such good company.

As for Anne herself, she was so happy that she almost felt frightened. The gods, so says the old superstition, do not like to behold too happy mortals. It is certain, at least, that some human beings do not.Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery

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  1. I think that it’s about setting appropriate expectations for everything, myself. For example, my new job: I knew it would be a big change, that it would be hard in a number of ways, that I’d work a lot of long hours doing it. I knew it would be hard to go from working in an office to working in a virtual office and not having people drop anchor in my office every hour or so. I had all these ideas about how it would be different and perhaps not any better than the old job. But the new job has surprised me.

    I do think that you’re growing—reading here has convinced me of that.

    Posted 7/23/2010 at | Permalink
  2. I love that Anne quote. Even if a storm is brewing, enjoy these moments. I know Anne would!

    Posted 7/23/2010 at | Permalink
  3. Lilly

    I’ve been a lurker on your blog for about a year, but I felt compelled to comment on today’s entry. I see a lot of similarities in our personalities and it isn’t easy to admit being a worrier. Also like you, I’m a huge Anne of Green Gable fan! I don’t really have anything profound to offer to the discussion today, but just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it!

    Posted 7/23/2010 at | Permalink
  4. I’m re-reading Anne of Green Gables right now (listening, actually)! I love that you are feeling more content these days, friend. 🙂

    Posted 7/23/2010 at | Permalink
  5. Well said. I really resonated with feeling ‘paralyzed’ by worry and fear. It is so hard to live in the here and now without worrying about what lays ahead. I also loved how you referred to PEI as Anne’s island, because it sooooo is. I think I am going to read the series again this summer!

    Posted 7/25/2010 at | Permalink

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