I tripped on my shoelace and I fell up.

This spring, I discovered that I have a special talent. If I am going up a set of stairs with a landing in the middle, I will almost certainly fall up the stairs somewhere on the second half. I don’t fall down stairs. Just up. I can’t figure out if it’s just me getting ahead of myself or losing concentration or poor coordination or some sort of harbinger of doom. One minute I was happily climbing the stairs, thinking of all the calories I was burning. The next minute I was bracing myself for a particularly graceful fall. Or trying to keep my balance in front of a bunch of middle schoolers. It is especially important not to fall in front of middle schoolers. They can see you sweat, but they cannot see you fall.

My tendency to get ahead of myself is not limited to stair climbing. No, in my attempts to be a realist, I like to scout out every possible thing that can go wrong and then worry about all of those things. At once. You can identify people like me by our large purses (besides, I need to be able to fit a book AND a water bottle in my purse as well as any and all tools that could be needed for survival) and our overflowing suitcases. In general, I have stopped apologizing for the overflowing suitcase, because I often find that, even if I don’t need all of those things, someone else might. And I think I’ve gotten better at packing anyway. (Though I did overpack for the weekend I just spent at the lake . . . but not by much. Mostly just the hairdryer. I managed to survive without it. I used pretty much everything else, though. Including my Padme beach towel.)

At the end of the school year, I got some upsetting news about what my year might look like next year. And I spent a couple of days being frustrated and sad. When I talk about it now, I still get a little bit worked up, but mostly I am trying something new. I am trying not to get ahead of myself and trying not to worry about what things will look like next year. (I say “trying” because I really do try and then things happen like me waking up in the middle of the night from a dream in which the worst possible scenario really did play out. Holy cow, talk about a nightmare.) I am trying to be faithful in this struggle, to focus on the present rather than falling up the stairs. Next year will be here soon enough. Until then, I am going to try patience and trust that the triumphant twist will either be that things work out the way I want or that I will miraculously be able to deal with whatever it is that comes. Even if I haven’t spent my entire summer worrying about it.

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