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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

Lets-Panic.com → 

« Never forget | Main | A Year of Writing course page is up »
Tuesday
Dec312013

Looking for good 

2013 was not my favorite. 2013 was the year of hiding out, of scrabbling around in my hidey-hole, gathering extra blankets to pull over my eyes, upping my anti-anxiety dosages, canceling trips, calling in sick, apologizing for no-shows. I spent most of 2013 waiting for the bad things to happen. I had a list, and I was sure some of them would come to pass; the late-night phone call from an unfamiliar number, the text ending abruptly. I had stomachaches and headaches and every time the phone rang I steeled myself. I had a bunch of scenarios I was ready for; I have an active imagination. My parents would die, my dog would die, there would be an accident, and on and on. 

But it’s never the expected thing, and Charlie was fine, and my parents weathered their storms, and the bad stuff that did occur blindsided me completely, so all my fretting was for naught. Now I’m looking back on the year and thinking of all the people I didn’t see, the trips I didn’t take. I don’t want to beat myself up overly; I know some of this is my biochemical goofiness (technical term), but some of it is nothing more than bad habits. Staying in is always easier than going out. Not doing is always easier than doing. I gave myself the freedom to not do, and maybe I needed that, but no more.

No more waiting for the bad things in 2014. In 2014, I will look for the good. This is my only New Year’s resolution. Whatever happens this year, I’m going to enjoy it as much as I goddamn can.

Happy new year, everyone. Let’s make this one count.

Reader Comments (33)

I'll drink to that. Happy New Year, friend.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren from Chookooloonks

I feel you, lady -- good riddance to 2013. Your site has been a favourite for years and I look forward to reading more from you in 2014. Happy New Year!

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeri

Bad stuff happens, but not the stuff you expect. For me, 2013 included: a broken arm (did *not* see that coming), a cold virus so cataclysmic I lost 9 pounds from lack of appetite (all back now), and the L word (on the kids--I escaped). But as of this moment, my nearest and dearest are alive and healthy (myself included). I am always heartened by your blog posts; thank you.
Onward!

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReid

Great resolution - I think I will join you in it - I've been quite the hermit this year myself. Time to revamp.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl

The bad things can only ever be girded against by being as rarified-you-in-all-your-misinterpreted-strengths as you can be. I learned that (over and over, in fact pritnear to death) in 2009. 2013 was drought with confrontation of others-enforced limits on my once-immeasurable competences: I had moxie and project management and follow-thru like no one's business, except it usually was. Violence and social isolation saw me diminish.
I hope 2014 was the year of hitting bottom. I'd like to know it doesn't get any darker or more dank. But that passive cra

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

The bad things can only ever be girded against by being as rarified-you-in-all-your-misinterpreted-strengths as you can be. I learned that (over and over, in fact pritnear to death) in 2009. 2013 was drought with confrontation of others-enforced limits on my once-immeasurable competences: I had moxie and project management and follow-thru like no one's business, except it usually was. Violence and social isolation saw me diminish.
I hope 2014 was the year of hitting bottom. I'd like to know it doesn't get any darker or more dank. But that passive attitude I just espoused won't get us there. Make it happen, lady. Make the good. Bring it. Sow, sow, and if yr me sew. Reaping's gonna be awesome.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Witness the power of the typo.
(ahem)
Frought.
2013.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Good resolution. Does deciding to comment more count as getting out there? Because I've decided it's mean to read and enjoy and then to click away without any feedback. Looking forward to lots more Finslippy this year!

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Wonderful refection, Wonderful resolution. And, as always, well said.

I love to read your writing!

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLIB

Great resolution, Alice! Sounds like a useful mantra for 2014.

I want you to know: your TPOW course was one of the best things I did in 2013. It unleashed wonderful new possibilities for 2014. So even if you weren't getting out much, you made a difference.

May your 2014 be better than you can imagine. xoxo

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

When I was younger, my (shitty) motto was, "If you always expect the worst, you'll never be disappointed." Except it really doesn't work that way. I thought I was being realistic, but really I was being pessimistic in the worst way, almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When I got a little older, I realized how stupid I was. My new motto became, "Take great joy in small pleasures." A lot of little joys add up to a much happier life. Kids are really good for this. They notice the tiny flower growing through the crack in the sidewalk, the cool cloud shape, the cute dog over there. The more you focus on the little good things, the less time you spend worrying about the bad stuff. At least for me.

I hope 2014 brings you lots of joys, big and small. Your writing touches me in a way few people can. I "get" it. Thanks for being you, Alice.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

This. Yes.
Here's a good thing: some years ago I wrote you asking for advice on how to have a baby if you're an anxious mess. You wrote me back a lovely and encouraging email. My son is now 5 years old and the apple of my eye. Anxiety still here? Check. But so is he.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Fear completely took over my life this year. Never again, Alice. NEVER AGAIN SHAKING FISTS AT SKY. (I'm still skeered, though. Gah.)

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwhoorl

Word.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie May

New year, new job is my motto. So much of my time and self-worth is attached to a job well done and the respect and kindness of my colleagues - finding the right mix of flexibility, dedication (they are not mutually exclusive) and sarcasm where I can shine is my goal. Here's to a healthy (mental and physical) and prosperous year to you, and all your readers! You lighten my days, and I am blessed a friend shared your blog with me several years ago.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYodaMom

Another view to consider for the new year

We spend a lot of time thinking about what to do. We don’t spend enough time thinking about what to stop.

STOP doing lists are often more effective than to-do lists. The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAjweb5

Catastrophizing - is what my doctor called it. Constantly expecting the worst. Yeah, well... Fuck anxiety!! To a great 2014 with focus on the good stuff :)

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelanie

Looking for the good is a healthy resolution. Can't wait to read about what you find!

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKorinthia

Your writing dapples my day with light. Here's to all the sparkle and happiness 2014 can deliver to your doorstep!

Suck it, anxiety.

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWombat Central

loved this. thank you. happy new year.

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlori

Let us collectively un-gird our loins! Happy 2014

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharona Zee

I like the direction you're headed. Happy new year!

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKizz

A quote I have up on my bathroom mirror:

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." (Corrie ten Boom)

Like you said...it's never the expected thing.
I had to put my furry son (dog) to sleep the day after Christmas when the Melanoma tumor in his mouth that I found out about in October got too large and caused too much suffering, and my BF of 3.5 years completely shut me out after a fight the day after Thanksgiving, so all of a sudden I have this new life that doesn't include several people and one furry son that were all there...

Here's to a new year of peace and strength!

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Sounds like a good thing. I have found that the more often I expect negative happens, the more often they do. Have a wonderful 2014!

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Blackwell

I never understood why adults would cry when they were happy. It's that life is bittersweet. I can't possibly stop the "what-ifs"or prepare enough for eventual ruin. Instead, I've got to take life by the balls! Please keep posting. It's refreshing and perfectly zippy.

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

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