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New Years Eve

The Bullseye

Let’s get one thing straight right now:

I. Am. An. Alarmist.  My family knows it. My friends know it. Even I know it…..

Strangely enough, my neighbors have caught on …. “Yea so, we didn’t tell you about the break in two streets over because we knew you get…..ummmmmmmm……scared very easily.  Remember the last neighborhood break-in you heard about?  You suggested our street hire the swat team for extra protection?”

My children have learned to roll with it. But sometimes I think I may embarrass them.

IZZY: “Momma, why did you have to run through the parking lot of the Country Club in your pajamas? You were wearing those ugly fuzzy slippers (you promised you’d throw away) with your arms flailing and screaming “NO! NO! Stop Izzy – get away from the balcony, you’re about to fall! Hold on…..Mommy’s coming!!! STOP!!!!  GET BACK!!!!!!!!!!”

MOMMA:  “Well, excuse me for living, Miss Priss.  I came to pick you up a lil early after your dance and imagine my surprise to see your body dangling from the second story balcony?!?  Why would you lean over the railing for heavens sakes, those things aren’t fool proof, you know?!!! Instantly, I imagined you losing your balance and before my very eyes, your body would be splattered on the ground below.  It was devastating.”

IZZY:  “I was not dangling. We were taking pictures on the balcony.”

MOMMA: “You dangled and you know it!!!!”

IZZY: “Ok momma.  Would you please at least brush your hair before leaving the house next time?”

With catastrophic thinking, a side effect is the dreaded CLAUSTROPHOBIA.  My children are accustomed to this as well. Just this past week in Hilton Head….

JAKE: “Momma, we know that you’re not dashing up and down 4 flights of stairs ‘for the exercise’, you’re afraid the elevator will break.”

MOMMA: “I’m not scared.  That man standing in front of us was a heavy breather and he was sucking up all the air.  Besides that, the elevator made a sound. I distinctly heard it.  The elevator clicked a little.  I had to hop out so I could be the one to call the fire department when it jammed.  You should thank mommy for being so alert…….”

JAKE:  “Yea. Soooooo you didn’t have to shove the nice man outta the way….”

And I can explain.  I have several good reasons, countless really, to justify my alarmist mentality.  Let’s put it this way. Just recently, my own sister told me: “I was talking about you the other day.  I told my friend that my little sister has a bullseye on her back.  If something bad is going to happen, it will seek her out and POW! Hit her right in the kisser! It’s amazing, really.”

Amazing huh?

When my sister told me this, I felt very sorry for myself.  Truly, I did.

But then, all my self-help reading and writing kicked in and the thought occurred to me: So yea, maybe there IS a bullseye on your back.  So what?  Maybe you should consider yourself lucky. And just maybe, from now on, that bullseye will attract only GOOD things. Instead of being a target for the bad, you are destined and marked for only good things.

And I liked this idea much, much better.

Last week, my two children and I had a most fabulous New Year’s Eve trip, maybe the sweetest eva… It was quiet, beautiful and confrontation free.  We went to our condo in Hilton Head Island where we hopped in the reclining chairs, threw those babies in reverse, cracked open boiled peanuts, read books, watched movies and hit the after Christmas sales.

For once, nobody got bored: “Momma – is this all there is?  Like dirt and water?  Can we leave early?  There’s so much more to do in Atlanta.”

There was no complaining: “Oh looky here momma, all my friends had a surprise birthday party for Mary. Here they are on Instagram having fun while I stare at dead horseshoe crab carcasses with their guts spattered on the beach.  Good call, mom!”

When it rained, nobody sighed loud venomous sighs of defeat – “If we were back in Augusta, we could be going to the movies with our friends – yep, there’s a big crowd going at 4:00.  I think they’re up to 14 people.  Yea, gosh.  And I’ve really been wanting to see that movie……”

Instead, as it rained, we all three lined up on our balcony – 3 black beetles parked on a slice of white bread during a Sunday picnic. Snuggled under our blankets (we all bring our own or arguments over who has the softest blanket erupts) to watch the poor innocent lovers dash madly off the beach to keep from getting their hair wet.  Doesn’t anybody ever look at their weather channel for crying out loud?

Life was good and bullseyes free.

This morning I woke up at 5:00 to write. Ok 5:20.  I checked my email and saw a video of the Hilton Head condo below us burning.  Since we had just left days before, my alarmist mentality kicked in.

Now, I will be honest, those people would not have wanted me at that fire.  I. would. Have. Gone. Ballistic……

I hate this side of me, truly I do.  I watched the video over and over and over.  What if it was that sweet crippled man that lives in our condos was trapped?  Are our smoke detectors working? Are the people coming in behind us ok? What if we were still there and all had on our wind machines and didn’t hear the alarms?! (This is very possible due to the fact that we all carry our own noise makers, click on our cell phone white noise apps and add the bathroom fans for extra measure.)  Don’t ask me why.  We are weird.

I staggered around my room this morning, trying to find my lap top to watch the video more clearly. All the while, my mind is racing…..

What if?! What if?! What if?

And then it hit me – settle down, sister. Had you and your children still been there, it would have been ok.  You would have known to get them out safely and since they automatically take the 4 flights steps with you, they know the exit route well. Instead of imagining you and your children being there next to that fire or worse yet in that fire, you have that bulleyes slab dab on you.  And remember, from now on, that bullseye means you are marked for GOOD things.