Om, Nothing Bad, Om

Every morning when I wake up, I find myself involuntarily chanting a kind of mantra to myself: "Nothing bad. Nothing bad." This started a few years ago when Nettl and I were in the midst of crises that nearly crippled us. We've gone through 10 years that I never want to repeat. Health issues, financial setbacks, emotional turmoil, deaths, personal attacks—you name it, we went through it...

Our move to this lovely little cottage, though a "move down" by some people's estimation, was the best decision we've ever made. Slowly over the 10 months that we've been here we've gotten on our feet and, outside of the past month's string of events (washing machine broke, got a huge leak in the laundry closet, AC broke, main drain backed up and, worst of all, Nettl nearly died and had to have emergency surgery), things are going pretty good. At least, if we had to go through those things, we weren't flat busted. Unlike the first six months we were here, we had food in the fridge, and we ate Ramen because we got a craving for it, not because it's all we could afford. We don't have a lot—we have to be careful and still can't go out like we used to in our dating days—but we're okay. If we feel like going to the local sonic for a cherry-limeade, or if we want to go out to dinner once every couple of weeks, we can.

Anyway, in the past decade I've gotten so used to my upon-waking panic attacks that when I wake up now, I have to say to myself, "Nothing bad is happening" as my sleep-shrouded brain struggles to remember that the rent and bills are paid, there's a little money in the bank, and we can eat. The mantra has shortened itself to the aforementioned "Nothing bad. Nothing bad."

I'm waiting for the day when I've gotten so used to life being secure that I cease to hear myself say it at all. That might take a little time.

When something goes wrong,
I'm the first to admit it;
I'm the first to admit it,
And the last one to know.

When something goes right,
Well, it's likely to lose me,
It's apt to confuse me,
It's such an unusual sight;
I can't get used to something so right.

Something So Right by Paul Simon