I wasn't sure if I'd remember how to access my blog it had been so long since I had shared anything. So why bother with unearthing it today? Because yesterday I experienced a years-in-the-waiting victory that seemed too important to go unannounced. Maybe you'll find encouragement in it if you, too, suffer from anxiety.
Yesterday I decided to take the girls (ages 16 and 14) shopping for shorts and swimwear. We live in Michigan now and have been living like hermits since the beginning of the quarantine, with retail stores just beginning to open. The plan was to make a day of it: shopping, lunch, and haircuts if time permitted. It was the first time we had a girls' day out in I don't know how long. Seriously, I can't remember the last time...they could have been preschoolers. That's pathetic, I know.
We hit the mall during its revised hours. Without getting into the weeds too much, I'll tell you the youngest immediately found a bathing suit at one of her favorite stores and got a cute haircut thanks to a cancellation at J.C. Penney's salon. The oldest, who hates shopping (one of the reasons we don't do girls' days out) found lots of needed summer clothes. Wins happened all around. We appreciated these minor successes despite the fact the mall was hot especially while wearing masks, the dressing rooms were closed, and the checkout line resembled the wait for Splash Mountain at Disney World.
When we got back to the car it was time for lunch, so I asked one of the girls to research local restaurants with her phone to see what was open for dine-in. As I sat in the driver's seat awaiting the verdict, I was overcome with the realization that I had just had a good time. That I wasn't feeling rushed to return home, anxious at the thought of going out to eat. I was enjoying myself. This may sound like a silly victory to some, but it has been a rare occurrence since my breast cancer diagnosis that I've actually left the house to do something deemed enjoyable and not felt some level of stress. In hindsight, I probably had some degree of social anxiety (if that's what it is) prior to my diagnosis three-and-a-half years ago.
As we ate our lunch, I almost expected dread to seep in because that would be the norm. But it didn't. The food and conversation caused me to lose track of time and were well worth the eye-popping bill I received at the end. Afterwards, again, there was no rush to get home. I didn't have to remind myself that I had medication for this sort of thing if needed. No. We were gals on a mission. Now we had to get shoes. So we did.
I don't know if I've turned a new leaf. If this will mean I'll no longer feel anxious when I'm out for extended periods. But it doesn't matter. I know I CAN enjoy myself and hopefully my girls can enjoy company with an anxiety-free mom from time-to-time. If this IS the new me, I best record a few more audiobooks because there could be more shopping adventures in the days ahead.
Funny that the title "Author" appears above this description yet I have no idea what to share about myself in this space! How about my first name is Kim. My last name is Tisor. Tisor rhymes with miser, though I try not to be one.
For more information about me, please visit the author page.