I love the featured photos on my iphone. Fun memories (…and awkward selfies) pop up every day, and I’m reminded of shared experiences with my favorite humans. I enjoy checking it and then sending those pictures to family and friends, so they can enjoy a walk down memory lane too. Anything that feels like connection these days feels like a win.
Recently, my friend, Molly, found a selfie we took on a plane before flying out to Califorina for the NCAA Sweet 16. We laugh now because little did we know that flight was about to be one of the worst flights either of us have ever taken. We experienced what felt like “next level” turbulance for a good three hours.
And I have flight anxiety.
Not a little bit. A lot bit.
So, you can imagine how well I handled the situation. Molly lovingly laughs about how I clutched my big bag of Skinny Pop like a security blanket. You see, one of my airport rituals is to head into the gift shops and overpay for a stupid amount of snacks and magazines. There is something about having enough snacks and reading material that makes me feel safe.
As I sit back and examine this tendency, I can actually locate the exact moment where this became “a thing” for me. I’ve mentioned before that I lost my dad to Leukemia when I was 6 years old. I can vividly remember the day my mom came home to share this devastating news. We sat on my canopy bed in my pink and white bedroom with the brown carpet, and while I can’t remember the exact words which were spoken, I can remember my heart sinking as I tried to comprehend the fact that my dad was gone forever.
My dad and I had a very special bond. So, the way my mom tells the story, upon hearing the news, I flew off my bed. Overcome by my grief…in a fit of sadness and madness, I ripped the blinds off my window. Hot tears gushed down my face as I turned to her and asked, “Will we have enough food to eat?”
I’ve gotten pretty good at telling this story. But I will tell you, every time I mention that last detail, I choke up. I feel it. It’s like I’m six years old again, and I’m worried about having enough of what we need.
I’m more aware now and working on it, but this worry about having enough has followed me my entire life. It has informed the way I grocery shop and the way I take inventory of my favorite products. It has informed the professional risks I’ve been willing to take. It has even caused interesting buying behavior in airports. Swedish Fish, Chex Mix, Peanut M&M’s – oh my!
When that little voice creeps up with “not enough,” I try to kindly speaking common sense back to it.
As I unpacked this personal truth with Molly, she said something that I will never forget. “When certain situations push you out of your norm, ‘enough’ is relative. You weren’t looking for enough not to starve. You were looking for enough to feel taken care of. And both are very valid.”
There are kids all over this world who are worried about having enough and being enough. There are adults all over this world who are worried about the same. Anything we can do to provide security and assurance, so they can climb out of their reptilian brains and into the beauty of the present moment, we should do it.
We can’t do our best work or our best learning when we don’t feel safe.
So, let’s look below the surface to truly see and care for the people in our circles. Many of whom are hiding behind a big smile and a bag of popcorn.
Anything we can do might be just enough to help someone get through the day or week.