Sometimes I drive down my long, steep driveway and think, “How am I going to deal with this in the winter?” How will I shovel it all? How will I get all the ice off? How will I muster the courage to put my kids in the car and trust that we will not slide into the gully or into the street?
These kinds of thoughts can be dangerous. They can lead me to worry about things that aren’t happening now. They can lead me to feel hopeless, to feel sorry for myself, to conclude that we will never be safe, I will never be able to do all this. That’s not healthy thinking.
But, when done appropriately, this kind of thinking allows for simmering. Because this is a problem that needs a solution. I learned simmering this summer, when I tried to fix the ceiling fan, toilet, deal with the mess, the finances, sorting and organization, and not least of which, the trauma. My brain couldn’t wrap itself around solutions, or even the problems, so I would observe, then tuck it away, let it simmer, and then one day I would just know what to do.
I do need to cope with the snow and ice in the winter. I need to come up with a solution. I don’t even know what all my options are, so I need to learn about it. Sometimes I research snowblowers online. I read reviews to figure out how long it would take, how big a machine I need, whether I would be confident enough to operate a giant gas-powered snow blower.
The other day, as I walked into my therapist’s office, I walked around a lawn service truck. The side of the truck listed its services, which include driveway plowing. So I stopped and chatted with the guy about how that service works, and I asked him for a card. Now I know. I know that there really are people you can hire out, and it makes sense that it’s lawn service companies, who pick up business off-season. I wouldn’t have noticed that sign unless the problem had been in the back of my mind.
Simmering is okay. Agonizing is not. I must always wrestle between the two.