I don’t do my father’s bills. But while he is on the road, I have some obligation to deal with them
I screwed up one of his card payments. Missed the due date by a week.
And I feel horrible about that. My gut twists into knots. I imagine how angry he will be, feel like a screw-up, a failure.
I know that the best thing to do is just to do it when you can, to engage it ASAP and move on. OK, so you screwed up, fix it and keep going. That’s what I did in this case.
But that doesn’t stop the twists in my gut. I feel bad and want to just crawl away, hide, kicking myself all the time and in all the ways I can figure out. The anxiety squeezes me, incapacitating me. For years, even.
I have the gift — and the curse — of anticipating problems and contemplating solutions. As a TV producer, this served me in good stead; let a camera die and I could quickly come up with a plan that didn’t need it. But as a human, this means I am all too often so bogged down in anticipated problems that I can’t just act on momentary opportunities and pressing challenges.
I know this is a problem for me, but it is the problem of falling off the grid, and the only solution is climbing back on again. Yet as long as I work to stay invisible, as long as I feel the need and the pressure to stay invisible, there is no way to be present on the grid.
To be invisible, wrapped up in staying small and failing down, requires that I kick myself rather than lift myself.
And the way my gut is churning, I know that call is clear and present.