Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why Worry?

If you hadn't noticed, I'm not the kind of person to just relax and let things play out.

I monitor, fervently, every aspect of my life and ensure that everything is churning along as it's supposed to. When things are out of my hands, I hold my breath and watch from a distance, nervously. I blame my mother for this behavior. God give me grace to accept the things I cannot change was not a prayer we prayed in our house. There was nothing that we could not change.

My parents opened their business during the glory-years of the 1980s. Regulation was low, taxes were feasible, and they had the freedom to flourish... and flourish they did. My childhood memories are of helping weed garden beds and pull flats of pansies off delivery trucks, chatting with their young employees, and hearing many heated discussions through the wall of the office. Or at the dinner table.

Now the delivery trucks are far less frequent and they seldom seem to have more than a few employees anymore. Their exhaustion is palpable. I remember, on a visit home, hearing my mother's voice break when she said "thank you" to a state employee who helped her renew a license without charging an insane fee. I left the room and cried. That my mother would be reduced to tears by the savings of a few hundred dollars is a testament to so much that's wrong.

And as a young adult, I'm watching the lives of two people I love and respect so much change into something new. The nursery was the planet that everything centered around. It's difficult to imagine life without it. As a person whose life has just undergone an intense lesson in moving forward with grace and letting-things-come, it's hard to see through the haze that there will be a positive outcome. When everything else in my life is subject to change, my parents were always a constant. They were the unchanging dynamic that could be depended upon when nothing else could. But they are so, so tired. And retiring from owning a business seems like a bad joke.

They could sell it... which would mean selling my childhood home that sits on the property. Or my brother could take it over... which is another bad joke. Or they can keep going, spinning their tires, trimming bonsai and giving advice to hapless gardeners. It just isn't sustainable.

And most people seem to have this ridiculous notion of a personal life. Personal finances, a little set of things to do, a place to live, a garden to tend... and while I do have one of those and it is settling down and easing into a nice gear (I should be blogging about how much I love my new room mates and our house, shouldn't I?), there is always my family. And they will always be the most important focus. And for the first time in my life, I'm not just a quick jaunt up the road, ready to be present and help how I can.

So I call, and I talk, and I listen, and I worry.