May 19, 2011

Nothing Will Happen

Anyone reading this blog in the beginning knew 
who the Little One was that inspired such a revolution with so few words.
For the rest of you, this is Rachael.
Or Ray Ray, as I call her.

Nothing will happen.  That's what she said.  That's all.  She's a genius, that sweet girl.

Standing in the driveway barefoot with those tiny little feet, repeatedly stepping on cracks and then waiting..
waiting for something.
 I asked her what she was doing.  
She informed me that her friend had told her that if you step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back. 
 So while I was chatting it up with her mother/my best bud,  Little One was testing the theory.

Little did we know that as we were rattling on like a couple of chickens, 
Little One was watching to see if her mom was going to collapse onto the pavement 
and roll down the driveway into the cul-de-sac where she'd 
 be horribly maimed as she was run over by the UPS man. 
 He's here so often that it is just a matter of time before one of us here on Hysteria Lane gets it.  
We like our catalog orders around here.   
But, I digress.

She looked up at me with her enormous blue eyes
 and proclaimed that she could step on cracks all she wanted to.  
Because nothing will happen.  
She had just tested, proven, and closed the case on that one.  
She had no idea she had said such words of inspiration and in fact, doesn't even remember.  
She is all grown up now and a beautiful, willowy teenage girl. 
 I wonder if she knows how she impacted my life with those words.  Probably not. 
 After all, she is so young and hopefully hasn't set standards for herself
that are impossible to achieve. 
 Like I did.  Like her mom did.  Like so many women do.

I spent most of my life trying to be perfect.  
Thinking, quite insanely, that this is just what is done.
It's how I was raised.  
How do we get to a place where we really and truly believe that the world will spin out of control
 if we don't make the four beds in the morning?   
What is this craziness?  It is craziness.  I know that now.  
And let me tell you this...

I am now a very proud member of the Nothing Will Happen Club

 Something clicked inside me that day when Little One threw out a lifeline with her words. 
 So what if I don't make the beds? 
 Are the bed police going to helicopter in and call me out on my crime?  
Tested.  Proven.  Case closed.  
The same goes for not vacuuming up the dog hair every five minutes,
 leaving a dish in the sink and laundry in the dryer.  
My closet is a mess and there are at least ten projects waiting to be finished.  
So what?  Who cares?

Nothing will happen.  Not one damn thing!  
No one cared or noticed or called me out on my shameful, lazy ways. 
 Nothing happened! 
 And then the most remarkable thing did happen.

I was free.

 Free to waste away an afternoon reading a book out by the pool.  
Free to visit with my friend for three hours on the phone.  Free to relax in my own head.  
Free in so many ways. 
 Mostly free from myself and the imposed behaviors of a perfectionist mother.
It was me that set those standards for myself and my home.  
I wasted so much time making sure that things were perfect.  
I lost sight of the fact that they already were. 
In all the ways that counted.

I don't really know how often I think of that day in the driveway.  
It's a lot.  
Nothing will happen has become a mantra for a lot of us around here. 
 I think of the joy in Ray Ray's face that day (and so many others) and I feel it deep in my heart.  

That's something I'll keep forever.

Thank you again, my little friend. 
 Lots of love for that face. 
 There will never be a day that I don't think of you and smile.


  1. Well now, Miss Rachael has no idea what that little phrase meant the day she was going to step on that crack. She is the light of my life and I'm so happy I can share a little piece of her with you. She is growing up way too fast and I only wish I could stop time and put it in reverse. I want to do it all over again.
    Thank you my dear friend.

  2. wow. that is really, really powerful. thank you for sharing and I am going to adopt that saying.


  3. Great story with an important lesson for all of us. It's so true. Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom and sanity.

  4. I'm in, card carrying, nothing will happen member.


  5. Hi Tina: I'm visiting from Danni's at Silo Hill Farm, and I'm your newest follower. I sooo love this post and was wondering if I could join the club and post the button on my sidebar. Have a great day!

  6. I love this post. I've been doing this since I retired (another way of saying that I couldn't find a job;-). However, I've always felt a tiny bit guilty, like I was going to get caught slacking. I really need to join this club--please and thank you.

  7. How wonderful! Found my way here through Danni's cabbage post, and love it :-)

  8. Can I join too? I want to read a book or go over by the beach or do something that isn't related to getting things done. I love how God gives us kids to teach us important truths!

  9. I found this post through another blog and what a profound post it is! It took me 50 years before I had that same ephiphany...all those free moments of my life wasted by trying to make sure everything was perfect - all my ducks lined up in a row. Thanks for sharing this - if only younger people would BELIEVE it and live it!

  10. Thank you, Tina, for referring this post to me. I needed it today. I let all "have-to's" go, turned off the phone, and sat in the driveway painting furniture. The most relaxing day in a couple of weeks. I watched Gracepoint during lunch and did not wash a single dish. Yes, I want to be a member of the club.


Thanks for taking the time to leave me your thoughts. I appreciate each and every one!