Fear and facts….by Lorna
When I was a little girl I went through a phase of being frightened of lots of things…people hiding under the bed, bad guys hiding in corners, ghosts. One morning I woke up early and, in the gloomy darkness was completely convinced that there was an evil ghost/bad guy behind the door- I could see his outline, the hood over his head, poised to strike. I lay there, terrified in my bed, peeking out over the sheets hoping he wouldn’t know I was awake with my heart thudding in my chest. As the dawn came, I realized that it was in fact my dressing gown, hanging harmlessly behind the door.
“Fascinating” I hear you say, “ but what has this to do with the Viridian Future project?”
Well, I get pretty frightened about this project too, and for similar reasons. In the small hours of the morning, when I lie thinking about it, or when I hear a snippet of conversation from Abel on the phone about the permits not being received or the budget going over, I panic in the same way as I did all those years ago. I make up stories and scare myself half to death. I catastrophize about almost anything- mostly about the money, this moat of money that I have been using to keep me safe from …well I am not sure what…but I know that bigger is better and I feel better than before I had it.
When we started this project, I really wanted us to make a difference to the planet, but I also wanted to run our project so differently from those clichés which people delight in recounting; “it was a nightmare, late, over budget, awful”. I wanted our project team to communicate clearly and openly and for the process itself to be a joy.
So, is this worrying of mine helpful, useful or productive at all? Nope, not at all. We have been through the numbers over and over. We have had them checked by our financial advisor and our realtor and it all makes sense. As long as we stay with the numbers we have agreed and we stay on time, it will all be OK. So how do I reassure myself that it will all be ok, day in and day out, so that I can be a productive, creative participant in this project, rather than a frantic, panicked harridan?
Well, Abel and I have just made a new agreement . Once a month, every month, Abel and I will go through every detail of the project. The latest schedule and money. I can ask all the questions and check my thinking and his, just once a month.
In between, I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t want to hear the bits and pieces, I don’t want to get involved in half conversations. Once a month, will be my appointment with my worries, my time to check the level of the moat, and the rest of the time, I will calm myself down by telling myself there will be time to look at it clearly and completely, and all my gremlins will look very different in the light.