“Step away, ma’am”

This time of year, Facebook and Twitter abound with jokes from women about their over-consumption of food—be it Halloween candy or Thanksgiving desserts.

My favorite line with friends is: “Put your hands up and step away from the Almond Joy/pumpkin cheesecake/Twix bar/[fill in your favorite sweet], ma’am.”

But the Universe has played a little trick on me this year. With its own megaphone, emblazoned with my initials (hopefully not in something tacky like gold lamé, but rather in something tasteful like brushed suede), it is shouting this message into my very heart: “Step away from the [fill in the blank], ma’am.”

Footprints in sand at the Beach
Step away

Step away from the everything, Ms. Candidkay, it seems to be saying. I’ve got this. Go take a bubble bath. Read a good book. Clean a closet. And leave it be.

Anyone else out there a planner? A bit of a control freak when it comes to stability and security?

Yeah, I’m so sorry about that. They should have a 12-step program for people like us.

The funny thing is—I never was much of a planner. Until I had to be. Raising two kids and being the breadwinner does that to you.

And once the security and stability bug took hold, I decided I’d better be on it. Whatever “it” was—my career, financial planning, home maintenance—you name it.

I’ve said it before here and it bears repeating: Someone far wiser than me is in charge.

Sometimes I just need to step away. Because in doing so, I halt myself getting in my own way.

Today, I was noodling far too much on far too many problems I’ve shown myself incapable of solving in the short term. But my brain was on fast forward.

At lunchtime, I waved the white flag and took the dog for a walk at a horse farm. Other than having to apologize to a few terrified joggers for her ferocious demeanor (really, why DO they come up behind us so quietly?), it was a lovely timeout for me and my little ‘ole brain.

During this walk, I gave it up. I gave it all up. I admitted to said Universe that I was not up to the task. That despite wracking my brain, I was plum out of solutions. That I knew acceptance and some moodling time were necessary. I asked why I couldn’t be like those women who just wait to be rescued, sipping red wine, working out, blissfully throwing up their hands and saying they can’t control the outcome so why try? (Truthfully, those women drive me nuts. But in that moment, it sounded so much better than my worry-wracked self.)

As I pulled out of the parking lot, my phone rang. It was phenomenal news, news that completely changed the face of one of the situations I was preoccupied with this morning.

Wow, Universe. You don’t mess around.

I’m not saying it always happens this way. Sometimes I am made to cool my heels and wait. And wait. And wait.

But today, the Universe said, “See? All you had to do was give it over. What took you so long?”

To which I put up my hands, smiled and stepped away.

It felt blessedly good.




24 Comments Add yours

  1. I am a month late but I am happy that good news rang for you!

  2. heyjude6119 says:

    I’d like to add those quiet joggers scare the begeezus out of me too, so I sympathize with Bailey! I appreciate the ones who call out loudly a ways away, “on your left!” Or something similar. I startle easily and if I was a dog, I’d bark ferociously too. 🙂

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    Whatever it was I think we’re pleased for you Kristine. I think it generally comes with age (and consequently fewer responsibilities) but letting go and accepting each day as it comes brings a certain level of contentment.

    1. candidkay says:

      You’re so right, Roy. And that level of content is priceless!

  4. The Universe will always step in when we let it.

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m going to use that as my mantra today:)

  5. A 12 step program would be great wouldn’t it? Life really is actually quite simple if can let go. Easier sadi than done. Congrats on the good news.

  6. Gahhh I love this so much. There should be a 12 step program for us. I couldn’t agree more. I think that is my biggest spiritual goal right now. I need to learn to submit. I need to realize that under His wings is the safest place I can be. My name is Gabriela, and I am a control freak. There. I said it. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Can we count this as our first meeting? I guess this means we’re each other’s sponsor:).

      1. 🙂 Yes. Definitely our first meeting. Hello sponsor!

  7. As someone who has the same problem, I totally get this I put my to-do lists on index cards everyday… even the weekends. I would love to be more spontaneous and free-spirited. Maybe someday. At least I’m not the only one.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, if only I were a bit more like your type of control freak:). I just worry, sand the index cards. I am still spontaneous but then dive right back into worry. Oy. At least your version is productive!

  8. I did that on Friday, and am still waiting for that type of response from the Universe, but I guess if I am waiting for it, it doesn’t count, right? Oh well, at least my mood improved.


    1. candidkay says:

      Many a time, I wait. I get it. I have a feeling the universe does not operate on a human stopwatch:).

  9. George says:

    Sometimes it’s as simple and difficult as that..:) good for you, Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      Quite a conundrum, George:).

  10. That my friend is the answer to life! Practising it is the challenge. Well done. 🙂

  11. RuthsArc says:

    So true. Especially “I halt myself, getting in my own way”. It’s good to remember that there is a bigger plan and sometimes we need to “let it go”.

  12. Judy says:

    Woohoo! Happy for you!

  13. Faith says:


    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, sweet gal:).

  14. And what was that good news?

    1. candidkay says:

      Going to keep that to myself:). Isn’t that frustrating? Just good news and it took a bit of a load off . . .

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