when the blanket's got you

my daughter has just learned to hold on to things.  she grabs onto her blanket, my fingers, her dad's arm hair with all she's got, and she doesn't let go.  in the last few days, she's gotten really good at holding on with not just one, but with both hands.  it's a big deal.

her favorite thing to hold onto is her blanket.  she grabs that sucker and works it between her fingers and pulls it up to chew on it a little bit and generally just gets as much of it as close to her as she possibly can.  and she loves it.

that is, she loves it until she freaks out.  there's always some turning point there when the grabbing on goes from "she's got the blanket" to "the blanket's got her."  and then she's upset, overwhelmed, and panicked--but she still won't let go.

i was thinking yesterday about how we do that to ourselves in adult life, too.  sometimes we grab on so tight that even when it changes from "we've got the blanket" to "the blanket's got us," it's so hard to release that grip.

it's nice to be reminded that sometimes--not always, but sometimes--when it seems like stuff is gonna get us, it might just simmer down if we stop holding on so tight.

i'm curious: what stopped getting you when you stopped holding on with all your might?


  1. One of the things that really gets me is this ideal of a relationship. A bit of background about me: I just graduated high school this spring, and I've never dated before. And I beat myself up all the time for it. You'd think a 19 year old guy would have had at least one girlfriend before going to college! But here's the thing I realized (with some help from my friends): It's okay. Dating and love will happen if I stop trying to force it.

    1. chris, i think the "blanket" of the relationship ideal gets a whole lot of people. it has definitely gotten me before. urgh. it's such a hard thing not to push against.

      and a side note: i once dated a guy in his 20s who had never dated anyone before, and he is awesome and has dated plenty of people since then.

  2. Perfectionism. I still grab onto it sometimes for dear life, thinking "If I don't do everything absolutely right, then I'm a failure and I'm letting everybody down. But funny thing: when I finally decided to see if "good enough can be good enough" I relaxed a lot and started to actually enjoy the things I do.

    1. good lord, i sure do know this feeling. i like this: "good enough can be good enough."