Dancing On The Edge

Most of us would scoff at the notion of needing any help. We take great pride in our fearlessness and ability to multi-task away our to-do list. I am guilty of super hero syndrome myself, but the truth is I could do with a live in Martha Stewart and Jillian Michaels. And I’m not above the need for the occasional check in with Dr. Phil.

Brenda, dancing on the edge of the abyss

Brenda, dancing on the edge of the abyss

I am capable for juggling chain saws like the next woman and most days I do just fine thank you very much. But there are the odd moments, more frequent than I’d admit to even Phil, where I am dangerously close to the edge. Not the going postal sort of edge, but the kind where I find myself hanging onto the fringe of the great abyss thinking there has to be an easier or more efficient way to get it all done. Done? For this woman, this isn’t an easily achievable state. Not to mention I don’t even understand what that means or how I will know when I arrive at the miraculous state of finished. Seriously, I don’t have a clue.

There is everything I am consciously working on—worthy of a to-list—and where I expend great efforts and typically have something to share at Show and Tell, when it’s been crossed off the all done list. But then there is all the other stuff hovering at the edge of my awareness I purposely ignore. The informal things, fleeting musings, the not quite completed sentences, the fears, the considerations, the expectations, and all the questions and thoughts never far from the edge of my reasonable reason that surface when my mind is distracted, like when I am folding clothes or scavenging for a rogue set of keys.

The Daily To-Do List

The Daily To-Do List

Where did I leave the car keys? Those damn things never stay put.

How much is enough? Enough of what?

Where do I start?

Why did I wait? You hadn’t thought of starting yet.      

Is there enough time?

What if? Why not?

After this, before that, when I finish or reach the end, then I can….

Milk, butter, wine, laundry detergent…

Look into my eyes – you will see/What you mean to me/Search your heart – search your soul/ Everything I do. Love. Love. LOVE IT! Magic Bryan Adams.

I’m not a perfect Mom. ARGH! You are doing the best possible job you can. Am I?


You are…

This heart of mine carries the joy and burden of a love it does not understand. You and every other person walking the earth drag the same worry around with them wherever they go.

Should or shouldn’t I? Stay put, doing nothing is safe and predictable, free of disappointment and heartache. If I remain frozen in this place will I regret the chance not taken more than the heartache I might have to endure if I had taken the chance and failed? Magic eight ball, what should I do?

BELIEVE! Believe in what exactly?

…In what lies before you, what you labor on and for, what mystifies and enchants that part of you responsible for creativity. Believe in the moment you risk everything. That’s what you put your faith in.

Ah, my keys, right where I left them.


While I doubt a white jacket with straps that tie at the back is needed, I sometimes question the weighty, semi-baked musings taking up space in my head. I’ve never taken the time to write down what I ponder but I can’t help wonder why this is. There are nuggets worthy of exploration inside the thoughts of a woman who sometimes has bouts of superhero syndrome.

Maybe the act of scribing my secret thoughts would force me to answer those nagging questions and to finally accept what I refuse to admit, which is my humanness. I can’t be all that different from others. Right? You hope you’re not. OK, so maybe I harbor a wee bit of worry and pinch of doubt. Who doesn’t?

There are things to be learned frolicking so close to the edge of the abyss. Besides, if I permit myself the time to release the clutter in my head on a blank page when the need is great, it might make for an interesting journey to the fire burning inside of my inner vixen. Yeah, you might learn how to make Beef Wellington and find the extra time in your day to get it all done. Whatever that means… 

Yeah, keeping a diary might not be such a bad idea.


What is one of your more obscure inside thoughts?


I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

14 thoughts on “Dancing On The Edge

    • Martha – it’s not that we are scatterbrains, at least I don’t think so. I think most of us have multiple thoughts running through our minds all the time.

  1. Ashantay Peters

    Been there, had the wide-eyed-at-midnight-when-I-have-to-get-up-at-six-am moments. I’ve learned that taking a deep breath–well, as deep as possible given the seizing lungs–really helps slow the pulse and encourage rational thinking. Okay, as rational as I ever get. Anyway, next time the fears come knocking, take a deep breath. Then kick those buggers to the curb. Just because you have fears doesn’t mean they have to have you.

    • Ashantay – we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have our skirmishes with doubt and concern. It’s part of being human. I am more intrigued by the randomness of the thoughts running through my mind.

  2. I’ve often remarked that I not only perform on a high wire with no net, but I do cartwheels on it.
    Enjoyed your article.

    • Astra -I think we (women) don’t always confess out secret thoughts (ok, maybe never) and rarely express to ourselves what’s going on in our hearts. How many times any a do you worry about your kids? About Mom? Your dreams? It’s the way we’re wired.

  3. Woman to woman, writer to writer, here’s what I find especially interesting: you could have chosen a different metaphor — teetering or balancing, for example. But you chose ‘dancing.’

    • Well spotted, Deborah. While the theme rang serious,I was hoping for playful. The truth is, women, most of us anyway, thrive when we are on the edge. We do our best work when we have too much too do. I don’t believe being on the edge has to imply a person is teetering or close to a melt down. It’s my POV. As for me, well I am dancing across the high wire, sometimes without a net. I am dancing… and yes it’s on the edge. As for my inside thoughts, if anything I am honest about runs through my head when I am looking for my keys.

  4. I’m embarrassed to admit being very close to mentally breaking down-while on the phone with my best friend-and still not being able to say I need help. I would be so mad at her if I found out she was in trouble and didn’t say so. Must not show human weakness!!! Probably why I hate journaling, one must never look into the darkness. Then to make myself laugh, I mentally go around grabbing things screaming “I don’t need this stuff, and I don’t need you. I don’t need anything. Except this…”
    Lynne Favreau recently posted….White Privilege: Riots and Protests and Fears, Oh My!My Profile

    • Lynne, I don’t think you’re alone in that feeling of fear of expressing the need for support. I would rather walk across the Sahara before admitting I was near collapse. Journalling… is the one place you must be honest. And if you didn’t tell your best friend you needed her… she would probably not be happy with. :)

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