The Big Bad Things List

Yesterday, I cried about cat dentistry.

A certified non-millionaire, there are little life things that cost money that can really set me off. Yesterday, one such thing was a lingering $1400 quote to take care of sweet Florence’s gnarly sideways tooth and gum situation. The tooth seemed like no big deal at first, but as it has decidedly become A Big Deal, I am faced with reality: my darling daughter deserves care, and care costs money – sometimes more money than I plan to spend.

“Do your homework,” my mom advised. What homework? Feline dental debt seemed like a foregone conclusion, if I wanted to be a good cat mom. The act of putting this off, in the same way that I had put so many other scary or expensive things off, had blinded me from my agency and my options.

I got off the phone with my mom and took a deep breath. In a matter of minutes, I had found a more affordable vet. The sky wasn’t falling: it had opened up, and I was able to breathe again. Acceptance had allowed me to problem solve, or problem deescalate.

I need to face the things that scare me, the things that seemed too hard or too cost-intensive to ever surmount. I decided to make a list of Big Bad Things that needed to be done, period.

The Big Bad Things List has things as small (but nagging) as washing my car. It has things as big as paying my taxes or learning to bike again after my accident. There are many, many next steps and deep sighs looking at my bank account to follow. But seeing it all in one place, like a grocery list, it all seems more manageable, all cut down to the size of a line of text rather than a looming monster. There it all is, laid out as plain as day, for me to conquer.

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