Crossing bridges

Yesterday I wrote about the anxiety attached to again ?? the physician’s office about records. I felt so foolish going again and as usual it was not at all difficult and we managed to get everything we needed.

scary bridge

It’s that thing about crossing bridges before we get to them. It is one of my favorite things to do. I visualize the event, conjure up conversations and live the experience over and over. Really stupid when I only need to live through it once. This obsession with imagining the future is not a good choice.

I wish I knew why I do this or how I started. It would be so nice to just shut it off. I do try. Using reverting to positive thinking and focusing on other things helped and I was able to remain reasonably un-crazy and not run for bathrooms.

Those of us who have this problem are so good at imagining the worst. We seem to think that going over it and over it will prepare us to cope. I’m not sure that is true. The anxiety we experience before the event may far exceed reality. I am sure that there are times when this is not true but I do think they are infrequent.

Coping

Learning to recognize different events and evaluate their true potential for unacceptable outcomes would help to decrease the level of stress involved. Am I going to die from this interaction? Will I run screaming from the building?  Just looking with an open mind and clear eye may help to bring things into focus.

We learn each day. We grow each day and hopefully learn and use new ideas for coping.

May your day be blessed.

It’s the little things

little thingsThe last few weeks have been chock full of appointments, visits, company, and everything else. Something has become very clear to me. The big crises can wipe us out but it is the little things that really do us in.

While on the way to the Mayo clinic my cell phone decided life was too simple and just froze. It froze just as we needed information about directions to get off the freeway to get to Mayo. Nothing would entice it to come alive again. It just sat there with half of the screen with directions and the bottom half with mail? or something?? The directions we needed were on the bottom half of the screen. The phone would not shut off or do anything. We managed to limp our way to our destination. I plugged the phone in at our hotel and it decided that it was fine.

On the way home it moved some icons around and continued to tempt us to throw it out the window. I now have a new phone.

This should be good news but I have just spent two days re-connecting to everything I need to function.

Life at home has been hectic with a series of company (all who were wonderful) and we are not done yet.

Today my IBD decided that it had had enough too and joined the fun. At which point I headed for the medicine bottle.

last nerve
I have one nerve left and you are getting on it —————-Jane Seabrook

It is not one big crisis that makes life difficult to handle. It is a series of little irritating events. Events that rest on your last nerve and push you right on over into anxiety. None of these events in and of themselves was a big deal. It was the combination. Those of us who walk on the edge only need for the balance pole to lean over just a little too far and poof! we are done.

For the next few day I will concentrate on seeking consistency and regular routine and life will move on.

Just remember “it is the little things.”

 

(note to my company—you were wonderful and not the problem!)

Too much —-too little, take your pick

Sometimes it is hard to write. Some days it feels as if my brain is either empty or gone. Today is one of those days. I worked in the garden this morning and the heat and humidity almost made me melt. There was a little bit of breeze but not enough to really help.

vines 2We have a big yard. My husband takes care of the lawn and I do the flower beds. ….or more accurately the flower beds do me. It has been raining a lot and things are growing at an enormous rate….that is the weeds, the vines and anything I don’t want. The flowers..not so much.

We are blessed with an enormous amount of vines. Some of them arrived on their own and some I think my grandmother planted. Unfortunately the vines which she planned would be wonderful, have developed a mind of their own and if you stand in one place in my yard for long you may be covered in greenery.

vines

It is a constant battle for me to keep the vines from killing the azaleas which edge our property. I think the vines are winning. I start at one end of the yard and work to the other end and begin again. Two years ago I pruned the azaleas drastically which did help.

Learning to choose the right amount of work to do each day is critical to our well being. If I plan to do too much then when I can’t complete the task I feel defeated. If I plan to do too little I chastise myself for not getting enough done. This is an important life lesson. Many people are called upon to work to exhaustion in their jobs. They are made to take on too much for fear of losing their jobs. How did we get to this point?

We all need good work to do or we are not stimulated and enriched. If the work is overwhelming we become stressed, anxious and less productive. Given appropriate amount of work and we become more creative and efficient. Businesses need to understand that overwork makes us worse workers.

everything

 

We have to remember this in the things we choose to do also. We cannot take on too little or too much. We have to reach that happy medium.

What am I going to be?

congratulations-graduation-fortune-cookies

On Friday evening my grandson graduated from high school. He has been successful in school and is a wonderful boy. He works hard and puts himself into the things he does. Next fall he will be going to college and like most 18 year-olds he has no idea what he wants to do with his life. It worries him.

Some people are blessed by finding a passion early in life and driving forward to fulfill that dream. Most young people are not that lucky. The world is a big place and there are so many things that we can do. So many choices. In the past people were just looking for a job to feed their family and were grateful for anything. It is just as hard to get a job but many kids feel that they are a failure if they don’t do something that seems wonderful or exciting.

Most of us spend our lives just doing a job. In today’s world it is not unusual for someone to switch fields over their lifetime. People used to work for one company for most of their lives. Today they may work for many companies. Things are not the way they used to be and with technology moving so fast what you start out to do may change quickly and you may have to learn new things. Today we have to learn to be more flexible and that makes life stressful and more challenging.

future

 

Don’t be afraid that you don’t know what you want to do. Your choice could change over night. The job itself could change over night. Don’t be afraid. You have a lifetime.

 

No answers?

no answersIt is so hard to live without answers. I want to know how things will work out with my friend’s husband. I want to know how my granddaughter’s life will go with a new baby. I want to know how I will feel tomorrow. I want to know if my IBS will kick me. This is just a small portion of what I want to know.

We don’t do well with uncertainty. We want to have answers so that we can plan. We want to brace ourselves if the outcome is bad. We want to run and hide if we think we can’ cope. We want to know!

It is so hard not to be able to make plans even if they don’t come off. Somehow planning makes us feel better but life with anxiety doesn’t let you make many plans. Maybe I have to stay home tomorrow and just cope or maybe I can meet friends for lunch. But each of us has reasons to explore what life has in store for us. Giving up is not an option. There are good things…things that we can be thankful for. If we wake up in the morning it is time to thank God and get up. It is hard to learn to live in the moment but we need to keep trying.

give thankws

Thank God and get up.

 

 

Raising children

raising-a-child

I was 23 years old when I had my first child. Certainly old enough but young enough to be naive too. To be honest I was never around children. As an only child I spent most of my time with adults. I thought that having children would be a breeze. WOW was I wrong. I suppose the only thing that saved me was the fact that I have wonderful examples in my parents and am still married to a man who is a wonderful father.

None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes raising out children. We just have to pray that the mistakes aren’t life altering. My children’s early years were spent while we were in the Army. Lots of moves and new people to get to know. They seemed to survive that.

By the time they were in their teens we were settled and they got to stay in the same schools. All children are different and mine certainly are. Thank God they are all gainfully employed, have children of their own, and survived us as parents. I don’t know if we managed as well. There was lots of anxiety and nail biting but here we are.

We won’t talk about finding out a few years ago about my son and his friends riding bikes off the roof of the house into the swimming pool. Glad I didn’t know about that.  We lived through the time my oldest daughter dove into the pool and hit her head and survived. There was also the time my youngest daughter was on the way to Japan as an exchange student and left her ticket at home. (before all these electronics) She did get to Japan.

parent

Many things that happen in the lives of children are fun to remember later. Some are not so fun. Parenting is a full time job. Most parents love their children and have their best interests at heart. Never doubt that it is a hard but rewarding job.

Have you learned coping skills?

Some days are good and some not so good. I am fighting IBS again. This always brings on anxiety. I always seem to do this after things are settling down. I am one of those people who rises to the crisis, works to help, sees it resolve and then falls apart. I guess it’s not a bad way to be as it does allow me to work through problems before I crash. I just wish no crash would come at all.

no change is fatalWe live an up an down life. At least I know some of us do. Things aren’t perfect. The ability to work through the imperfect is critical to our well being. That kind of strength is what helps us to survive.

Change is inevitable like death and taxes. The change may be as small as rain instead of sunshine but it is change. As we grow we need to learn coping skills. Without them we are set for a major fall. I am sure that all loving parents would wish that there would be no major upheavals in the lives of their children. No failures. But that is not reality.

Too often we want to save them. Cushion them from their mistakes and make the problems go away. Unfortunately, this is the wrong path. If we don’t learn coping skills when we are young then we have no experience when things go wrong. I have known parents who covered every mistake made by their children. As the children reached their teens the mistakes became bigger and harder to deal with. Some mistakes even ended with the teen going to jail.

coping skillsWe must learn how to cope early and keep on learning our entire life. Each bump in the road teaches us how to handle the next. We learn how to take detours and keep on going. We may suffer in the process but we survive and can use our knowledge to help the next person on the road.