I have been listening to an audio book by Alexander McCall Smith from the No1 Ladies Detective Agency series( Tea Time for the Traditionally Built). I love these books and the audios are so well read I think I am there.
The main character had blister on her foot from walking. She had that day put several band aids on it and it had now popped and felt better. She thought to herself (my rendering)”If we will just do what we can about a problem to fix it and move on after that things will work out.”
This thought really resonated with me. We spend a lot of time worrying about a problem and trying to make a decision. In the meantime the problem continues. If we would just determine what can be done and do it we would be ahead of the game. The other piece of the puzzle is that once we have done that we have to let it go. That is also very difficult. We would rather pick it up and chew on it again like a cow chewing a cud. Somehow we have to learn and implement these important things.
- Identify the problem.
- Decide if anything can be done.
- Determine the best solution (for now).
- Do what we can.
- Let it go.
This is hard for those of us who obsess and worry. Can you do what is possible and then move on?
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.
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.
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.
Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. –———Arthur Somers Roche
Unfortunately this is very true. When anxiety raises its ugly head everything else just disappears. Notice that the quote says “if encouraged.” Yes, we can encourage it by giving in to it.
When it comes I am unable to focus on anything…can’t read, can’t move, can’t find comfort. It is a terrible feeling. What even makes it worse is that the fear of more anxiety adds to the anxiety.
Life is worth living. Anxiety can take the feeling that I am living away. It is like falling down a deep hole with no bottom. You just keep falling thinking all the while about hitting bottom.
This is no way to live. We have to find ways to push anxiety aside and move into the world. It is so much easier to give up but then what is there? No matter how hard it is working to move away from anxiety and depression is critical.
I have learned over the years that literally moving my body helps. Getting up, getting dressed, combing my hair and making myself ready to go out makes a difference. Even if the anxiety goes with me I am better. If it is not possible to be with people then walking outdoors is a good choice. If there are friends who understand then seek their company. For me, friends help.
Whatever we do we must not give up. This can be worked through and a life worth living can be discovered. Don’t ever give up!
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.
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.
Well, another day has gone by. Family issues have been there for one day. The things that can’t be fixed are still there. There is nothing to do about them. Obsessing about them doesn’t help. Worrying doesn’t fix them. Life moves on and we have a choice. We can move on with it and solve the things we can solve and or just fall down into the dark hole of depressions and anxiety. That really doesn’t seem like a choice.
This is true of most things in life. We often have a choice and may not want to choose. We don’t want to move away from the things that are causing us pain. We’d rather wallow. Wallowing requires less energy. Staying in place doesn’t call for work.
As I grow older I have done this kind of thing enough that most of the time I realize it is really easier to move on. That’s where the wisdom with age comes in. I used to be the world’s worst procrastinator but over the years I have learned that it is easier to tackle things right up front and get them over with. That leaves you with the easy stuff. It is a win-win.
The prayer from AA sums it up really well: God, grant me the Serenity, to accept the things I can not change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.
The really tricky part is the wisdom to know the difference. May God grant us discernment to do that.
Today I am sad. It seems that there has been another emotional upheaval in my family. When you have children you know that things might not go as planned but it hurts when they don’t. We have our first great grandchild. He was born on Friday and was found to have an infection that will require days of antibiotics. This is a small part of the whole picture and there is more to the situation that brings stress to all of us.
If you are a good parent you do the very best you can and when children follow a path that scares you it is hard. It may be that all will work out but that doesn’t help the anxiety and fear.
No matter how hard we try life always throws a curve and we end up in pain. As a mother, grandmother and now great grandmother it is so difficult to be unable to fix it all. Hurt abounds and there is nothing to do but pray and hope. I can offer help and support but that is about all. I can’t cure the problems or take away the pain. Oh, I wish I could!
I think one of the hardest things in life is to come against situations where you have no control and no solution. All there is to do is to ride the Tsunami wave and pray that things work out in the long run.
Please pray for my great grandson and family.
Today there was a terrible tragedy in our area. A C 130 military aircraft crashed just after takeoff. They have not said yet about survivors but a video of the crash (taken by someone who heard the aircraft and thought it sounded funny) shows the plane going in a nose dive. It seems unlikely that anyone survived. We have not heard how many were aboard but somewhere between five and nine crew.
It is amazing that it crashed on a major highway and didn’t hit any cars. I guess in every tragedy there is some light. My heart goes out to the families of those soldiers. Their lives will never be the same. “What a difference a day makes” (from the song). It is so true. We can never be sure of a next moment, next day, next year. We make extensive plans and don’t know if they will happen.
If we spent our days worrying about what will happen next we would never leave home. When my youngest daughter was 15 years old she flew to Japan as an exchange student. We let her go far away. At that time a passenger plane was (I think) accidentally shot down and I didn’t want her to go. My husband pointed out that we can’t stop living for fear of what will happen.
Many people have talked about how fruitless worry is. We are not living if we spend our life in fear. We must live and make life worthwhile.