Making a Choice
As Christmas approaches, nerves are on edge and if you’re like me you start becoming absent-minded and clumsy. This morning after cutting my finger with the bread knive, tripping over the dog and misplacing my car keys I realised this was not a normal day… Why not? What was I doing that was creating these unfortunate incidents?
As I considered this last question the answer lay in not what I was doing and more like what I was thinking. The family go away next Saturday and there is a lot to organise and sort out before we go. Add to that a heavier than normal working week and bingo you have stress. I was worried about my ‘to do’ list and anxious that I wouldn’t be able to complete it or to complete it satisfactorily. I was effectively projecting a negative outcome before it happened, anticipating failure and reacting to the idea of failure before it even occurred. I was so wrapped up in a possible future outcome that I was not in the present moment – hence the accidents.
Trying to do the Impossible
Thoughts running through my head would go as follows, ” I don’t know how the week is going to pan out but all I can do is continue to go through my list, item by item. My plans may not go perfectly but if I do the best I can in the time I have, I can’t expect any more than that. ” The only problems is that I do expect more than that ! You may recognise this irony too. If I am honest with myself, my expectations are high and perhaps not in line with the reality of the situation, hence the stress and tension. In a nutshell, I suspect that my list is ambitious and am afraid I won’t have enoujgh time to finish my list. Yet I stubbornly persist in trying to accomplish my tasks right to the last one.
Seeing the results
Once I can recgonise that refusing to compromise my list is not working and that worrying about it is making me tense, irritable and unhappy, I can ask myself the question “Is this worth it?” Yes I would love to be able to have a squeaky clean house for visitors, to have wondedrful presents bought and wrapped up ready for my family….. but if it is making the situation stressful and leading me to have mini accidents then is it really worth all that? The result of these so called wonderful ideas is not so wonderful. What may happen if I continue to ignore these little warning signs. I could end up in hospital again….
With this threatening thought it is clear that I have a choice to make. Either I can continue to go down my ‘to do’ list and struggle with the consequences or compromise my list and scrub out some tasks. How about conceding some of these wonderful ideas and accepting that the result will not be perfect? Once again my stubborness steps forward with a ‘but….’ Once again I look at the choice I have in front of me; health, happiness and compromise or stress, conflict and struggle?
Hmm not such a difficult choice!