Stop trying to control everyone else’s thinking and focus on your own

 

Back to the journalling again, have missed touching base, on here, on the blog life has gotten in the way of late, mainly down to work, but that’s ok despite being busier than usual having more than enough deadlines to meet, I am meeting them, plus I am managing it pretty much stress free. This time last year I was working on the same projects, same deadlines but was running around like a demented headless chicken. This year though, it feels more of a breeze, the sense of stress and pressure I would normally make myself endure seems a lot painless. And I put that down to a number of factors 

Despite daily busy schedules, I am still making time for me here, in my room, alone even turning the alarm back half an hour making sure I have the time for me, even if its half an hour. 

Thoughts and tasks requiring my attention flash in my head and with it comes a feeling in my gut, anxiety/ panic, but it last for no more than a couple of seconds because I am learning to be compassionate to myself, giving myself a break, reassuring myself that “I’m doing my best” over the years I have been plagued by anxiety, a drive to be the very best I can be, to never let anyone down, be there at a drop of a hat, riddled with guilt if I felt I thought I might have let someone down, hated seeing people in a bad place, always the first to talk them through it, help them rationalize the irrational, eager to please others, getting angry if I didn’t feel appreciated, or angry at others opinions, anger that they (someone who quite frankly plays no role in my life) is critical of the work being done to care and support others, a lot of this would be mainly fuelled reading too much social media.

Getting frustrated after offering people directions to find they ignored my advice took their own route only to find themselves in a dead end cul-de-sac full of shit, that they could have avoided “if only they had listened to me!”. deluding myself that if there was a problem, I could fix it, if someone was hurting, I could fix it, if I there was work that needed doing, I would do it, I would work overtime,  driven by wanting to make everything work. 

At no time previously did I ever take any time out for me, I used to do this many years ago but had gotten out of the habit. The habit of taking time to take a step back, reflect, think through my own irrational thoughts, or think through any anxiety I may have been experiencing. My “time out for me” would have been throwing myself around in a gym for an hour at an attempted to distract myself from my thoughts, trying to turn my body back to what it was twenty years ago. I would deal with my anger by pressing the “fuck it button” every Friday and crack open a can, switch off, forget, until Monday came back around again then I would step back on the wheel of insanity that had become my life, chasing the satisfaction highs, trying to avoid the dreaded lows, pursuing perfection, yes I was making a difference, I could always be counted on, but at what expense? I knew deep down that something had to change, but I didn’t know what or how? 

It’s now six months since I first had my meeting/catch up with me good mate Mick Holmes

And after re-reading all of the above, as I have just done, wondering what’s changed? I can see a couple of things that stand out…

Even now sat here writing this, I find myself, drifting off projecting about commitments I have got today at work, clock watching in case I get carried away with myself, making me late, but I just have a little #wordwimesen and remind myself, reassure myself that whatever happens “I’ll be ok” If it isn’t, “then it isn’t”  It’s out of my control and this is where the #shithappens comes into play, my kids hate it whenever I say it to them, when they might be moaning about something out of their control, but its true! 

I remember it well in the early days when people, loved ones close to me were curious about why I was getting up early in a morning and go for a morning run to come home and type away, before heading into work? They didn’t get it, I would get, ”you’re going to burn yourself out” or “make yourself ill” I even recall Danielle saying “you’re not turning into a hippy are you?”  This still makes me laugh and I could tell she still didn’t get it when I explained “I was just learning to not give as many fucks” 

I have taken to reading more, not the fiction thrillers I would read before bed, I started reading the likes of 

The subtle art of not giving a fuck, 

Time to think, 

Mindfulness, 

The Big Magic, 

The chimp paradox, 

How to write your life story, 

Co-dependent no more, 

I thought it was just me? 

The denial of death, 

Lifelong writing habits and more recently a mindfulness guide for the frazzled, by Ruby wax. Can you see a theme …

And guess what? I am still as productive as ever at work, but I wake up in a morning looking forward or should I say prepared for any stress that will likely come my way opposed to dreading coming in the office turning on the computer to check what emails had been sent in my absence overnight. 

I am learning to think for myself again, something I found myself having to do many years ago when I found myself in a hospital bed in middle wood

I am making sure I make time for me, even if its half an hour on this keyboard offloading my thoughts. 

So even if you don’t get anything from reading this, that’s ok, I’m fine with that because it’s made me feel good about “myself” Shit is going to happen, shit is going to unfold around you, but you do have some choices about how you are going to react to it or deal with it. I’m finding that after 6 months of focusing on me, taking some time out for me, allowing myself some space to think for myself instead of trying to do everyone else thinking for them, I am focusing on my own thinking, I am still the same Tracey, just a happier version of me.

And on that note, I had better get me ass into work 🙂

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