Monday, December 30, 2013

Don't Stress About What You Can't Control

I've started doling out advice to people that are stressed.  Don't stress about what you can't control.  A sage piece of advice, almost wisdom like.  I sound like someone who should be calm and cool and collected.  If only I could listen to my own advice.

Control.  It's one of those words that instantly makes me feel more calm.  I like to be in control.  I like to have a plan.  And I hate it when shit is up in the air.  No really, H-A-T-E it.

I spent all of last week in a sleepless, pain filled state.  The level of control that I felt last week was zero.  It's amazing how well a human can hold it together when they have no choice.  I made it through Christmas and worked on Thursday but by the end of the day my back and shoulder hurt so bad that I couldn't breathe, sit in my chair or move my right arm very well.  Add to that the fact that I hadn't slept in almost a week due to my back and shoulder pain and I was miserable.  So I stayed home on Friday, slept for most of the day, and then got up Saturday and went to the beach.

Ah, the beach.  It's amazing how a short road trip and the smell and sound of the ocean can instantly make everything feel better.  By the time I was done eating dinner on Saturday night I could move my arm again, and breathe okay too.

There is also something about the beach that brings clarity.  X2 used to tell me that going to the beach always allowed me to have an epiphany of some kind or another.  I don't know if that's caused by the beach just being "my place" or if it's the act of removing myself from my life and my situations that causes the epiphany, but it's something.  It happens to me every time.

This time the epiphany was: DON'T STRESS ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN'T CONTROL!!!  Yep, really, that was it.  I can only control myself and the reactions that I have to the things happening around me.  I can't control other people, or their reactions and actions.  I can only control me.  Oddly enough, as someone who is obsessed with control I have a tendency to overlook what I can control and only focus on what I can't. Which is a glass half empty way to look at thing and goes against every positive change that I have been trying to make for the last seven months.

So today, as I'm back at my desk at not only the end of the month, but also the end of the year my goal is to remember to follow my own advice.  To make sure that by the end of the day I haven't stressed myself out to the point that my arm doesn't work again, because although it's better it still isn't perfect and it wouldn't take much to get back to the point where I can't breathe or sit.  To make sure that I remember that the only thing I really have control of is myself, and there's no point in stressing about the things you can't control. Ever.

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