I admit, it’s been increasingly difficult each week to keep up with this bloghop. Part of that is due to lack of time set aside for blogging, which I think is typical for bloggers when warm weather strikes after a miserable winter–we just want to go out and live life, not sit at the computer writing about it! The other part is that I’m struggling a little bit with patting myself on the back. Which, as I’ve said on Twitter, is why I must keep going with these weekly posts. Introspection and growth aren’t supposed to be easy, no?
What am I doing right?
The first thing that comes to mind is that I finally bought myself a new car. I didn’t buy the car I really wanted, the Kia Optima, because my experience at the dealership wasn’t awesome and because the monthly payment was just outside my comfort zone. I reconnected with an old friend who is a car salesperson for Chevy, and I let him wow me with a great deal on a new Cruze. It seemed the responsible thing to do, even though I had my heart set on something else. Buying a new car has been on my wish list for years, and I’m happy I bit the bullet and crossed that worry off my long list.
Last weekend, I spent tons of time outside. I basked in the sunshine and 60-degree temperature on a swing in my yard. I listened to a lot of music, I had a few beers, I (mostly) ignored my to do list, and it felt effing fantastic. I’m entirely convinced spring is my favorite season. The sudden shift from winter one day to spring the very next is always a thrilling surprise. I make plans and set goals in the spring. I am more positive, nearly happy even! Spring weather changes me for the better. I always begin to feel like myself again in spring.
What am I doing really right?
The most important thing I’m doing right is working toward letting go of emotions that don’t help me in any way, such as guilt and worry. I’ve become painfully aware that I’m letting my emotions make my decisions. For example, I can’t say no to people because I feel bad and worry I’m letting them down. Surely, they aren’t overanalyzing my response, whether it’s yes or no. The rational me understands this. The emotional me lets guilt and worry respond yes to most requests. I spend a lot of time worrying, and it’s exhausting and, honestly, kind of stupid. It’s a waste of time, and it does not change what will happen (or what has already happened).
I read an article while I was on vacation last month that stuck with me:
Now, worry is an ego thing – as if you had the power to change things by worrying about them. So to construct your mental instruction you’d say something like, “I no longer indulge in worry but concentrate my mind on the present moment.”
I loved that word “indulge” instantly when I saw it, because worry feels like an indulgence. When you think about it, it doesn’t do any good. It wastes time, like daydreaming. Only, where daydreaming serves a positive purpose, worry just feels bad. Not to mention, worry is physically harmful. And with all I’ve learned in therapy about mindfulness (for a good summary of the DBT skills associated with mindfulness, read this), I feel I ought to know better than to waste my time worrying–time I could be spending mindfully.
So I adopted the mantra “I no longer indulge in worry.” And I’m using it. Not daily, because some days I completely forget about it. But nobody’s perfect!
What are you doing right?