Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sometimes I Have To

Sometimes I have to remind myself to ignore the last word of the phrase "doing things alone" and encourage myself to just keep doing things.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that most of the people who give me advice have no idea what it's like to ask, "What do you think we should do?" to the empty side of a bed.

Sometimes I have to remind myself to let go of what was so that I can embrace what could be.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's okay to be sad...just like I have to remind myself that it's okay to be happy.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am the smartest person living my life that I know.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Can I Choose to be Happy?

I'm going to throw a quote out there that some of you will embrace and some of you will shun.  Much like the mindset "you can choose to be happy," this one implies that a lot of how we go through life is more in our control than we think.

"We have a tendency to confuse the stability of our mindsets with the stability of the world.  We hold something still with our heads, believing we know it, but it's changing regardless of how we perceive it.  If you can notice things changing, you'll be less gutted by change.  And whether or not you feel gutted by the change won't alter the outcome - it's still happening.  

Stress is a function of the views we take of events, not of the events themselves."
~Ellen Langer~

So, I have a feeling I had many of you up until that last part.  And that's okay.  I mean, I think the death of a loved one is stressful no matter how you look at it.  Even if you didn't like the person, that comes with certain feelings that must be dealt with.  I guess it's possible to have so much self-awareness that you can talk yourself out of death stress (can I trademark that phrase?  Hell, if Taylor Swift can try to trademark "shake it off" surely I can do it).

I've just haven't met the person who can do it.

But I do think that this can apply to many other things in life.  As a personal example, I read this quote in O Magazine just this week when my anxiety over moving had reached its peak (at least I hope that was the peak).  And it made me realize that I could either stress about this, or change my way of thinking to make this more of an exciting change.  I could worry about it or embrace it.

The fact is that whether I move or not, a decision will need to be made.  And I need to preserve my sanity while I make it.

I've been trying this even before I read this article.  When I traveled a couple of weeks ago (which many of you know was a little scary for me), in the weeks leading up to the trip I would remind myself that this was exciting!  Yes, I had to face some fears, but I was going to meet new people, see new things, and generally live life.  That helped me so much leading up to the trip.

And then I medicated myself to get on the plane.

Whatever works.


Yesterday was such a weird day.  It started when I was making my daughter's lunch for school and my television went on all on its own.  While working in my basement office, I looked up and saw a huge gray cat watching me through the window (which scared the shit out of me).  I later got in my car and the radio played the song that always makes me smile and think of my husband.  And just after I said, "Brad?  Are you here?" my phone pinged and I got an email from my realtor saying that he had a buyer very interested in the house.

So, I took that as a yes.

The night before, I'd had a mini-meltdown at the end of which I said out loud, "I feel so alone.  I wish you were here."  And I'd like to believe he granted me that wish.

And last night, as I lay in my bed reading, I put my book across my chest and stared up at the ceiling.

"I think you're here," I whispered.  "But I wish you were really here.  I miss you."

I picked up what I had been using as my bookmark - the program to my kids' choir concert this week - and stopped moving when I read the cover that I hadn't noticed before.

Okay, Brad.  I can do that.