Today I told Sandy I feel like one of those vintage doggy pull-toys. I did love mine back in 1959, as well as that ball-popping toy vacuum cleaner that must have driven my grandmother nuts. But I never wanted to grow up to be one.
I feel like events are pulling me around by a string, and I follow while making little squeaky sounds. Multiple illnesses in Sandy’s family (his 95 year-old dad just broke his hip), business pressures (we’re trying to hire someone and they’ve fallen though each time) and just generally keeping up with life: volunteering, house care, singing, and of course blogging.
This is truly a case of middle-class privilege, as we are so fortunate to actually have parents, a home, a business, and a couple of computers. A little cash in the bank, healthy cats, and loving siblings. My problem is that old Control Enthusiast issue – have you seen that commercial? It’s no longer “Control Freak”. Enthusiast sounds so much healthier.
The Control Enthusiast’s motto: I hate it when I don’t get a say in what’s happening. And yeah, that’s a mindset that needs to evolve. I have given up trying to control the weather and the stock market, let alone my cats’ behaviors. But I am prone to get anxious/withdrawn when sh!t starts hitting the fan close to home. I go into Surviving mode and all the Thriving comes to a thudding halt.
Here’s my partial plan to rediscover my zen:
1. One overnight trip to anywhere, just Sandy and me, no chores, no electronics (well, one cell phone to stay in touch with his folks), good wine.
2. Earlier bedtime, to include re-reading a favorite book. That takes away one unknown; I am sure I will enjoy The Gunslinger by Stephen King this time around too.
3. Saying a loving NO to specific requests, if I don’t have time/energy to do them well. It’s OK to say no, to refuse a new project. I’d like to help the Cat Thrift with an upcoming fashion show, but at this point I can only offer a small check. No guilt required.
I know many of you work full time, raise kids or grand-kids, and put many hours into your online life as well. Are you skilled at thriving, and staying in the moment? Or does a shot of Tequila sound good now (it’s 5 o’clock in London!). xo
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