A lot has changed in my life in the past 6 months or so.
- Resumed full time work
- New apartment without roommates
- A boyfriend that is actually functioning as a semi-responsible adult
- Health complaints at a minimum
- Stable financial situation
As these pieces have fallen in to place, it has come to pass that I don’t have any crises to control. Any frustrations I’m feeling are just that… normal, everyday, regular human frustrations. For the first time in about 5 years, I’m not teetering on the edge of a cliff or moments away from shuffling off this mortal coil. Nothing is on fire. Nothing is wrong.
I don’t know how to deal with this.
Conventional wisdom tells me that this is actually a GOOD thing and I should embrace and enjoy this. Fucky-brain, my old friend, does not understand how this is possible and goes in to full on panic mode.
The past month in particular has been a case study in preventing my own self-sabotage and learning how to actually enjoy this current disaster free situation. I’ve by no means mastered it – my massive failure at “Self-Care September” can attest to that – but I’ve found a couple things that have helped break though that anxiety cloud and helped me appreciate this new phase of my life a little more.
Create Your Own Ticking Clock
I have come to realize that I need something to grind my ax against to feel like I’m moving forward in life. Like the majestic salmon, I must swim upstream to fulfill my destiny or flop on the bank to stagnate and die. Dramatic, yes. But this is me we’re talking about… I love a good over-the-top analogy.
People love a ticking clock. That’s why we get all hyped over the NYE Ball dropping at midnight and then winge and moan when it doesn’t hit EXACTLY at midnight. There is some psychology behind it, but the essential point is that it calls back to our hunter/gather roots and creates a sense of scarcity and urgency. That’s right, come for the witty commentary, stay for the random psychological studies.
In this case, my fucky anxiety brain needs a ticking clock to come up against so it can be consumed by worrying about that non-existent problem instead of creating one of its own. So, instead of obsessively checking text messages or stalking Instagram, I have set perimeters in my day to day that occupy that space instead by doing things like time blocking my work day or incorporating the Pomodoro Technique to my tasks.
Is it perfect? Oh hell no. That’s the point. When I don’t meet my self imposed ticking clocks, I can have minor conflict over that instead of poking the people in my life with sticks until they react and I cry.
Set “Selfish” Goals
When was the last time you were selfish? I don’t mean in the “self care isn’t selfish” way… I mean TRULY FUCKING SELFISH. It’s been awhile, right? It’s usually the first thing to go when things get hectic. When was the last time you did learned something that had no actual benefit to your life just because you wanted to?
One of my selfish goals has been makeup. I’m a pretty minimal to none makeup gal, but I love playing with it. I’ve set some mini goals on learning how to do those Instagram level looks. I will (probably) never need to cut my cheekbones as sharp as Trixie Mattel, but I know HOW to and that’s the fun of it.
Level Up Your Life
More psychology class… do you remember learning about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? It’s that fun triangle of levels that you need to be a successful human being. You have to have the foundation built before you move up to the next level.
We move up and down this pyramid as we live like a shitty chutes and ladders game. As I mentioned above in my salmon analogy, I’m not happy unless I’m punching up.
This is leading me to look at long term goals, and what I need to do to get there. Right now, that looks like building out my work portfolio so I can get the boyfriend’s gig of speaking at conferences and tipsy podcasting…. which will help me down the line of achieving my ultimate goals, a bigger paycheck and world domination.
In doing these things, I’ve come to terms with the notion that things are actually… good. Having to hack my brain with these tricks is a nice change of pace. At the very least, I know that when the other shoe inevitable does drop, I’ll be ready to tackle the real challenge with minimal tears.