Losing It For The Family

Losing It For The Family

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Manufactured Stress

I am a worker. I love to accomplish. Sometimes it occurs to me that I love to accomplish a little too much. If you see me, it is a very good chance that I am thinking about what all I need to be doing. It fills my head. It also stresses me out if I feel I need to be doing something, and I am not making progress towards it. I for real cannot think of the last time (outside of vacation) that I was just sitting around thinking about nothing. Just enjoying the moment. I never just enjoy the moment I don't think. Well unless I am on vacation out of town. For some reason, I can stop thinking then. That may explain why I am such a big vacation fan.

So this morning, I tried to take a few minutes of quiet reflection. I tried to not even think about what today held, what all things I needed to do before the day is out, or how I would manage to get it all done. And though it was short lived, I had a really happy thought. I happened to be facing the wall my Associate's Degree and my Bachelor's Degree are on. And for a fleeting moment, it occurred to me. Where I am today was a long and hard road. I started school shortly after starting to date, and eventually marry Kathy and became a step dad to Lauren. I worked all through undergrad full time, and went to school at night. That was a heck of a 4 years, but I then followed that up with 2 1/2 years of 3-5 times a week minimum driving 50 miles one way minimum to go to law school. I had to swallow my pride and let Kathy and mom support me while I was in law school. I then took 2 months to study for a test that literally would make my life so much easier, or potentially destroy the last 7 years. I passed the bar and immediately had a job that pays well, has amazing benefits, and that I LOVE!! It occurred to me how awesome all that is. And for the most part, I have glazed over that. I have never really stopped and appreciated it. Why? As soon as I started working, my goal was to hurry up and be just as smart as the other attorneys who have been here from 10 to 20 years longer than I have. I didn't bask in the moment really, I just set a new goal and started hard charging. And I am not as good as them and it bothers me. I manufactured my own stress. I am aware than none of the other attorneys believe I should be just as good as them 3 months into doing this job. But in my head, I am a drag on the office. So I have to drive myself, and each time I have to ask a question or I make a mistake, it sits hard on me. I can't just move on. I would love to, but I can't.

Now make no mistake, I have learned a lot, I have done a lot of things right in this new job. And I recognize that things I sucked at 2 months ago I am much better at today. But I just gloss over accomplishments and set new sights. I am perpetually stressing myself. So now I have a new goal. Not a weight loss goal, but a life goal that may help my weight loss goal. Stop trying to speed forward. Better yet. Just stop. Stop and look at what I have already done. And don't minimize it. I have had probably 100 people tell me how impressed they are with my drive and determination and ability to finish what I started. Without fail, I brush off the compliment and tell them it really isnt that big of a deal. But you know what. It is. And I am not going to convince myself anymore that I need to be completely humble. Dadgummit, it is pretty cool that I am where I am. I did work hard and I will stop feeling guilty that I made it. Holy crap. That just literally came to me. I feel guilty I made it when I have known so many other people who deserve it just as much as I do, but they didn't make it. That thought just floored me. Did I recognize that I felt guilty but bury it? See, this is one of the benefits of writing/blogging. That literally just came out because I had a forum to just dump my thoughts, raw and sometimes unknown. I think I am going to set aside some time this weekend to explore that epiphany. Is that something that has been keeping me from launching again? Do I feel like my life is better than I deserve now?

1 comment:

  1. Your epiphany just now nailed it, spot on. I've explored this very topic in extensive therapy sessions!! It was eye opening to me too--- and it all goes back to how I feel about myself, coupled with my basic human need of maintaining connections. The question is, what would happen if we stopped apologizing for our success? What would happen if we realized that what we've accomplished is something exceptional. What if we realized we're exceptional??? Then, what if we realized it wasn't going to negatively affect our interpersonal connections? What happens when we realize we very much deserve all that is good in our lives? What happens when we no longer limit ourselves?
    I totally relate to the "stuck" fast forward button. I've been dealing with this dynamic-- I want to return to my healthiest weight NOW--I want to wake up and be there-- It's like I'm forgetting the journey before and how long it took and how it didn't matter to me--because I was headed there, regardless of the time it took... In your first years of undergrad studies--I wonder if you ever looked at the road ahead and became impatient? I bet you did. Maybe it was a tough class--maybe your first year, or second--and you thought---This is too big and will take too long... BUT...You stayed the course--- a course many choose to exit prematurely because they're too concerned about the time it takes. Your impatience about gaining experience reminds me of a new hire I worked with-- a kid right out of broadcasting school--and he didn't understand why he wasn't being installed as my new co-host... and at the same salary!!! He was delusional--but I was a little nicer to him than saying that-- I just calmly explained that there's a process---and he has much to experience, much more seasoning ahead---and someday he would be in "the big chair." When we're constantly looking ahead with impatience or the flip side, looking back with regret---we're missing the critically important NOW. Today is all we have.
    Thank you for being so wonderfully real on this blog. When you had your epiphany above---I could feel it too---like I was right there with you--- it was powerful.