Tonight I was listening to a way previous episode of a podcast I started listening to recently. It’s called “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P Freeman. I was also doodling on Christmas ornaments at the time. Something caught my attention, so much so that I rewound to get the words just right.
How many times do we create our own storms where storms never existed in the first place? I’m not a glass half empty kinda girl. I’m a glass shattered on the ground with liquid all around kind of girl. I don’t know if it’s ever full or not. I just know catastrophe has likely struck and it’s ruined.
Here’s an example that happened just today. Did you know you can sign up for “informed delivery” through the post office? They send you an email with a picture of the front of all your letters. I’m not sure why that’s important but the post office lost some mail once so they told me I should sign up. Mostly I just get a preview of all my junk mail. I look at it anyway. Today one of the fronts of the letters was from the IRS…ya those guys. Immediately I thought, “oh my gosh! I’m being audited. I don’t know where any of my tax documents are except 2015. I’m going to jail. They are going to make me pay a ton of money.” Um etc.
Let me clarify and say that to the best of my ability I do my taxes correctly, so even if I were audited, it’s probably fine. The only problem is I really don’t know where any documentation is. I lost it. And since I’m moving, it’s super lost right now, along with all my pots and pans. I have no reason to fear a letter from the IRS, but as soon as I got off work, instead of running the errand I was going to run, I rushed home to see what terrible fate awaited me from the IRS.
Seriously?! Even if it was something bad, rushing home to it wasn’t going to change anything. Also, why in the world did I need to worry about it all day?
What was worse, I opened the letter. It informed me that someone had requested my FAFSA pin (I think it was me when I was consolidating my student loans). That’s it. It was a letter telling me I had requested something I had already forgotten about. No one is going to jail, and I don’t have to find anything. (Well, I still need to find pots and pans and silverware…). I invented a storm where one didn’t necessarily exist.
Why is that our tendency? Or mine anyway. Why can I not just let life do what life does and field the balls as they come? When I played softball, I couldn’t worry about the batter 4 people from the one I was looking at. I had to pitch to the person at home plate. The other folk would have their turn, but I couldn’t worry about them yet. (Besides if we got 3 outs, person #4 wouldn’t matter, right?)
It’s the same in life. I need to remind myself everyday that life has enough storms. There are enough hardships that truly do exist. I have walked through plenty this year to get me through to 2019 or even 2020. Let me remember to live what is happening and embrace the moments. Don’t imagine a glass shattered on the floor with a big mess to clean up while the glass is still empty in the cupboard and you’re holding a plastic cup.
I think it’s part of choosing joy, not inventing sorrow. May I never lose sight of what’s in front of me while I’m looking for the boogie man who is not sneaking up behind me. May I focus on tomorrow, on one day at a time, and choose joy tomorrow. Then I’ll worry about the next day when it comes. This control freak needs to understand that thinking the worst of situations is not gaining control of them. In fact, it may cause me to lose any control I may have had.
Goodness these are hard lessons for me. It’s hard to break 41 years of thought processes. But I continue to try to soldier on. Choose Joy my friend. And put away your umbrella unless it’s truly raining. (And sometimes just enjoy the rain on your face♥️)