Let’s talk about flipping out for no apparent reason and then we will discuss that smoothie there. I will serve as the subject matter expert because I do this on the daily (flip out and make smoothies).
I am the master of fearing a negative outcome so much that I fully disrupt my life in the process of fretting over said outcome that, it should come as no surprise, never actually happens. It’s a massive waste of my life. Here are two concrete examples from various life phases when a very small thing erupts into a huge ordeal in my mind:
Summer 2013 – I need a new apartment on my own but I can’t afford any more than a studio at the moment and the fear of housing all three incompatible cats in one unit without any walls has made me drunk with fear. What if they attack each other? What if they attack me? What if I come home to find the ones with legs missing legs or the one missing legs… dead? I should rent an office so that one of these creatures can live there and be my work cat. There is not one single rational thought behind this so I will now launch into months of time-consuming hunting for an office I cannot even afford. In the process I will also waste time planning a cross-country road trip to deposit one of the cats at my mom’s house because I’m a responsible adult with a Plan B and in a worst case scenario somebody’s gotta go. Research pet airlines in the process because that would be way faster. Irrational times call for irrational measures. Decide against flying because: stress. Select an office, convince then-boyfriend to paint the whole thing, buy hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of Ikea furniture that must be painstakingly assembled, bask in the glory of this beautiful and totally unnecessary space that not one single cat will ever see because it turns out they get along fine, shell out $300/month for a year for basically an empty space, realize I could’ve used that money to just get a bigger apartment from the beginning, regret flipping out.
This Morning – I need to put that new sticker on my license plate, but where in God’s name did I put it? I know it was mailed to my brother’s house (his address is more consistent and reliable than mine) and that he gave it to me and that I put it… somewhere. Oh god, now I will have to get another one. How do you even get another one? Do I have to pay the taxes on it again? Where’s the receipt for that? I have so much paperwork I don’t understand. Where is my insurance card? I should schedule some doctor’s appointments… I have so many things I think I’m dying from. Let me try to organize every single account I have everywhere. Wait. Did I know I was still getting automatically charged annually for ALL THESE FRIGGING GO DADDY DOMAINS I BOUGHT FOR NO REASON? What are my passwords for this? What are my passwords for everything? I will make a spreadsheet with all of them right now. This is what I get for paying for that sticker on time. I lose it. I will probably have to go to the DMV but the DMV is the worst place on earth so clearly I will have to take a day off work just to stand in line and then recover from standing in line. Feck. THERE’S TOO MUCH GOING ON AT WORK TO TAKE OFF WORK RIGHT NOW. I need to negotiate work-from-home two days a week. [Insert rambling stream of consciousness about working from home and how it is great.] I should just sell my car. How much is my car worth? Not a damn thing. Can’t get a ticket for an outdated sticker if I don’t have the car… I should map out my public transportation route to work to see if I can handle it without a ride. Maybe I should text my brother to confirm he did in fact give me the sticker last month. Before he even responds, look in purse and find sticker. Regret flipping out.
These are just two examples wherein my attempt to predict the future paralyzes me in the present. It is the stupidest thing I keep doing over and over again. This morning after discovering the lost sticker that was never at any point lost, I laughed and decided I am not playing this game with myself anymore.
In yoga there’s this concept of “seeing the object as such”. We humans have this unfortunate ability to layer our own preconceived notions and fears and assumptions on top of what actually is, which I suppose is how I get myself into such a tizzy over a damn sticker. I make it more than it is.
We can do this with things (Is this a lost sticker or a reason to launch into a panic about selling my car for no reason?) or people (Is this the person as they are or as I’m layering my assumptions about them on top of who they are? Hm.) or events (Is this a simple meeting with your boss or a reason to race to the extreme conclusion that you are getting fired or promoted and nothing in between?). You see?
The moral of the story is: Just let things unfold. It’s good to be prepared, but there’s a different between preparing and predicting. Stop trying to predict the outcome and just let it happen. In a best case scenario, things go well and you didn’t waste time worrying. In a worst case scenario, things don’t go will but at least you didn’t waste time flipping out about it.
SO… That smoothie there is one of my favorites: 1 banana (frozen or not), 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, a hunk of fresh ginger, a date, peanut butter and some cinnamon.
No Sugar November is going well over here. I won’t lie about the fact that yesterday I really wanted some MF candy around 3pm. But I also know that my evening hours are far more energized the last five days than they were back when I’d snack on candy in the afternoon.
Also yesterday I said, “These grapes are too sweet.” Which is a sure sign this is working really well or a little too well.