I was reading lately about stress and anxiety and things that go wrong and the effect of things that go wrong and being bogged down and feeling bogged down and… wait, I’m sorry, what were we talking about? Oh, yeah… reading.
Okay, so I was reading an article recently and it called for the reader to do an activity, you know like one of those McCall’s “are you compatible with your mate” type of things but this was more of a “are you compatible with you” sort of thing. The activity was to write down all the events that had caused an excess of stress in your life in recent years. Once you had your list, you were then to take each event separately and try to assess how you differed before the event and after the event.
I reluctantly reached for a piece of paper and a pen and began my inventory, half-way through I started laughing at the events that had taken place… I’m sure this wasn’t the outcome the author was hoping for. But still… there was laughter on my end. I finished my inventory and gazed at the paper that held so many traumatic, un-fun, life-changing, sucky things — the same paper I had just laughed at — and I cried, a little. Then I wadded it up and threw it away. Not out of any life-affirming-zen-moment-metaphoric exercise… just because I didn’t need the reminder of the things that have transpired staring up at me from a piece of paper… I live with them, tucked away in the (not so) far reaches of my mind.
About 6 times a week, I see a car that is an exact replica to my mother’s car and inadvertently there is always an older woman peering over the steering wheel with sunglasses on — I always stare a little too long. About 5 times a week I look at a picture of my father that is perched above my sun-visor in my car — it’s him, looking just the way a memory should be. About 4 times a week, I open up the drawer where I put my dog’s collar after she passed away — she was such a sweet friend. About 3 times a week, I ride down a particular road that holds a sign in remembrance to a policeman who was killed in the line of duty. That same policeman had, just two months before he was killed, wrapped his arms around me and comforted me as I had just unsuccessfully performed CPR on a 9 year-old boy. About twice a week I read blogs and comments written by people I admire and look up to but don’t know at all. Everyday I walk around a house that was to be a dream home that now I can’t get out of fast enough. At least once a week I look back on posts I’ve written and the comments that were left by people who may never return. My “life event inventory” had filled up the last couple of years. So… I threw it away.
And… I didn’t feel better when I did. There was no life-affirming breath of fresh air propelling me to carry-on. Just a crumbled up piece of paper with some really sucky things on it. But… there was this…
I made another list. Things I needed to do the next day — just one day of events I needed to do. Here’s some of that list:
- help a child with autism
- help a teacher of a child with autism
- make dinner with my son
- cuddle with my daughter
- wash my car
- read a book
- say “I’m sorry”… again
- call my sister
- go to dinner with my best friend
- drink wine (and enjoy it)
That was my one day list of things I needed to do — and I did them all. That made me take notice of this life — it made me appreciate the events that are yet to come. It made me stop wishing for a different outcome and start working towards a different outcome — it’s never too late for a happy ending, and I’m holding out for a really sappy one.
What about you? Any sappy endings you want to share?
I’ve added something new to the tool bar on the right. It’s called Daily Mile. I log the amount of exercise I’m doing each day and keep you posted on any upcoming races I’m entering and you can send me encouragement for my journey! Click the link and give it a try!
…and of course, some music. I love David Gray and listening to him explain how he came about to write this particular song has intrigued me immensely.