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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Sky is Falling!

I just had a day off. All week long I looked forward to this day off like a bride waits for her wedding day. And how was my day off? Awful.

With just one day off, and so much to do around the house, I couldn’t seem to relax. It seems I can’t take one day off without feeling like I should be kick butt busy all day. If I’m watching TV, I think I should be cleaning. If I’m cleaning, I think I should be writing, and if I’m writing I think I should be walking or exercising. I am never satisfied with what I’m doing because my brain doesn’t know how to shut off. With all this mental chatter come the coordinated emotions to go with it.

I tell myself; “I should be cleaning.” Which turns into “Get your life together you slob?” resulting in the emotion of guilt.
“I should be walking.” translates to “Hey fatty you look like crap.” resulting in the emotion of shame.
I should be writing evolves into a loud “You’re never going to get that book done…you loser!” resulting in the emotion of fear.
So, I clean the house, walk the dog, and work on my book, then I settle onto the couch with a bowl of healthy watermelon to watch an episode of my favorite TV show when the negative, and nagging, mental dialog starts up…..again.

An ad for facial cream comes on featuring a flawless faced twenty something, prompting my hand to move to the deep lines around my eyes, and I tell myself, “It’s too late for me. I should have started moisturizing when I was ten. The only thing that might help me now is a face lift, but they cost tons of money, which I don’t have, and besides in this neck of the woods there are no good surgeons so I’d probably end up with a botched facelift anyway. This triggers the emotion of fear. Fear of being ugly and old. Fun huh?

I’m certain that I’m tired because I can usually balance my thinking out. I call this mental maintenance. For every negative thought that I have I replace it with a positive one; which usually results in the good thoughts winning over the evil ones. But if I get tired, or worn down from life, and let go of my mental maintenance program then the negative thoughts subtly build on each other until they are all that I can hear, resulting in panic, anxiety, and a certainty that the end of the world is near. I call it the Chicken Little Syndrome. You know….That little chick that ran around, panic stricken, telling everyone that the sky was falling. O course it wasn’t, she'd just been hit on the head by an acorn. But a bunch of her buddies believed her and followed her into Foxey Loxey’s den where they all become fox food.

Yup, swallowing the lies of negativity may cause one to lose rationality and start running from an imagined disaster straight into the mouth of a very real one. So, forget the cleaning, walking, writing, or whatever is nagging at you, but never EVER forget your mental maintenance program. Nope.


Beth said...

Well said! I am guilty of the same thing and with this being my first day back to work after a week off, my brain is going 90 to nothing with all the stuff I didn't accomplish while I was off and now I am going to be adding to all of my "to do" lists! "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" Must do mental maintenance!!

L.C. Griffith said...

You have to laugh at how ridiculous we are sometimes. We fall into the "negative thinking" trap so easily. Maybe all the bad news in the media has contributed, I don't know. But I do know that it's painful to be stuck in that rut and it's a lot easier to fall into it than it is to climb out of it. ")

Cindy said...

You two need to realize that the world will not fall apart, nor will you, if you don't lose the weight, clean the house, or write the book. Remember, don't sweat the small stuff and ITS ALL SMALL STUFF! I never get done what I set out to do, but then I think, 'oh well, whatever'. I don't have the negative tirade in my head as you do, thank God. I don't know why, but I don't. You're right to fight it with positive. Just make sure the positive ALWAYS wins!!! Life is too damn short to beat ourselves up over things.

L.C. Griffith said...

Cindy, you are SOOOOO right! I wish I were more like you. There I go again! LOL!!! Thanks for the wisdom. My new mantra is going to be "It's all small stuff!"

Cathy said...

Oh my, the long suffering Henny-Penny in perpetual fight-or-flight mode! Seriously, sometimes not stepping up to the insatiable plate of shoulda-woulda-couldas is the very best choice and brings with it gifts we could not even have imagined...

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