Check that negativity

I’ve been a particularly stressy stress-head for the last few months. I had two big things on the horizon (a wedding and an interstate move), plus two jobs that I didn’t have enough working hours to complete to a high standard.

I thought once the wedding was over, life would settle down and I’d be less stressed and more…happy. But life never really settles down, does it? And as a stress addict, I create anxiety even when life is going pretty smoothly.

Our wedding was three weeks ago and it was wonderful. I had such a great time! We spent three weeks in Hawaii, prepping for the wedding, partying, catching up with friends and family, and generally honeymooning. (In case you were wondering, yes, we did purchase rings in Hawaii and it was the easiest, most stress-free decision we made.) I came back to Melbourne relaxed and a bit dazed. My brain hadn’t quite returned to real life yet.

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But it did. Oh man, did it. My husband still lives in South Australia, while I still live in Melbourne. We still spend five nights a week apart. He still drives 16 hours round trip to spend the weekends with me. I still have a big house full of crap to pack up (how do we own so much crap??) My job is still here, and it still sucks. There is still more work than I have time to do. And now I have even less time to do it than I thought, because I’m quitting in order to start a new job.

Wait, what? A new job? But that’s wonderful, isn’t it? Yes, it is, and I’m super excited about it, but I’ve let it cause me stress as well. I’ve let my thoughts become a dust storm inside my head, and I haven’t been able to think straight. The various things I’m trying to coordinate just keep whipping past and as I try to process one thought, another one slams into it. I slipped into a depression for a few days and I was blaming everything and everyone else until Hugh pointed out that it was me making a bigger deal of things than was necessary.

You mean, whether I get stressed out or anxious is a CHOICE? You mean, my ability to be mindful isn’t controlled by what’s going on in my life? There’s a novel thought.

I think part of the way I whip myself up into an anxious frenzy is by entertaining negativity and not allowing myself to believe that everything will work out just fine. I come to this realisation once every year or so, and then I start on something I call a Positivity Project that usually lasts about a week. It involves repeating positive mantras, and ignoring the niggling negative thoughts that I tend to prefer.

Everything WILL be okay. You WILL get your work done and your bosses WON’T hate you if you don’t. The new job WILL be great. The move WILL go smoothly. Living three days a week in one town and the other four in another WILL work and WILL be fun! You WILL get all the packing and cleaning and gardening done. And then you WILL live in matrimonial bliss with your new husband and your boxes and boxes of wool.

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