Scarlett’s Letter August 9, 2013

Today was a perfectly executed day. Somehow.

The day started with a little meditation, written affirmations and gratitude, my “usual” breakfast and a shower. I worked, had a nice little lunch and a nice little chat on the phone with my Sweetie. But in the reverse order, as I think about it. Then I went to the gym for an enthusiastic hour of cardio, came home, showered again, had a quick dinner and got an hour-long massage. I had one glass of wine when I returned home while I prepared for my “club” run tomorrow morning. Seems like I’d be in a good mood. I’m not. I, actually, feel somewhat murderous. My fuse is so short, it couldn’t be lit with an acetylene torch.

I have been letting everything everyone says, or doesn’t say, get to me. Everything everyone does, or doesn’t do, too. All day and half the night. And it’s worse at night.

I’ve been trying to think this through all week, I’ve applied all the wisdom I possess, and dispense, and still feel like Charles Manson, on a Monday morning, running late, caught in traffic, with no coffee, behind a big SUV you can’t see around, whose driver keeps tapping the brakes for no reason whatsoever. Whatever that feels like. I’ve re-read portions of books and blogs I look to for solace, I’ve increased my exercise and decreased my alcohol intake. Nothing has happened to trigger this feeling, that I have identified. It’s no one thing, I think, and it isn’t everything. Generally, I’m quite happy for where I’m at right now in the process of things, in the process of my own, personal “evolution”.

I think I might have caught the “Chicken Little Syndrome”. From my mother, perhaps. I wasn’t aware it was that contagious. I thought, perhaps, I’d been inoculated against it. Maybe not.

The “Chicken Little Syndrome” is fear of stupid things you have no control of.  Similar to the “What If Syndrome”, but more violent. With the “What If Syndrome”, you just imagine all the bad shit that could happen may, in fact, happen. With the “Chicken Little Syndrome”, you think all the bad shit that could happen is going to happen for certain and with force, falling from the sky, like a meteor shower.

The irony is, I was just, in complete and total exasperation, explaining to my mom the “worry circle”. It goes like this; you have a worry.  Can you fix whatever you’re worried about? If so, then why worry? Or, obviously, if it’s something you can’t fix, then there is certainly no use worrying about it. Right? So even if all the bad shit we could imagine were likely to rain down on us like a meteor shower, worrying about it isn’t going to fix it. Seek shelter and keep whistling your happy tune.

In one of the hundreds of books I’ve read in the past few years, and sadly, I can’t remember which one, it said when we let things get to us, worries, petty grievances, annoyances, anger, sorrow, or any negative feeling, or even people, we are giving control over to that negative force. We are allowing it to control our emotions, our mood, our sleep, our energy level, our productivity, our thoughts, and, eventually, our health as a whole. Heck, our whole life.

We need to be better control freaks. We just need to regain control over our reaction to those things we’ve allowed to come into our lives. It isn’t about whatever is making us feel bad, mad or upset, it’s that we’re letting it make us feel terrible in some way. We just need to decide to not let anything, or anyone, impact us in that manner. We need to decide not to react negatively to those negative stimuli. Easier said than done, granted. But being present, living in the “now” and realizing that in this precise moment, we are fine, we are good, actually, and we are in control of that immediate feeling. Now expand that into the future. Worrying about shit that could happen is thinking about the future and depriving us of the present, in which we are, in fact, okay.

It’s like those folks that go to the amusement park and ride the water ride, then cower and cringe and cover themselves so they won’t get wet. Why bother going on the ride? You should get on the ride, sit in the front, and as the boat heads down the drop towards the deep pool, raise your arms, smile and let the water wash all over you. You’re going to look better in the picture that way, and, you’re going to experience the ride the way it was meant to be. Not miss out. If we let each and every moment, as it occurs, wash over us and experience it fully, we live life as it is intended. If we cower and cringe and cover ourselves up for what might happen in the future, we miss the whole point.

So, a couple of hours later than planned, I am making my chocolate milk and preparing my breakfast for tomorrow. My running watch is tucked into my running shoes, so I won’t forget it and my alarm is set for 4:30 AM. I am ready to head off to a restful night’s sleep, chanting a mantra of “now, now, now” to remind me that, right now, I am in control of my reactions to everything and everyone around me and that right now, I am fine. Splendid, in fact.

 

How not to forget your running watch. As long as you don't forget your shoes, you're good.
How not to forget your running watch. As long as you don’t forget your shoes, you’re good.
Hydration pack filled, phone, keys, wallet, all the night before.
Hydration pack filled, phone, keys, wallet, all the night before.
I seriously considered just sleeping in my running clothes to make it easier, but that actually kind of grosses me out a little, at the thought.
I seriously considered just sleeping in my running clothes to make it easier, but that actually kind of grosses me out a little, at the thought.
Everything I'll need to fuel my morning run, before, during and after. Again, all prepared the night before.
Everything I’ll need to fuel my morning run, before, during and after. Again, all prepared the night before.
I make the effort to prepare, fully, the night before because of this small fact; a 4:30 AM wake up call.
I make the effort to prepare, fully, the night before because of this small fact; a 4:30 AM wake up call.

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