It’s been a bit since I’ve posted. Lack of inspiration, time, and motivation have a way of disrupting life. But the main reason is a questioning of purpose – my purpose.
I am a very self-analytical person. This is a wonderful asset most of the time, but other times it can be very detrimental. I cannot make a decision until I have weighed all sides, analyzed the motive, and pondered the possible outcomes of said choices. The more profound and life altering the situation is, the more I will agonize over it.
For example, going back to school (which I am currently in the midst of).
Here is a running inner monologue that takes place almost weekly, sometimes daily if I’m particularly stressed or down:
- What am I doing?
- What jobs can I get?
- Do I want to give up my free time?
- What about the kids?
- This is stupid.
- I’m never going to get a job.
- I’m too old.
- I should have picked a different degree.
- It makes me so happy to share what I know!
- Literature is sooo fascinating!
- I CAN do this.
And on and on it goes, often cycling back around to “what am I doing.”
So how do I overcome the doubts, the unknowns, the negativity?
One day at a time.
If I waited to make a decision until I was 100% sure, I would still be standing in the middle of a toy aisle trying to decide which Barbie to get. When I was 9 that seemed like the most difficult decision I ever had to make. I cried. I stressed. It was painful. Man, if that was still the hardest choice I ever had to make in my 47 years, life would be awesome!
We make decisions every day, all day. I decide whether or not I am going to get up with my alarm or hit the SNOOZE. I decide what to wear, what to eat, and if to exercise. I also decide how I will interact with others and my attitude. I even decide how to react to events and circumstances. Even when things are beyond my control, I am in control of me as I’ve stated in a past blog, Choose How You React.
Now, this doesn’t mean I will be in control from the get go. I have a long list of acting out in the moment. That’s just being a human and some of the best memories I have came from spontaneity. But if I don’t like how I’m feeling or acting, I can make the decision to change.
When I was going through my separation and divorce I made a lot of poor choices. It’s hard to think rationally when you’re hurting. Things that seem so basic and simple suddenly became an obstacle. I chose not to get out of bed, or to eat, or to even shower. I allowed circumstances to make the decisions and I was suffering because of it. It was then that I fell back to a reliable tactic- take one day at a time, sometimes one second at a time.
When a circumstance or decision seems too huge to navigate, break it down. You wouldn’t feed an infant a steak, you’ve got to start them off small and with what they can handle.
To climb out of my depression I made small choices first – get up, shower, eat – and as I gained confidence in myself to do these little things I could eventually tackle the bigger decisions.
I’m still not sure whether going for my Masters will get me the job I want or what I’ll do with it, but for now I’m taking the baby steps – one class at a time.
Make lists. Count your victories, even the small ones. Be gentle and forgiving with yourself. Remember you make the decisions.
And in all
Find a support system. I couldn’t have made it out of that Barbie aisle without the help of my Mom. I couldn’t have raised kids without a backbone of family. I wouldn’t have graduated any school without the rallying cheers of my friends. I couldn’t even do this blog without the can-do attitude of my “Robin Hood.” Though it may feel at times we go through this world alone, there are people out there ready and willing to help. You just got to make the choice to find them, ask them, and let them in.
Sorry if this was a bit rambling. As with everything I talk about I hope it brings inspiration and hope by creating a different perspective on life. I often sit down and write with one idea in mind but the words always seem to take on a life of their own.
Feel free to share how you overcome the demons of negative thought, make tough decisions, and keep a positive outlook on life here in the comments. You never know who is reading that your story can inspire or help.
~ Pax tibi