Enjoy the Ride, just not too long!
Let’s be real for a moment, shall we? I am living an awesome life. Love my husband (to the moon and back actually) and the dog, we have a house and a pool, food and entertainment and so on. I have a job that I am loving and a great team to work with and this weird year has probably also been the best year of my entire career. I am lucky.
And there are (few) times, when I want to lay on the kitchen floor, kick my legs in the air and throw a serious tantrum. Yes. Me. Despite so many people having it likely A LOT worse. My awesome life has a day, or two or three, that suck. Sometimes.
Hormones, pandemic, wrong foot out the bed first, too much work, not enough or not so great sleep, fears that should be faced and aren’t so they are looming around, guilt felt about missed opportunities, business travel blues, politics etc. Many different reasons and things that can get me (us) out of balance, despite having an otherwise great life.
And it really doesn’t matter, that others have it much worse, nor does it provide any consolation. It just doesn’t. Comparison is not only the thief of joy, it can also make the things I listed above feel even worse, as it adds another layer of guilt. So if you are about to compare your “pain” to other’s, stop right there! Stop and turn around. You do not want to go down this road, trust me. Been there, done that.
Am I ungrateful? No, I don’t think so. I do fully acknowledge my luck and fortune. And I also am very “tired” (you should really pick a charity, Tif!) after a super long year, that has had so many up and too many downs. I am getting a lot of praise and compliments at work this year and here I am. Tired of hearing those and wishing people would just leave me alone. Stop praising me. Stop complimenting, stop saying nice things. Just simply stop.
No I am not ungrateful – I am human.
In my coaching yesterday we did a an exercise, where I shared my top 5 accomplishments this year to focus on gratitude and count my blessings. It’s great. It usually helps a lot. As does listing all the things I can control when I feel overwhelmed. Usually but not always. And that does absolutely not mean, I will just give in or even give up. Not entirely at least. Just a little bit, without losing control entirely. And this is huge for me because I am a control freak.
I for example just put in my headphones with some seriously sad / aggressive music and jogged around the pool. Oh and the jogging around the pool is not uncommon for me, I am just super obsessed with closing my exercise ring on my watch, so that’s something I am regularly doing. The very loud and very sad music in my ears is not as common. My husband would even say that I hate loud music. So am I going crazy? I will admit it might have looked like it just a tiny bit, but at least I did not sing along (other than in my head). And I also really did not care. At all.
No worries, I am not going crazy. I am human, I am tired (there we go again) and I am coping. So loud, sad and aggressive music and moving my body it was. And I let my emotions tag along with the sentiment of the music and FELT my feelings. I did it until the music was all that was filling my head. And in the end I might or might not have broken into a tiny little dance while still jogging. And that’s when I knew the struggle train had reached the next station and it was safe to jump off and keep on with my journey called life.
Moving my body has turned out to be THE coping mechanism for me. It helps me so much. And of course endorphins are playing their part here, too. It’s what works for me. What does not work for me is “comfort food” and so instead of stuffing my face (as I would have years ago), I moved. Here some thoughts about “comfort food”, if you are interested.
The reason is quite simple – with stuffing my face with food comes continued food addiction, scale scares and ultimately I would add body image issues to my already long list above. And when I keep that in mind, “comfort food” sounds a lot less comforting.
Just to be very clear, nothing specific was triggering this today, other than 2020, a long day and a lot of work and in my books, that’s enough anyways. And right after my jog I sat down and wrote this little blog post. Writing is my second and maybe even more important coping mechanism. It gives me relief, as I am starting to heal and to make this not about me, but by sharing my experience, I make this about everyone else, that needs to read this today. The struggle train is not empty after all. I am sure many of you are joining me from time to time and from station to station and maybe my travel tip can be of help.
No matter what your coping mechanisms are, be safe, never compare your journey with those of others and don’t forget to jump off the struggle train, when you reach your station and keep on keeping on! It’s easy to get comfortable on the train and get too lazy to get off. That’s dangerous, though. You can overstay your welcome on a pity party!
Most importantly, if you feel you can’t find your way off that struggle train or getting off feels too difficult to do, just like in a real train station, find a hand that helps you bridge the gap to the platform. There is help out there, we just have to make the first step and take it.
Lifeline for example.
Be safe, stay healthy & take care!