Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: overthinking

And now I’ll Start My Day?!

There’s something I often say that suddenly got on my nerves and I had to correct myself. I stopped in my tracks and took notice after writing it in a Facebook post and then saying out loud to my husband as I got ready to take a shower. What was it?

“And NOW I’ll start my day…”

Seems innocuous, doesn’t it? But it is self-defeating and ridiculous. Here’s why.

It’s not the words I’m saying that are crazy talk, it’s WHEN I’m saying it. It usually comes to me when I am going through my husband’s office, gathering my stuff, and heading to the shower. Yesterday I realized why I say it.

I’m making excuses for why it looks like I’m only now getting off the couch and moving around the house, six hours after I woke up. But what have I been doing those last six hours?

Every morning I get up at 4am. My husband’s office is our bedroom. He works at 6am. I can’t sleep while he’s on the phone talking to co-workers and clients. Besides that, I know it sounds nuts, but I like to keep the same schedule as my husband so that we can actually LIVE together.

It’s 4am. Now what? I get a cup of coffee, my book, and my journal and I sit on my end of the couch and read. At 5am, he gets in the shower and then we go for a walk at 5:30. At 6, I do my yoga and meditate, maybe read a bit more. Between 7 and 8am, I make some breakfast and journal. After that, I sit to check my social media, post something to share with my friends and family, and then I write my blog post and edit and share the one I wrote the day before.

Now, it’s around 10am, maybe even as late as 11am. I get up, get in the shower, make my bed, start some laundry, do a couple chores, and have lunch.

“And NOW I’ll start my day?” Yeah, right! My day started hours ago, no wonder I’m exhausted by 3 or 4pm and just want dinner and some time to watch my favorite TV shows with my love most days!

I sat wondering. Why do I do that? Because my superpower is overthinking! Where would I be without it? Certainly not here on my computer tapping out words for several hours a day.

Somewhere along the line, I got it into my head that being me isn’t part of my actual workday. I haven’t had a job outside my home in twenty years. I raised our kids, homeschooled, and supported my husband while he supported us. Teamwork! And now I’m retired from that career, mostly. I mean, I’m still a housewife, but that isn’t nearly as much work as it used to be, so I have time to look around for another one.

Reading and writing here is my work. No, it doesn’t make me any money, but it does make me happy and fulfilled in the same way being a housewife does.

Some people might think I’m simply taking up space in this world. I say that’s what a human’s job is, to take up space. I’m just trying to do it in the happiest way possible without putting too much of a load on anyone else.

I refuse to say, “Now I’ll start my day” ever again. My day starts when I wake up in the morning and everything I do, from reading my book to watch tv, is a legitimate part of my day. I’m happy this way.

You Can Tame Your Thoughts with a Mediation Practice

“It wasn’t that she’d found any solutions or experienced any earth-shattering revelations, but the act of observing her looping thoughts seemed to slow them down, until at last they came to a complete stop, and she’d found that for moments of time she thought…nothing.”

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Meditation. When my sons were pre-school age, I started seeing a therapist and she urged me to give it a try. I fought against it for years. I wish I hadn’t.

About five years ago, I finally succumbed to peer-pressure, or Facebook advertising, and tried the 7-day free trial of a meditation app called Calm. It changed me. Delighted, I rolled right into the next 30-day trial and have been buying it every year since then.

Making Time for Meditation and Re-Focus

Lately, I’ve fallen away from daily mediation instead of increasing my sit time and I keep getting reminders like this one about why I should re-focus and make time for it.

Peace.

Meditation brings me a few minutes of peace from my looping, anxious thoughts. The instructions that the Calm app gave me were different than any other in that they didn’t ask me to clear my mind or stop thinking. They said focus on something simple, like my breath coming in and out of my chest. Every time I lost my focus, I’d take a deep breath and start again. I hadn’t failed. I had built up a practice. The point was to recognize that my mind had shifted focus and bring it back. The bringing it back was the practice. And I was getting good at it.

I’m a classic “over-thinker.”

It’s actually a sore spot for me. People that point out that I’m overthinking something usually get the nastier of reactions in my repertoire. My thoughts usually run immediately to, “Maybe if more people did SOME thinking, I wouldn’t have so much on my plate to consider!” It bugs me that most people shun any type of thinking, as if those that put time into considering options and the consequences of their actions are just crazy and need help.

I want to do a little justifying myself for a moment. One reason that I overthink some things is that I hate miscommunication. I tend to fly off the handle with people. I’m reactionary. But I don’t want people to think badly of me, so now I try to consider everyone’s point of view and ask a lot of questions. I’m trying to understand. Then people get offended, as if my quest to understand is questioning their choices. I get angry and defensive and then spend more time in my head wondering what I could have done better. How can I do that without asking more questions?! Anxiety builds.

Enter meditation. Like the quote says, I don’t have any blinding revelations while I meditate. What I gain is time.

Meditation has taught me to think in one direction, realize when I’ve stopped, and refocus.

It puts time between my impressions of people and my reaction to the things they do or bring up in me. It has created a space for me to think before I act.

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