I have something to admit . . . I’m one of those people who likes to peek at the end of a book from time to time. You know, just to know what I’m getting into, to make sure everyone is alright in the end, and because I’m really curious.
So, as I was thinking about a post this morning, I’ve been drawn to write about the values chapter. What’s been sticking with me as I read along is the essential questions of “What’s important to you – what do you value in this life — and does how you live your life reflect those values?” Because, I find that when I’m doing something that might make me anxious, I’m more motivated to go for it if it’s important to me.
These past few weeks I’ve been driving carpool with another family that I don’t know as well. Now, you know and I know that anxiety does not affect your ability to drive, but I’ve just gotten caught up in an anxiety cycle where I have thoughts of, “What if I get anxious and can’t drive carpool these five weeks? How will I explain that? What will people think? That would mean . . . . (any number of bad things that I make up in the moment).”
Typically, I feel worst on Monday, anticipating and feeling anxious beforehand. Then, once everyone is in the car and I’m driving it’s really fun. The kids are giggly and hysterical with each other the whole way home and I feel great. I just get caught in that imaginary “bad things will happen” cycle before hand and can’t seem to stop struggling in anticipation. Then I get upset with myself that “here we go again” and I struggle to stop struggling.
So, two things I’ve told myself lately: I’m reminded that it’s alright to have those thoughts and sensations — it’s ok to feel anxious here — and I welcomed all thoughts and sensations to stay for the party. Then, I reminded myself that being able to drive my child and her friends where they need to go is important to me. Doing something that might make me internally uncomfortable, but is safe, is an example I want to set for my kids.
We’re in the last week and just this morning I noticed some thoughts and feelings creep up. They poked their heads around to see who wanted to play and left when it was clear there was no one around. Tomorrow might be different, but I’m learning that the most important thing is that I’m willing to show up and do my job no matter what.
How are you doing what’s important to you this week, even if anxiety shows up?