Archive for February, 2012

I Took the Road Less Traveled…Now Where the Heck Am I?

February 22, 2012

I was raised to take the safe path. Although I certainly wasn’t stifled in any way or discouraged from trying new things, I was taught to act rather conservatively when it came to trying new things or taking chances. There is nothing wrong with that, and most parents probably try to protect their children with the “better be safe than sorry” theory.

I heeded that advice for a while, even into adulthood and then I began to wonder what would happen if I stepped out of the box, climbed up onto the box for a better vantage point and looked to see what other roads were available to me.  I did just that and guess what? I saw lots of great opportunities and took advantage of some of them. And guess what else? At times, I fell off of the box and flat onto my face!  Things haven’t always gone the way I planned and I often find myself wondering where I’d be if I had taken the well-traveled and proven road. But, the bigger picture is that I usually end up counting the failures as successes because at least I dared to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.

But what happens when you take a new path and you end up lost or somewhere you don’t want to be? As I see it, you can become fearful, hit the panic button and stand screaming in the middle of the road; or you can use your wits and creativity to find your bearings, try another road and enjoy the journey!

It’s scary to make plans and have them go wacky! It can be disheartening when you think you’re on the right path and then a troll jumps out and scares you! There are roadblocks and detours and there will always be those who say, “I told you so” when you try something new and it doesn’t work. There might even be times when you wish you were back in your familiar territory because at least you would know where you were and it would be less lonely.

Every one of us has to make that decision for ourselves, but the older I get (and in dog years, I’m dead), the more convinced I am that when I am a little uncomfortable about a new path, but still willing to venture out; I know that I’m still alive!

Avoid Brain Chaos Syndrome

February 6, 2012

I recently found myself in a place of great chaos. I’m not referring to my garage, which is where everything that can’t find a resting place on a wall, a table, a counter, or the floor of my house goes to hang out. Nor am I referring to the interior of my car, which is the breeding ground of many science projects due to regular transporting of small children who eat part of their Happy Meals and stash the rest between the seats.

This chaos was in my head. As often happens, I had overloaded my brain with “stuff.” Every now and then, I fill every available crevice with what I call the “shoulda, woulda, couldas, oughtas, and what ifs” of my life. These are the things that I need to release, but I keep them around just in case I need to feel lousy. Add to that, the list of self-imposed duties that I feel I should accept when I am in my Wonder Woman frame of mind. These things, combined with my actual every day responsibilities, often cause me to go on Stress Overload. When this happens, I hear myself saying things like, “I’m at the end of my rope!” Completing this cycle, are one or all of the following: tears, a barrage of negative and possibly naughty words, a sense of panic, misdirected anger, and finally, total exhaustion.

How ridiculous is that? But, I believe I’m not the only one who goes through Chaotic Brain Syndrome. It occurs when we don’t regularly delete unnecessary and negative thoughts, and we keep filling our brains with more and more things that cause pressure, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.

I think of my brain as a storage closet. I keep lots of stuff in there, but I need to rearrange and discard items on a regular basis. There are things that I don’t need any longer (guilt, remorse, bitterness, feelings of martyrdom) and if I don’t remove them, there will not be room for the things I do want to keep or any new items that I’d like to store in there (joy, hope, healthy balance, confidence, self-value.)

If you are feeling chaotic, look into a mirror. If you are not wearing metal breast plates or a cape that blows in the wind, chances are you are not a Super Hero and you don’t have to fix all of the problems in the world. And if you are feeling like you’re at the end of your rope, first of all…just be glad that you have a rope. Then, try climbing the rope, rather than hanging yourself with it or waiting for someone to pull you up. Begin by saying “no” to extra responsibilities that you just can’t handle right now and saying “yes” to things that allow you to have good mental health.