Distractions are all around us. No matter where you look, they are out there. Waiting for you. When I was talking to a friend earlier today about an unrelated topic, she pointed out the obvious. I need to focus, and to help me to do this, I need to be keeping my eyes on the prize.
In the business world, I am seen as a bit confusing, as I have been told I am too diversified. When we talked about this, I explained that I thought it was what I was supposed to be doing, because the moment I declared that my jewellery business, Tish MacWebber Always Blinging would now be officially a hobby for me, someone wanted to buy Book Bling. I took it as a sign, telling me that I was right all along. I thought it meant to keep pushing forward, full speed ahead in all areas.
My friend wisely pointed out I misinterpreted the sign. It wasn’t telling me to keep doing all of the things, but rather, testing my declaration.
Hang on there.
Maybe I was wrong.
In that moment, I realized she was right. The sign wasn’t a sign at all. It was a distraction.
How many times have you misinterpreted a sign?
I can assure you, it is very easy to do. One minute you are feeling great about the choices you have made for the food you have eaten so far that day and the next minute you are looking at the tub of ice cream in your freezer. You didn’t open the freezer to get ice cream, but now that it is staring you in the face, it is the only reason you should have opened the freezer.
Or is it?
What you really opened the freezer for was to get the bag of frozen broccoli out to thaw because you want to make a casserole, and one of the ingredients is broccoli.
But the ice cream is just there. Screaming at you. Insisting that it needs you to eat it right now, so that you can get the instant gratification it always gives you. You imagine yourself eating all of the ice cream, and how happy you will be.
Until you realize that you ate it all and feel awful because you were doing so well and the ice cream DISTRACTED you from your goal. Oh, it is sneaky and mean and it wants you to eat it all every time you open the freezer.
So do you lock the freezer and never open it again?
You could. It is not the practical choice, and truthfully it is not very realistic.
Should you declare to never ever buy ice cream again?
Maybe. But we all know the second you do, your favourite flavour is going to be on an incredible sale the very next time you walk into the grocery store.
What is the right answer?
When I open the freezer, I need to focus on the broccoli. The ice cream is only going to be a temporary distraction. Ice cream has its time and place, as a treat, not as an everyday splash into guilty pleasures. As much as I love a bowl of ice cream, I need to remember that I am on a new path where I am being kind to myself.
I need to love myself more than I love ice cream
That right there is a bold statement. The love I have for ice cream is right up there with lobster and pizza. It includes chocolate. To be perfectly honest, there aren’t many foods which I don’t love. The struggle is most certainly real, and when you put broccoli up against ice cream, the broccoli doesn’t stand a chance if I am not committed to my goals.
Broccoli has one thing going for it in this equation. Me. If I choose to get the broccoli and continue making the casserole, I will be preparing a meal which can be the reason I open the freezer for. Healthy food is how I show myself kindness. I need to focus on the short term goals to be able to claim the prize I am aiming for.
I know I will falter from time to time. Being human means I am not perfect, and I will make mistakes. I will be tested and distracted. The point is to not stay there. If you picked up the tub of ice cream because it was on sale, it is going to be there until you eat it. Unless you need to eat your feelings, which is never the positive choice to make but might happen if you get dumped or fired, it is not going to go bad before you eat it. It can stay right where it is because it will be there when you do decide that you want a bowl of ice cream as a treat.
Indulgences are a privilege of being an adult
You are your own boss of your life. So get the broccoli out of the freezer, close the door and act like it. Set your goals, keep your eyes on the prize and focus.
As I am writing, I am also recognizing that I have steadily lost a pound or two in the last few weeks. I weighed in at 313.6 pounds yesterday. I am getting closer to taking the new picture for this blog, the one where I show myself and the world I can and will reach my goals, one pound at a time.
I have been following different people at different times in my journey, since it started in November of 2016. There are people who inspire me, people who have become friends, and colleagues in the authorpreneur world. (Yes, that was an intentional spelling, we do combine as authors and entrepreneurs). As a result of my own curiosity and desire to learn, I have discovered that I have issues with anxiety.
I want to explain my own beliefs. First, I believe in the magic of the universe mixes equally with science. In addition, I also have a strong sense of faith. My faith tells me that I do not have to understand how they all mix together, but that they all begin with God. To clarify, I am not writing to preach, but rather to explain why I can openly accept the beliefs of others while staying true to my own.
So, are you still with me? Good. Now that I have given you a basic understanding of my own personal belief system, I can move on to what is prompting me to go there. I have friends who are believers of the magic of the universe, and one of them shared posts about anxiety.
It is more than just being stressed out.
I see a lot of the signs of anxiety in my life. Being a stubborn person, I am strong enough on an average day to use the mind over matter theory. This allows me to carry on without these signs ruling how my day will go. If I am in a situation like I was a couple of weeks ago, on the other hand, things can escalate quickly. Consequently, there are times when I do not know what is happening. Therefore if I don’t recognize the signs, I cannot manage how I am feeling. This can be scary, as a result.
In the past, it has led me to the hospital to make sure my heart is okay. It is. On the day I went to the hospital, I was having a full blown panic attack. There is no reason why I was panicking. It was my anxiety. Until I was aware of what was happening, and since the symptoms were similar to what a woman can experience when having a heart attack, I went to the hospital. Once I understood that my heart was okay, I started to feel better.
The mind can play tricks, as it did in the situation I described above. It can react in a panic attack, and leave me wondering what caused it. As an overacheiver who is all too often too hard on herself, I frequently become overwhelmed. If I am being completely honest, sometimes it happens on a delay with me. I can be perfectly fine and finished with whatever should have made me feel anxious, and then at a later time my body will react. Fun times.
More recent signs have been showing up when I am driving my car. No, it is not road rage I am referring to. It is venting, for a lack of better terms, while I am driving. This has happened in relation to my planning to be on time for something, and angry because circumstances are going to cause me to be late.
I have written about this a little on my own personal Facebook wall, and if you are a follower, then you are already aware that I have been yelling in my car. For example, I try very hard to be on time. As a result, when I am going to be late because of something like the snowplough driver going by and leaving snow in the way of me moving my car or forgetting something at home which I need for the event I am going to, the anger inside of me can cause a meltdown.
When the cork pops on the bottle of my emotions, there is a lot of force behind it.
I recently had a book signing event at a large book store. It is a well known chain within Canada, Chapters. It was a big deal. I left with enough time to arrive early. While I was on the road, I realized I had left my signs at home. Consequently, I had to turn around to go and get them. As a result of this I began losing my composure.
My husband happened to be outside working on widening the driveway and shoveling. I got him to go get the signs, and I continued on my way. After I drove away, I had a mini meltdown in my car. I yelled at myself for being late and I yelled at my husband for not going with me to support me. In addition to the eruption of my frustration, I had a few tears while I expressed my feelings. Guess what? It wasn’t anger or the things I was yelling about which caused the meltdown. It was anxiety.
I try not to keep things bottled up. When I do, it inevitably causes me to have meltdowns. For instance, I certainly never realized until recently that every time I have experienced a meltdown, that the underlying cause was anxiety. most importantly, having this knowledge is something I am going to be able to deal with a little better the next time I am freaking out.
I am glad I know what is happening.
Knowledge is power. With this information, I can learn how to avoid the meltdowns if I know what the cause of them is. I can’t say that I will never freak out or have a meltdown again. As an emotional woman, I know I need to express what I am feeling to be able to grow as a person and to be more creative. Accepting my emotions in various situations has already helped me in both of these areas. As a result, it doesn’t mean I have all of the answers, but it does give me some clues for what to watch out for.
After that, all my worrying, when I arrived at the book signing event I was right on time. On the other hand, I was a jittery mess. When the offer of coffee or water from the Manager on Duty in the store was made, I passed.I chose to have a piece of gum in my mouth, to help calm my nerves. This alone did not calm me down.
Therefore, I was an anxious author until two really good friends showed up. I had packed my own camera, but when they arrived, my friend who also takes amazing pictures was one of the two who came to see me. He took some really great pictures of me at the event, and I will share them here.
The power of friendship.
After my friends came to see me, I noticed I was calming down. As a result of seeing them, I relaxed, so much so that I was able to finish the event with ease. Upon my own reflection, I think the reason I was having such a hard time was both the location of the event, and feeling like I wasn’t getting support. Of course, I absolutely understand that my family and friends support me, and most importantly I know it. I just had to see some familiar faces in the crowd on that busy afternoon to help me remember.
My first book, From Where I am Sitting…A Collection of Cat Tales is available to purchase locally at Artful Persuasion, Chapters, Westminster Books, and Whimsy. If you do not live in Fredericton, you can visit my Bookspage to order your copy online.
In addition to my first book, I am currently writing my second book, #Tishspiration: The Art of Surprising Yourself as well as writing a short story draft for submission to an anthology. The Tishspiration Newsletter is going to be sent out in March, so don’t forget to sign up to get your copy, right from the start…and I just announced yesterday I am working on Tishspiration Station, my Youtube Channel with weekly #Tishspiration videos.
Finally, I want to say thank you to my friends.
In conclusion, I want to thank Ginger for bringing the posts to anxiety not only to my attention but to help many people who have seen them. I also want to thank Matty for taking the pictures and showing up with Ash on my event day. It really meant so much to have them show their support, and,, subsequently, they made me feel so much better during the rest of the event.
Do you have anxiety? How do you manage it in your life? Leave your comments below, and maybe we can help each other cope with it better.