Well, I laughed right out loud when I saw the question for last week’s Sandbox Writing Challenge,
What have you struggled to change in your own life?
A better question for me is what HAVEN’T I struggled to change in my life! If you were to read my journals from the past 20 years you’d probably find five main things I struggle with and whine about over and over and over again…
Coming in at 5th place is the NEVER ENDING BATTLE with not being a FINISHER! I don’t care if it’s something I’m writing (which I’m sure you’ve noticed by now), some cleaning I’m doing in the house, a book I’m reading, or a different kind of creative endeavor I’m engaged in (cross stitch, for example). I’ve tried making lists, setting goals, setting timers, making up schedules… All to no avail. It’s actually amazing I’ve done as well with getting the Sandbox challenges on here as I have!
Number four is maybe not so much a common problem for most people, but it is for me. I tend to do WAY too much for my family. I’m guessing that’s because I want them to think I’m a terrific wife and mom. I quit work in 2003, and to this day I still get up every morning (except Saturday) at 6:30 and get breakfast on the table for Drollery, even if it is just cereal and toast, and pack his lunch. I want him to think I’m a great wife! (Otherwise he might trade me in for new model!) If I’m going out to breakfast with the girls, I make his breakfast before I go. It wasn’t uncommon for me to fix TWO different meals at supper when the kids were growing up so everyone would be happy. I’ve always been that way to their detriment, I fear. I’ve tried to push them to become more autonomous (well Droll and Bran), but what usually happens is Number three!
I’m addicted — if there is such a thing — to feeling guilty. I’m one of those very programmed people who feels guilty for everything that happens in or around me. Whether it’s my fault or not makes no difference. I am just guilt prone and I’ve no idea how that happened. I’ve reasoned with myself till I’m blue in the face about why things aren’t my responsibility or my fault, but I always feel like I could have done something to fix things. I guess in the end it might be a control issue?
Number two would definitely be my battle with anxiety. Anything can set it off. Being in a new situation. Staying home alone. Traveling. Thinking someone’s upset with me (that’s a HUGE trigger for me), driving… There’s not many things that don’t trigger my anxiety from time to time. This is a big one for me. I’ve even been in counseling for this because it was causing me such terrible headaches. I grit and grind my teeth so much when I go to sleep that I’ve broken two and have to take half a xanax at bedtime to relax my jaw. Meditation has helped from time to time, but I have staunchly refused to be medicated for it beyond that little half pill at night.
But by far the number one thing I’ve tried to change about myself is to stop being so introspective. The only thing I’ve found over the years that’s helped with this is journaling. I know that sounds like it would make it worse, but there’s something about being able to bleed off those thoughts by getting them down on paper that really helps. Sort of like using a leech!. 😀 (Only half joking there…) I can honestly say that decompressing to a counselor was a waste of time for me.
So there you have it! My dirty little laundry list of things I’ve tried to change about myself. I keep wondering if the time will ever come that I’ll feel like it’s not worth engaging in the battle any more…
Picture Source: Odyssey