A non-exhaustive list of things I have zero control over:
-Whether or not we have nice weather for my outdoors plans next weekend;
-If that customer from last week is still mad at me;
-What kind of food they’ll serve at an upcoming event I’m attending;
-How much the ding on my friend’s car door (that I caused) is going to cost to fix;
-How many people (if any) show up for the yoga class I teach.
A list of things I am currently stressing myself out over:
-Please refer back to the list of “things I have zero control over”.
WHY? Why do I do it? I am constantly worrying and stressing about things that I can do absolutely nothing to change. I know it’s irrational; I know it does nothing to help matters in any way; I know worrying is a waste of time. My mom always tells me not to worry about the things I can’t control, but seriously, that’s like telling a sleepy kitten not to purr. IT’S JUST WHAT I DO, OKAY? A self-admitted control freak, I worry the MOST about the things beyond my control.
It’s one of my worst habits, and the fact I know how stupid it is makes it worse.
I’m trying to work on it, little bits at a time. Trying to let go of the need for control, and just let things be. The antidepressants I’m on help a lot – I used to be an absolute state of anxiety at all times. Now I’m just the occasional Neurotic Nelly. But I’m trying, and I’m finding that the times I am able to loosen up a bit and not worry usually turn out pretty well.
Example? Last weekend I was going with some yogi friends for a little hike/yoga/picnic. April, my darling yoga teacher, was organizing the whole thing, and was making us all a special surprise lunch. Generally, I do not eat other people’s food. Both as a control freak and as someone with food “issues” (to say the least), surprise foods are not a fun time. But, I resisted the urge to stress about it or ask for a heads up of what we’d be eating. I joked to April that it was proof of how much I love and trust her that I’d eat her cooking, but honestly – it was a big thing for me! Anyway, I survived, and the picnic lunch turned out to be DELICIOUS. Good thing I didn’t waste time worrying about it, hey?
I’ve said before that I stress and get super nervous before teaching my yoga classes. But I’ve noticed that when I stop worrying about how many or how few people show up, and stop stressing about whether or not everyone’s enjoying themselves, I enjoy the class a whole lot more. And I’m sure my students do as well – no one wants a stressed out yoga teacher.
The more I think about those “stressful”, out-of-my-control situations, the more I realize how dumb it is to worry about them. If it rains, we can move the outdoor plans inside, or reschedule. If that customer is still pissed, that’s their issue – I did the best I could to help them. However much the car-fixing costs, I’ll deal with it and pay up. All the worrying in the world isn’t going to change the outcome of any of those things.
I read a quote recently that “if you worry, you suffer twice” – and I’m starting to believe it. You can worry and worry and worry about a thing, and it can turn out one of two ways. Either the bad thing you’re worrying about happens, and you’ve just made yourself suffer longer than necessary, or the bad thing doesn’t happen, and you’ve made yourself miserable for nothing. Why??
As someone who writes a blog titled “mai pen rai” (no worries), has a tattoo of the same, and says “no worries” as often as “please” or “thank you”, I really shouldn’t be such a worrywart. But hey, nobodies perfect. I’m workin’ on my flaws. And in the meantime, I’m not gonna stress about it.
mai pen rai, no worries, hakuna matada
DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY, MON