I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner tonight and broke another glass – I think we are down to 3 in this particular style. There may have been a resigned, slightly frustrated sigh, but there was no swearing and thankfully no blood from this latest kitchen calamity. I am grateful for the tiny miracles.
For some reason, maybe paired with yesterday’s slip and fall, it made me think about negative thoughts. And it occurs to me, yet again, that my whole frame of reference has shifted.
While I am still kind of a clumsy girl, I fall less. A year ago I had an ongoing, rotating series of bruises and scrapes on my arms and legs. It has actually been a few months since I have taken a tumble or needed a bandaid for anything other than my weekly B12 shot.
My tumble yesterday did not start me down the rabbit hole of feeling bad, feeling stupid, or thinking poorly of myself and my capabilities. I am not particularly embarrassed either; it was early in the morning and I got sloppy. Shit happens.
This morning’s sweaty and gross on a skype call was no big deal. Really, I mean that. I was telling M about it briefly when he got home from his run and even he was rather impressed with my blasé attitude about it. But from where I am sitting, this was kind of an exception to my operating hours and I have a great working relationship with my client. Since I am not a very high-maintenance woman in my general grooming practices, i.e., I don’t wear make-up and my hair is usually combed and neat yet nothing fancy, the stretch from the me he sees in our regular meetings and me this morning was not that far apart.
Negative girl, that droning, critical voice inside my head, has been quiet for weeks now. Other than mentioning it in my writing here, I have not given her much thought in so long I am having a difficult time remembering the last time I self-shredded and berated myself for normal human shortcomings and mistakes. Don’t get me wrong – I am quite aware of the fact that I make mistakes, probably at least as much as the national average – but I my not hyper-sensitive and/or hypercritical about it.
Believe me, this is new and unexpected behavior from me. It has been so slow and steady in its creep into my consciousness I have grown comfortable with it that the new normal feels … normal.
I have a new theory about why my spin cycles of obsessive thinking and stress have become fewer and farther between, particularly lately when the punches from old friends have been lobbed and disappointments in behaviors and communications have crept into my realm. I recognize the incoming insults, and I feel the disappointment. But my give-a-shit button seems to have been disabled. While my remaining most insecure insides want it to matter more to me than it presently seems to, what I desire more is for those on the other side of these equation to grow the Hell up and talk to me directly, like the adults we are all supposed to be in this stage of our lives.
And maybe someday they will. But until that day comes, I am setting aside the emotions attached and putting those relationships on ice and into long-term storage. Because I know what those friends mean/meant to me; I will not speculate or devalue myself
any further anymore in my own mind based on present circumstances and behaviors.
Progress. For sure. I have grown enough confidence to let go with some regret and achieved a wider, wiser personal perspective. My values and sense of self are worth maintaining at their present levels, perhaps grown as time passes. Fretting about situations I cannot impact or change is just another time-suck that i could be spending reading the stack of ebooks I have on my reading lists and in various apps on my tablet and phone. Everything from diet and fitness to philosophy and fiction to self-help and finance. Thankfully these are Kindle and ebooks; my nightstand is inadequate to support the load of reading materials I have been loaned or in my Kindle app.
Old friends have been praising my airy, lighter frame of reference here in the blog and in other ways we communicate, and it has become such a common comment I recognize the truth in their statements. What has surprised me, though, is that I can accept it graciously and with a smile. There is no self-recrimination about how I have felt or reacted or been in the past. In the present, and hopefully long into the future, I am improving and evolving. Here in the blog I have written from a place of fear, insecurity, anxiety, and I used to think about how negative and whiney I sounded in print. Such thoughts rarely cross my mind much anymore, although I still hear them if I listen closely enough and feel them weigh upon my spirit if I allow it. My focus has narrowed to what I can control and maintain – my relationships with M and my family, my jobs, my health, and my peace of mind. I have long felt as if I were a happy person, but now I am a more contented, satisfied, confident person as well. For me there is a huge difference, and I never truly understood it until I crossed over to this expanded space in my head.
Embracing the positive leaves very little room to wallow in the negative, and perfect truly is enemy of the good. I am quite good enough and still improving every day.