Struck by inspiration from a talk I had yesterday with Jimmy I wrote the following on the whiteboard in the study/entry room:
Thought For the Day
If you seek control of life,
Start with controlling yourself.
Not everyone has an overwhelming need to control everything like I do. Or feels the absence of control so strongly. But this is a thought I hold in my head because it does apply to me. And because it is good advice for Jimmy as well.
When I am at a low point it is often because I am being affected by or have been affected by something beyond my control. Now I realize that much of our day to day lives in this world are beyond our control. And it is always good advice to heed the basics of the Serenity Prayer.
There are moments or times or instances where I am dealing with something I can control. If I don’t like my current lack of physical fitness. Or if I am tired of the house being a mess. Or I want to do better at a something. I have had to learn over the last year or so, and especially over the last couple of months, that if I just do something. If I clean up those dishes myself, or go for a walk. I will feel better because I am taking control over something in my life.
It makes those times when I do not have that control much easier to handle emotionally. I can accept that my team is losing. Or that the election is a massive distraction. I do not have the personal investment in those things when I am taking personal control of things in my own life. It tends to make it easier to sleep in those circumstances.
The last week has been a good example. At least one of the kids has been home sick from school every day. Danny and Jimmy are old enough to be home alone for longer stretches when they are sick but I feel obligated to be around anyway, and since Emily was sick last week I really needed to be home. I cannot keep the kids from getting sick, there is a virus going around. But it does restrict what I can and cannot do when it happens. Therefore it increases my anxiety because something beyond my control is affecting my life. I have been able to combat this for the most part by focusing on the little things I can do around the house and that I can control. That has been a success for the most part. By focusing on the things I can do and can control, I have worried less about those things I cannot control.