Get On With It


It’s been a little over a year since my diagnosis, and a year yesterday for surgery. Wow, what a whirlwind ride this has been.

I’m thankful to still be here. I’m thankful to have hair, even though it’s white now.

I promise I am not going to dwell on this forever, but since I’ve been riddled with anxiety for the past week over just about everything, this is part of my healing process.  I have to process these thoughts, learn to manage the emotions and the overwhelm.

What has changed?  Everything.

OH, on the surface onlookers may think I’m the same old same old. but I’m not. I am learning to make myself a priority –  still learning, still trying to use that word NO, and still doing the self-talk to tell myself I’m worth it. Because you know what?  I am!

We all are.  Each one of us deserves a fulfilling life and to achieve our own happiness.  Each of us is a unique one of a kind original. It’s hard to keep that in mind at times when the lemming tendencies of our society scream that we need to fit in and do what everyone else is doing.

How are we ever going to stand out from the crowd if we are doing the same thing, looking the same, wearing the same hairstyle?  There is nothing wrong with being ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with being who you are, regardless of that mean bitch from school says.

Screw her! OH wait,  most of the guys already have!

That was a joke, sort of.

We need to stop being influenced by those mean girls and the pretty people. They are a minority and we outnumber them into the millions. Why do we ever care what they think?

For me,  I’ve always had this element of people pleasing. It’s a lifelong habit that I’m working on breaking.  It’s part of exercising that word NO.

What do you think?  What do you want to do? I”m not saying that you do whatever you want even if it’s illegal or immoral. I’m talking about pursuing your dreams, setting goals for yourself and learning to get our thoughts in line with drawing what we truly want out of life.

There are times when the overwhelm is just too much for me. This was never an issue before cancer. I’ve been thinking about why that is.  Part of it, as listed in the side effects of the chemo meds I have to take is increased anxiety. OH, joy! But I take the meds because I want to live cancer free.

Part of it, I’ve deduced is because I’ve spent a lifetime stress eating and putting myself into a food stupor when I was overwhelmed so that I could numb myself from the pain and anxiety.  Do you think overweight people simply eat too much?  It’s so much more than that.

OK, you take someone who has put on twenty pounds because they’ve been hitting the pizza and beer too often and no biggie,  they cut down on their consumption and within a short time have taken the weight off. But a fat person?  I mean someone who has been overweight for a long time, maybe their whole life, it’s a psychological issue as much as it is about overeating.  Hence the yo-yo up and down the scale.

Anyway,  this isn’t about being fat or me being frustrated that the weight isn’t coming off faster. This is ultimately about change and learning to control the thoughts and emotions.

Some things change quickly –  surgery – I had cancer, they removed the tumors.

Some things take time –  it took many treatments for the radiation to be effective.

Some things take even longer – learning to eat differently, learning new habits, learning new limitations.

Ultimately though, aren’t we all learning? Whether we are adjusting to dietary limitations, or physical limitations or emotional,  we have to overcome, adapt, and learn what our best is each and every day.  Maybe today it’s learning that “I’m OK. Tomorrow it may be “I can’t do that but I can tackle this.”

Early in the week, I was a whirlwind of energy and productivity. Yesterday I fell into a pit of overwhelm and could barely function.  I was a mess of tears, snotting and snorting and nearly hyperventilating. My friend Misty talked me down. She walked me through the sensory steps,  reminded me of the four agreements, and then my husband called around lunchtime and told me to throw away my list.

 NO, not my list! The LIST is like, THE PIRATE CODE.

Cue increased panic.

He reminded me that nothing on my list was mandatory. (But,  it’s my list.  I don’t list unnecessary things to do.) Nothing is mandatory and has to be done today.  The only mandatory things on the list were my day job, getting my blog post up (because it was a personal goal) and making sure I did my physical therapy.

As I glanced over my precious list of twenty-seven items, I realized he was right. As much as I wanted to get those other things accomplished and checked off the list –  only list makers will get that – the world was not going to end if I waited for another day to try to tackle them.

One of those items was a social situation with someone that causes me continued stress. At the end of the day, I realized that it was in my own best interest to say NO, and bow out. The second part of that is allowing myself to not fret over the decision and accept that I need to take care of myself.

Why does it have to be so hard to say no? What is it that I was so afraid of? That they would be mad at me? They don’t like me anyway. Hard to imagine, but they don’t.

I refer to Agreement Number 2: Don’t take anything Personal. Nothing others do is because of you. What others do or say is a product of their own reality, their own dreams and actions. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of suffering.

Breathe.

Inhala . . . exhala . . . and now I can get on with it.

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

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TOP 10 CRITICAL CHOICES IN WINNING AGAINST ENEMY #1


That’s right!  I’ve got on my ****kicking boots!  No prisoners, no quarter, no mercy!

You want to win don’t you?  You want to come out on top!  So who is your worst enemy?

YOU!  That’s right, we are our own worst enemies!  We can defeat ourselves before we ever  leave the starting blocks;  those little self talks we have that end with us defeated.  Think about it, if you could be  the you behind that inner voice, nothing could ever defeat you again!

Why not?  You are the one behind that voice, why not harness that same energy to  guarantee your victory?  After all, that part of you is used to winning.  That part of you is smug, arrogant, and laughs at the weaker you that it often defeats.  That part of you is exceptionally skilled at pinpointing with lazer beam accuracy your weaknesses.  Take “that part of you” by the throat and teach them who they are really messing with.

That’s right ‘bully me’, I’ve had enough and I’m not taking any of your duff again!  I’m in charge now – go cower in your corner and don’t come back until I give you permission!

Oh, excuse me just had to deal with my own little vixen there!

So, how?  How are you going to tame the beast and manage to put yourself in the winner’s circle?

I’m glad you asked! I’ve touched on these before, but since we didn’t learn our lesson, I’m here to review them and add some more to it. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Come on guys (and girls), we’re not this big of wimps, so suck it up already!

1. Choose to be inspired instead of intimidated. That same voice that threatens your sanity that you’ll never accomplish much, never amount to anything , never achieve – ugh.  Tell her/him to shut up!  Then remind yourself of all the reasons you have hope, and inspiration to continue pursuing your dreams.

 2. Choose to be anxious for nothing instead of having anxiety over anything.  Worrying is a habit.  Habits can be broken.  It takes 21 days of consecutive action to reverse a habit or establish a new one.  Start now, you’re worth it. In my previous post The Hard Decisions, I went into this in length.  It’s worth a read if you are prone to worrying. Accept the things you can’t change and take action to change those things you can change.  Worrying won’t add a single moment to your life, but it could very well take years off of it!

 3. Choose to be calm in the storm instead of crushed by the pressure. In life there will be storms. It’s inevitable.  Life happens, deal with it. Learn from it and do better next time.  We all get knocked down sometimes, the difference is whether you get up or stay laying in the muck.  Me? I’m not going to embrace the muck, it stinks!

 4. Choose to be fixated on where you’re going, not frightened by where you’re from.  Ever notice how you have that great big windshield in the car to see where you’re going, and those little side mirrors and central rearview mirrors to see what is behind you?  Whatever is in your rear view mirror, be aware of it but leave it back there because if you are spending all your time looking in the rearview; you’re going to crash.  Just be aware of it, like you are aware of the gas gauge.  (OK, Pam you might want to use a different object since you have trouble with remembering to put gas in the car!) Look towards the distant horizon!

 5. Choose happiness over hopelessness and helplessness.  Happiness is only 10% outside influence, the rest is all on you baby!  90% of our happiness is determined by our own attitude!  Circumstances are subject to change, but a positive attitude can change things every time!  When you find yourself feeling hopeless or helpless, really look at what options you have.  You may find that things aren’t quite as bleak as it appears.

 6. Choose joy with others over jealousy of others. Why in the world should you be jealous over anyone else?  don’t you know they have problems too?  Oh sure, they may not have YOUR problems, but everyone has their own share of problems to deal with.

 7. Choose to focus on the meaning of life instead of your mistakes in life. If we focus on our failures, defeat is bound to happen every time. Can you imagine a baby learning to walk, focusing on every time they fell down?  They would give up and never walk!  We’ve got to get past ourselves, and look past the end of our noses!  Come on!  We all make mistakes, brush off the dust and move on!  Just remember to side step the mud puddle next time!

 8. Choose to be optimistic about your future instead of overwhelmed by your past.  *facepalm*  I thought for the longest time that this was a symptom of people over 35, but have recently been reminded that in fact it affects everyone.  Sometimes there are things in our past that we would choose to not have happened, like sexual abuse. If given the choice, I can’t think of one person that was sexually abused, physically abused, or mentally abused that would choose it for themselves. It does not define you!  You are not what has happened to you.  You are so much more than that, but the scarring that happens to us causes us to get stuck there with the guilt, the shame, and the condemnation that was put on us by someone who violated our trust, our minds and our bodies.  It was wrong, and it doesn’t make us damaged goods!  It doesn’t define us as less than in any way.  there are tough things in our past that are difficult, but not impossible to move past.  Rejoice that it’s not continuing still, and if it is,  take charge of yourself and GET OUT OF THERE!

 9. Choose patience during life’s challenges and not panic in those trying times. I know , it’s scary sometimes.  Breathe!  Run if you have to, get out-of-the-way, take shelter!  Whatever you have to do to preserve your life do it!  But think!  Engage your brain, and stop panicking.  Panicking causes you to lock up and not be able to make any decision! Calm down and assess the situation, then make an informed decision!

 10. Choose strength over suffering. I’ve never understood this one.  Why would anyone choose to wallow in their suffering?  Yet, many do.  I’ve done it, and I’ve had the hubs and good friends jerk the slack out of me and show me what I was doing.  I am a weenie with pain.  I don’t like needles, I don’t care for anything that causes discomfort.  Yet, the mental anguish I put myself through at times is ridiculous.  Hence, why y’all get so many of my self motivational smack downs – er pep talks.

Now, for the bonus rounds of my faithful readers that have stuck with me to the victory lap, Here are a couple of bonus tips.

Prune the dead wood!  This one is hard but it’s for your own good.  There are friends, acquaintances you have in your life that are unhealthy, dangerous, or even sick.  Get rid of them!  It’s nothing personal really, they are just very bad for you.  They will pull you down to their level every single time, and cause you to stumble and fall.

Catch the Vision! See yourself where you want to be!  See yourself in the winner’s circle.  What’s it look like there?  See yourself as winning your race, crossing the finish line, breaking the tape!  Look around, who is there cheering you on?

Bet it’s not the deadwood!  While I get my pruning shears, leave me a comment.  Let me know if any of this hits home with you.  Please don’t name names of your dead wood that’s between you and them.  Just throw it in your mental fire pit and have some s’mores!

(By the way, the basic ideas for this is nothing new.  My most recent rendition was inspired by Stephen Pierce.  I’ve seen similar points from Dan Miller, and Michael Hyat. Things like this bear repeating.  We all need that motivational boost or the butt kicking once on a while!)

Write on my friends, write on!