I woke up this morning wanting to cry.
Allow me to explain.
I feel overwhelmed and insecure. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “So do we all, I don’t want to hear it!” BUT one of the (many) reasons I started this blog was to shed some light on the not-so-pretty side of life that many of us shy away from discussing. Life’s imperfections, if you will.
So I woke up feeling a mess. Unsuccessful, idiotic, a total failure. Let me start off by saying I know about 90% of this is because I’m nursing an injured knee and thus hardly running these days. I have tons of fear and anxiety about running this marathon and my injured knee is just about causing me to lose my sanity (not that there was a lot of that to begin with). So I’m well aware, less exercise = increased stress.
That being said, I’ve noticed a lot of “I’ll be happy when…” thoughts cropping up lately. I’ll be happy when I’m finished with school. I’ll be happy when I can afford new curtains. I’ll be happy when I finish the marathon. When I start doing yoga again. When my house is clean. When I gain more readers. When I start flossing regularly. When we get new kitchen hardware. New appliances. New shoes. New lipstick. You name it.
You see how easily I get sucked into this trap.
When I’m feeling down it’s easy for me to turn to external factors that will make me feel good instantly. If I get those shoes, or that manicure, or more money, then my life will really feel together. I’ll feel on top of my game then. I’ll be happy when…
So how to fight back? How does one combat the bombardment of things I think I need in order to feel better?
Well for one thing, I like to remind myself of what I already have, and how grateful I am to have it. I may have been teary-eyed in the shower, thinking about how I’ll never succeed in life, but by the time I got on my bike to head to work I had started ticking off things I’m grateful for: Tom, my health, my friends, a good job… And as I rode to work I was breathing deeply, feeling gratitude for living in this incredible city. There’s a perception shift that happens for me if I press pause and start to list the things I’m thankful for. It also reminds me what actually makes me happy. It’s not the new shoes, or – those things bring me pleasure, sure, but it’s so fleeting and impermanent. What brings me lasting joy is when I can spend some quality time with Tom. When I can connect with my sister. When I have a meaningful conversation with a close friend. Creating a mental checklist of all the things I already have in my life that bring me great happiness gets me out of the future and into the present.
It’s actually the intangible things that make me happiest.
So this weekend I’m going to try focusing on those intangibles in order to cultivate contentment. And I have a hunch (ok fine, a proven track record) that I’ll feel happier on the other side. See you there, my friends.
Oh, and happy Friday. May your weekend be a joyous one filled with love and gratitude.