Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stress Bucket

There is a clear difference between knowing something and feeling something. For example:

I know that:

  • I'm going to have a great time travelling
  • I am building amazing memories
  • No one ever said, "Gee, that was a terrible idea to travel the world" (thanks for that one, Meegz)
  • I have enough money
  • I have enough time
  • If I have any problems, I have friends and family all over the world who would help me
But the closer I get to Thursday (when I fly out of Oz), the tighter I feel. I have been trying to define it, describe it...nail it down so I can get over it. I have no fears about running out of money or getting injured. I have no fears about getting lost or being in a plane crash or terrorist attack (which would be reasonable fears considering the state of the world in 2015). Here are my best attempts to explain what's got me all bunged up.

  • At this point, I want to move back to Australia and fear that when I'm in the US, I'll want to stay there, leaving "Australian me" out of luck
  • I am saying "Goodbye for now" to all my friends in Sydney but it still feels like "Goodbye forever". The heaviness in my chest and tightness in my muscles are strong as ever.
  • I've been "planning" for 6 months. Planning every detail of when to quit my job, where to go, what to do when I'm there. I've trained myself to focus on the future. Now that it's here, it's time, I am worried that I will not enjoy myself in the present moment.
Even as I type these things, I know they are ridiculous fears. I will not be sitting at a cafe in Paris thinking, "Why am I here? I should be planning my trip to Copenhagen." Just like today - I am going to a farewell lunch in a half hour with a handful of friends. I will be in the moment, enjoying their company. Just like two days ago when I was out golfing with a friend. At no point was I thinking about anything other than how wonderful the weather was and what awesome chip shots I was making. =) 

Knowing that my 'fears' are irrational, I want them to go away. I want to loosen up in my down time. I wanat to stop filling these quiet moments with worry. 

Ok, nerdy/self-help time.

What would future me say to today me?

"Don't give it another thought. When a worry comes up, let it come and just as easily as it came, let it go. You don't need to keep yourself busy to distract yourself either because then you're not letting the worry go. You're capturing it and putting it deep inside you to deal with after the busy work. It doesn't need to be dealt with because it's not valuable or valid. 

Pretend like it's someone you accidentally run into on the street. Say 'Oh, I'm sorry" and move on.

P.S. You're going to have a great time on the trip and no matter how much you plan, you can't possibly predict it all. It's way more awesome than you can imagine!"

Thanks Future Me! I feel much better!

1 comment:

  1. To the today Sarah: Fear not. Stay in the moment. Love, your mother