Yesterday I had a mild case of the hiccups.
Not the usual ones, the ones that make your chest feel all squeezed if you have them for too long. No, I had the I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-my-life hiccups. It seems like I write about this all the time – I’ve written about creating lists, speaking to people, revisiting old hobbies and going for it (well to be honest, that’s because it’s the point at which I am at in my life) but even though I have now come to the point where I am 85% sure that I know what I want to do that 15% comes back to attack and overwhelm me creating doubt and worry all over again.
I had planned to use the day really well. I should have been enjoying the sunshine with my friends but because of the lazy bone, homebody that I am, I decided that I would stay at home and do some work on my business project (which I hadn’t done in a week! eek!).
Well, as usual, that idea flew out the window. I actually got started quite well, I concentrated for
a while about an hour *sheepish look* but I’ve found that once something breaks the focus, it’s hard to get it back. I let myself get distracted, went out to do some food shopping (my mama and I made a lovely roast dinner…want some?) and I planned to do the work when I got home. However, when I looked at the time, I started to get frustrated – I hadn’t used my day as I’d planned. I got annoyed because I now didn’t have enough time to do what I had wanted to, I worried about how I should be much further along with the project than where I currently am, how I think I’m stalling, how I seem to be losing motivation, how I get distracted easily, how…and so it continued.
I then did what I always do when I get bored, distracted or frustrated…I started browsing stores online.
All together! “Tut, tut, tut” *Shake head*. Online shopping can be dangerous. If you don’t see an item, you wont want it but if you constantly browse you will and when you start to see them your wallet shouts “nooooo!”.
I started to see all of these items that would just look fabulous on me and would solve everything! I began to fantasise about what I could wear, what outfit I could create, the imaginary places I could wear it to and what shoes would match. Not a bad thing when it’s necessary (wedding season!) but I didn’t need any of these items and I, sadly, don’t have anywhere to wear them to, so I was falling back into my old habit of impulse buying to feel better. Retail therapy honestly isn’t therapy at all – you feel good for a moment then get sad over the state of your account! – not a healthy habit.
It came to a point where I was debating whether to purchase some items. One was low in stock and if I didn’t buy it now I wouldn’t have it! Cue panic: should I buy it?, should I not?, should I buy it?, should I not?… Then I remembered this and tried to think about what I was doing. I say, tried because even whilst thinking about it I was still debating! As I sat there staring at the screen I grew sad because I knew I was wasting my time and there were things I should have been doing. One step forward two steps back.
I was annoyed at myself for doing this once again and annoyed because despite all of my efforts to be saving my money, focusing my time and be productive I was making the wrong decision. I then started to question if I could be disciplined. If I can’t be disciplined with this, how do I expect to run a business, do I even really want to do the project? (am I serious enough?), why do I still have limited funds? should I be looking for a “proper” job etc….all these worries were seeping in and it made me sad but you know what would make me feel better?…you guessed it!
This debate went on for a while until, with my head hanging over my Mac, my mouse hovering over the purchase button and my eyes drooping due to sleepiness, I had a sudden surge of “Turn it off!!!!” “You don’t need it, you can do better than that and you can wait. If you really want these items you can buy them tomorrow with a clearer head after making a much more informed decision and if you get there and it’s gone, it’s gone – can’t do anything about it. Tomorrow you will also consider all the things you said you want to save up for and weigh up whether these items are really that important. You can work on the project and you can work on your blog. Tomorrow is another day to start again“
I kicked myself in the butt. I woke up this morning still with the urge to purchase the items, a little sad that I had wasted my evening and feeling ridiculous for it but I thought to go to work and leave it all out of my mind. Focusing on the jobs at hand helped me relax and by mid morning all my impluse-buy feelings and feeling of frustration had gone. It was like I had returned to normal (cue scene from a movie where the person’s alien green eyes go back to normal and they groggily look around, saying “Hey, what happened???“). I didn’t buy anything, instead I reminded myself of what I had already achieved with my business project and remembered that everything takes time. I had to remind myself of the progress I had made with my finances and also with deciding what to do in my life as well as the reasons for doing everything.
Worry is a killer of time and productivity. All that time spent being worried and could have been used to achieve something even if it was small. A deep breath and maybe a written list of what needed to be done, with me tackling each one, one at a time, is all that was needed. Sometimes we let worry get a hold of us and this leads us to doubt ourselves, our achievement and let bad habits creep back in. We should accept that it is ok for it to happen but it can’t linger. When times like these happen, this moment has taught me that you can worry as much as you want, for the whole day if you have to and you can even regress a little bit in breaking a bad habit but tomorrow is a new day, there’s no more worrying – you’re not allowed. You have to ask yourself:
– What exactly am I worried/ frustrated about?
– What can I do about it?
And when tomorrow comes you revisit your goals, reaffirm your decisions, take a deep breath and get on with it. Realise that it was just a mild case of the hiccups. They come and go. Yesterday happened and there’s nothing I can do about it, but today? Oh that’s a whole other ball game – I’m self-medicating: I get to decide what happens and I choose better!
Have you ever experienced something like this?
Good thing of the day: Popping those worry warts!