Right so, life does indeed go on. Regardless of my will, time marches on and really I’m ok with that. In fact, for a while I was thinking that it was only a matter of time until this anxiety faded into the background and so I was happy enough that time it was a-marching. At the very least time has healed the wounds that my seemingly endless cold symptoms was causing. A does of cortisone nose-spray for a few days seems to have literally given me the breathing space to get my immune system somewhat back on track. Now I’m cautiously looking forward to starting a bit of exercise again. Baby steps.
I have just read a chapter in a self-help book, which was about the power of thinking. All the usual clichés about thinking positively, thinking big, aiming high, and so on and so forth. Clichés maybe, but there is a whole lot of truth behind it. I think the secret is coming to an understanding of what the cliché actually means, rather than the often hollow sounding rhetoric they can sometimes seem. Thinking about positive thinking did bring up some past positive experiences for me that have really given my day and my week a lift.
Not long ago I was aiming extremely high – the challenge was to complete the four events that constitute the Swedish Classic – a 300km cycle, a 3km open water swim, a 30km terrain run and a 90km cross-country ski, all within the space of a year. Thinking back now, I see the enormous positives such a challenge brought me. Six weeks before the ski event I had never stood on a pair of cross-country skis before. The only time I had tried downhill skiing, I tore my groin on the first descent! This was an epic challenge, and one that I obviously had my anxieties and fears about. Is there too much to learn? Is it too far for me? Will I crash, break a ski or worse a leg? The only way of overcoming these fears, doubts and worries was by getting out there and practising. Falling and getting up again. Fear at the top of every hill and elation at the bottom. The experience taught me so much about myself and what I can achieve. So now feels like the right time to reminisce and remind myself of the real high that can be achieved by pushing beyond one’s limits. I honestly believe that will stay with me for the rest of my life, and times like this I can really draw strength from the experience.
Life is about doing things, not sitting at home worried about doing things. Too many things is of course a genuine problem, but one that is relatively easily solved by prioritising. Important things first, everything else can and will wait. Some things just don’t get done, fact. I can’t be afraid to strike those things off the todo list and accept that they won’t be done. One thing to keep in mind is that it is the things you have done that you will remember. So make sure you enjoy the things that you do. I may be paraphrasing Paulo Coelho there, but it rings true for me right now.
My hand is sore, trying to keep up with my thoughts as they flow. I’m feeling really energized as I write, this really is like therapy! I had set out to simply write a list of things that make me happy in my life but I ended up writing this instead. It’s nice how a flow of though can bring up some really beneficial emotions and memories. I have almost been trying not to remember and “be” in the present, trying not to remember in case any negative ones crept in and started a downward spiral. Of course this is wrong, and not what mindfulness teaches me but again its easier said than done and I’m still learning how to do it. Now I know, however, how beneficial a little session like this can be. Another tool in the toolbox!