In a challenge right now with a fitness group, we were tasked with thinking daily about what in our lives we can and cannot control. We had to write it down and repeat it to ourselves each day several times. To some this might seem silly, but especially in this time of flux and frustration, I found it useful. Here are some of the things I wrote down this week.
What I cannot control:
-My other family members’ schedules
-Other people’s priorities
-How other people interpret and respond to my choices
-How other people see me
-Many details about my work day – where I work, how I allocate my time, how many meetings I have to attend
-How fast the postal service delivers packages
-The coronavirus pandemic – its length, severity, and impact on people I care about and the world at large
-How others respond to the pandemic…their movements, opinions, responses, precautions (or lack of)
-Whether or not my daughter will have a lacrosse season
-Other people’s level of stress and its’ impact on their actions, attitudes, etc.
The list goes on…and I realize I spend a LOT of time spinning my mental and spiritual wheels on the list above. NOTHING I CAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT. AT. ALL.
Here’s what I can control.
-Where I put my energy – writing, reading, recreation, learning, exercise, rest
-Where I direct my attention
-What I consume – food, media, etc.
-My attitude toward challenges
Really, it’s a small list, but it’s what I need to focus on. You notice that most of what I can’t control involves other people and most of what I can involves me. When I find myself fretting about the world and all its ups and downs, I remember what I can control and then try to DO something related to these lists.
It seems like a goofy task to say these things several times a day, but I learned that my anxiousness lessens when I consciously remind myself what I can do something about. And then DO one of those things. What’s on your lists? Give it a try and see how you fare.