Mental Wellness Challenge – 2021, July 21
Time just screams by…
Last week I challenged you to:
- READ THE DIRECTIONS. Take the time to communicate clearly – on both the sending end and on the receiving end.
- Take a breath. Don’t sweat the small stuff – and as Covey says – “It’s all small stuff.”
- Step back and take a look at the bigger picture.
How did you do?
On reading the directions, communicating clearly – expectations and understandings – I did OK I suppose. I am experiencing LARGE frustrations lately with folks not doing the simple piece of – following direction… For the most part – not a huge piece of impact on my actual experience other than some inconvenience… but IT DRIVES ME CRAZY when it happens… and that’s my responsibility. I tried to follow direction as best as I could. I tried to make my communications when giving direction clear and easy to follow and I did my best to check my own understanding of directions I was given.
Taking a breath had to be a purposeful thing for me the past few weeks and months. I have found that the steroids that I take for my gut issues tend to make me short, cranky and a tad aggressive… OR – I’m just getting old and I’m turning into a grumpy old man… I prefer to blame the steroid… Counting to ten before I grenade or just taking a pause and grabbing a breath between stimulus and response is certainly something that I work on all the time – I am just feeling the need to be more mindful about it more lately.
Ahh – the BIG PICTURE… I don’t know how easy it is for you to look at the big picture… I know I am in a place where I’m a bit stuck in minutia… Maybe its all just a place where I am at??? I don’t know. I appreciate that, in the big picture, the little things that are irritating me don’t mean much – but they are still irritating me… LOL… again – maybe it’s the steroids… this stuff does seem to have a common thread. I’ll have to keep on it…
I’m at a place in my experience where I know I need to “Get away from it all!” I am very near the end of my current class and I am looking forward to having some disconnect time. I’m certainly feeling the “outta gas” phenomena that happens at the end of a teaching session… Along with my regular job, I’ve been doing lots of side work too… and I’m pooped. I will likely be taking a break from posting for 5 or 6 weeks – with this being my last post for July and then I’ll get back at them in September….
OK – So…
I’ve been feeling “less than” quite a bit lately. Feeling like I should have been able to accomplish more in my life than I have so far… This is a common piece of my experience. I end up here more often that I like. In fact – I suppose I could say that I usually feel like I haven’t “made it”. I am experiencing this ongoing feeling or sense that I should be “better” than I am… I have a want to be “special”… I have a want to be “extraordinary”… at something… but I don’t ever feel like I am…
I think I KNOW this isn’t really a truth… but it is a nagging perception that weaves its way back and forth through the fabric of my life…
For a first generation Canadian, coming from parents that struggled to make ends meet… I thing I’ve done OK.
Well, I could measure my success with the house I have, the car I drive, the clothes I wear, etc.. and by that metric, I’ve been reasonably successful. I live in a regular house, drive a reasonably reliable vehicle, and… based on the size of my belly – never want for food… I actually have more of everything than my parents ever had… PROBLEM WITH ALL THAT STUFF IS – its just stuff… and while I certainly do appreciate that my roof doesn’t leak and the doors lock – the house is just a house. All those physical things can be GONE in an instant (I often feel so awful for the folks in our province that have lost everything to wildfire) – and then what would I have left.
I’ve got two wonderful girls that I feel love and respect me. That’s super important to me. I’ve shared in the past that I wasn’t always a great parent. I am proud that I have been able to change my life to have addressed some of those “issues” and to have been able to grow a better relationship with my kids. I suppose this is doing OK – but isn’t being a responsible, caring, loving parent part of what I am tasked with as a parent? I don’t feel like this makes me special… I do know the saying “Any man can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad.” And I appreciate the sentiment of that – but I know so many dads that are far better at it than I am… Room to grow I suppose.
I’m OK at my job… I have a passion for what I teach and I like to think that I do a decent job of passing on the information to my students… I’m no super duper expert on all things electrical… that’s for certain. I have a favorite saying – “The more I know, the more I know I don’t know…” and that is super applicable with my job. I work with three young men that are exceptional educators. They have similar passion for the trade and for teaching… I suppose we all have our little pieces that we are good at. That said – I don’t feel that I am an exceptional instructor…
Hmmm… I read a Linked In profile from a fellow the other day… and WOW… There’s absolutely zero way that I could describe any of my experiences in the same way this fellow does/did. I know that Linked In is all about selling yourself – but I sincerely could never unabashedly promote myself in the same way this person did… maybe its that I don’t have a doctorate, or all the specific experiences that this person does… very simply – I sincerely do not think of myself as being that special… don’t know…
I do know growing up I was always told that it was wrong to have self pride – and maybe that’s a piece of what’s holding me back from being that “extra-ordinary” being that I feel like I need… I don’t know.
I used to have a really big habit of reaching out and seeking approval from others – and I know this is an ADHD and other “D” piece as well… I’ve worked really, really hard at curbing the “seeking approval”. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed that I have “snuck” some of that into my experience again… in ways that I wasn’t even totally aware of… but I did…
There’s a piece of my ongoing “feelings of brokenness” that is – I struggle with this “I AM ENOUGH”… just when I think I am starting to feel like I AM ENOUGH… well – that seems to no longer be enough… AM I JUST GREEDY??? Maybe I am extraordinary and I the extraordinary I am isn’t enough for me… I don’t know… I really don’t know… but this is a piece of my experience that I continue to struggle with.
Maybe it’s a façade…but… I see others that seem so very content. I see others that don’t seem to be experiencing the same “seeking” or “less than ness” that I seem to battle… maybe others do and they just don’t show it… don’t know…
I used to wonder if the emptiness I felt was a spiritual thing. I have worked and wandered (sought) after this long and hard and I don’t feel that it is a spiritual part. (This is a topic for another post…)
Perhaps my “less than ness”, my feeling like I don’t measure up… is just a piece of who I am and it will never be satisfied or quieted… Perhaps it’s a piece of my ADHD that will be with me forever… I don’t know… This feeling does ebb and flow… gets stronger and subsides…
I sometimes wonder if this feeling is just me being attention seeking or feeling spoiled and I need to continue to check and work on that piece too.
I will carry on. I will continue to look for answers to my questions, for solutions to my puzzles.
My want is to eventually get to a place in my experience where I AM ENOUGH… where I feel extraordinary at something… How does that line in Desiderata go??? (I’ve highlighted it below.)
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By Max Ehrmann © 1927
So – I’ll leave this here for now. I’ll be back in September to share more of my journey out of the darkness. Til then, I challenge you to:
- Live your best life. Ups and downs, ins and outs… Soak up each and every moment with the realization that our time on this rock is limited and we don’t have an infinite number of days to enjoy.
- Love. Love your family. Love your friends. Love your community. Love yourself. (See challenge one.)
- Write down some of the wonderful and maybe not so wonderful pieces of your experience – journal a little – so that you have something to give you personal perspective.
That’s it – I challenge you!
See you in a month or so…