I get panicky and overwhelmed by things.
If I haven't made that clear over the years of writing here, allow me to apologize.
Things freak me out. Especially those I feel like I can't get out of.
That may be literal, like being in a very small space and knowing I can't get out for a while (I had to breathe myself out of a panic attack last time I went on a charter flight and saw how close the seat in front of me was) or it may be figurative, like the idea that I may be in the same career until I'm sixty five and that thought makes me feel like someone's standing on my chest and I can't breathe please get off.
So when I come to committing myself to things, I have to frame it carefully.
Sure, I'll take a photo every day for a year (Project 365) again but I probably won't actually do it every day, so maybe I'll just do it for the month of January. Yeah, I can do 30 days. Plus, I can probably just quit if I have to. Or, like, skip a day or whatever. (Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.)
The thought of buying a house freaks me out so much that I can't even look at MLS listings without feeling dizzy. Add on to that the massive financial commitment and is it any wonder I'm quite happy in my nice, but less than perfect rental apartment?
Sometimes, if I let myself, I can freak out at the idea of a relationship that doesn't even exist yet.
What if he moves in and is messy or he wants to have kids and I'm not sure (and oh lord don't even get me started about the freakout that is the thought of having children because YOU CAN'T BACK OUT OF THAT ONE FOLKS)
Even writing out these things has me feeling panicked and overwhelmed.
So it seemed quite brilliant when C-Dawg pointed a site out to me that was suggesting you commit to doing something for 30 days.
I could do that! (Probably!)
I chose four or five things to commit to for the first thirty days of the year, and quickly realized that this was too many.
So I stuck to spending 10 minutes at the end of each day reflecting on what went well.
And I have to say, I think I've seen a positive change from this.
Sure, some days it's been hard, and I've found myself in a funk at the end of the day struggling to say anything positive about the day, but most days I've enjoyed thinking about the fun or funny or great or good moments in the day, and I think it's shifted my mindset somewhat and I'm going to keep doing it.
I don't think, if I'm honest, that I did 30 days in a row, but I certainly did well and made the effort.
C-Dawg chose to read a chapter of a book every day for 30 days and she's mentioned that she's really enjoying it and that it feels like a better use of her time than watching crummy tv in the evenings.
They say that it takes 40 days to change a habit. Or to build one, I suppose. So in January, I spent time looking at what went well in the day. I got back to taking my camera everywhere and making sure I took at least one good photo every day and uploading it to flickr for accountability and positive feedback. I've been listening to a not-quite-meditation CD that the psychologist I saw about my Dad gave me forever ago and I've started tracking what I eat.
And I feel good.
So I'm probably going to keep doing these things during February. So, for another 29 days. (Cuz it's a leap year!)
But just one day at a time, right? So really, I'm just going to do these things today.
And really, I'm probably only going to take a photo today.
('Cuz I started to panic there a little, so I'm giving myself an out so I can breathe again.)