Pick your battles

6 Comments

I was first introduced to this phrase years ago when I lived with my ex boyfriend and his three children.  At the time when I became a major part of their lives, they were a mere 6, 8 and 11 years old and were dealing with the divorce of their parents.   I had the fortune of knowing them for years before their father and I were involved so I did not take on the role of “step-monster”.  I instead had a solid foundation for a relationship with all of them.  But that did not mean the transition was easy for any of us.

There were certainly days that I found more frustrating than others, as I’m sure they did as well, and inevitably arguments ensued.  It wasn’t until their father and I were having a chat one night over a much-needed glass of wine that he bestowed a little gem on me.  He pointed out the glaringly obvious problem – I was trying too hard to win the battles and not every war in that house was going to be won – by anyone.  That stunning revelation was a game changer.  Pick your battles – such a simple phrase with epic results.

It’s hard to take a step backwards and give yourself a “time out” to realize what the audible scrimmage is really about.  You have to decide if the fight is worth the effort you are putting forth to win.   It could be an argument that, at the end of the day, really has no great effect on the bigger picture but the negative energy from the conflict just may.  You must go in with a strategy but be willing to change tactics and maneuver away from the barrage of verbal banter.

If it’s not a life changing situation, give a little.  You’ll spend countless minutes and hours trying to be right when it isn’t going to change the rotation of your world.  Sometimes all of the smaller problems can become compounded and the war you face can seem extremely overwhelming.  You must learn to choose your crusades wisely.  Learn to cloak your emotions until you can see ahead of the problem that burdens your path.

The age-old saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is the same gift in different wrapping.  I have carried this ideal with me throughout the years and it has served me well.  Pick your battles – be proud of the scars of war but make sure the ones you earned were worth the fight.

Making sure the next step is the right step

2 Comments

I have had a small epiphany today.  I call it small because to most it would be a normal occurrence but to me it was evidence of the changing of a tide within myself.

When it comes to life-changing events I have always faced them head on.  I react without much thought, relying only on intuition.  I don’t allow myself to wallow in the horrible circumstance, instead I am always looking for the next logical step.  I give myself pause to reflect after the dust has settled but, during the crisis, I am continually thinking ahead and moving forward, never giving a second thought to the cause but always striving for the solution.

But when it comes to the finer, more minute details of life I tend to fester and over-think the little things.   I replay the scene in my head over and over and, after a multitude of scenarios have been beaten into submission in my over-active imagination, I am eventually able to put the proverbial pencil to paper and draw the logical conclusion.

Until that moment of clarity, my mind is a churning mess.  I analyse, over-analyse, recreate the scene in a way it never happened.  I create dialogues in my head that never occurred and have myself convinced that this miniscule event has become epic in proportion to actual reality.

Personal growth is a journey taken one step at a time and today I took another step.  It was a small thing in the grand scheme of my life but one that I normally would have allowed to gnaw on my subconscious until my brain hurt.  Instead of allowing the situation to spiral out of control in my alternate reality, I diffused the ticking time bomb before the digital clock even began counting down the seconds. The drama was over before it began and I understood what it meant to take the high road.

High-road

(image credit: 5feet20.com)

Perhaps wisdom does really come with age.  Or perhaps I am just tired of spending so much time creating scenarios in my head that never existed in the first place.  Regardless of the reason, I am glad I was able to teeter on the precipice of discomfort and take a step forward that was foreign to me.  That one small step in my day was a giant step on the path of my life.

Don’t believe everything you think

8 Comments

My brain plays tricks on me.  It sometimes deceives me into believing falsities that are so far from the truth it’s astounding.  I have a real knack for over-thinking, for seeing things unlike they really are and for creating sub-realities of truths I believe to be factual.

I am not delusional by any means, but I read too far into the most minute of details and things affect me on a much grander scale than they should.  If I forget to do something at work, I obsess over how it will affect my fellow employees when, in truth, it is a minor hiccup in the larger air pocket of the day.  I will churn words over and over again in my head – words that escaped my lips and perhaps fell on deaf ears, but words that I wish I would have said differently.  I over-think how those words could have been presented although time has already marched over those words and left them behind,  buried in the footprints of the past.

brain_on_fire

(image credit: salon.com)

In this regard, I am my own worst enemy.  Or at least the firing neurons in my thought processes are my worst enemy.  I must not believe everything I think.  I must learn that perspective is an individual thing and not everyone sees or hears the things I do in the same way.  I read too much into people’s reactions.  I over-analyze every word until those words are beaten into submission, yet they still torture me in my sleep and continue to hover above my pillow in my waking hours.

I am on a crusade to teach myself to let those things go – to not dwell on the things I cannot change and to accept things at face value.  The drama will continue to play on in my head but I must remember to not believe everything I think.