Anxiety is a hell of a thing… I’m working on better time management for next year, and one of the things I’m doing is writing out all the tasks I do every week and rearranging them spreadsheet style so that I have roughly the same amount (time-wise, not task-wise) of things to do each day.
The goal is to commit to a set amount of time each day doing chores, working, “hobby-ing”, and relaxing (be that with books, YouTube, movies, whatever). The idea is that more balance will lead to less panicking and external chaos and burnout and forgetting of things. That there will be more order in my household, in our daily routines, in our lives in general.
I am resolved.
But as I’m listing out all the chores, projects, and hobbies, my brain says, “No, that’s too much. It’s too much stuff.” Even though this is the same stuff I have to do every week. But I look at it all and I start to panic. I can’t do all of this. I CAN’T DO ALL OF THIS.
Even though I do do all of this. But usually I do all of this in a rushed and panicky way, and I don’t always do the right things when they are needed, and some things I do before they are needed, and some things I forget and have to double up on later.
I’m trying to tell my brain that the current panic is unnecessary, that planning all of this now will prevent so much later panic. Like I said, anxiety is a hell of a thing. It tells me instead that planning to do all of these things will just end in failure because there’s no way. There’s no way to get it all done. I’ll miss too much stuff. I won’t get to tick things off of the list. Things will be left unfinished, not checked off. I’ll fail. Fail. FAILURE FAILURE FAIL.
…it is chaos.
It’s not like in a movie, the battle between good and evil, the villain proclaiming, “you can never win!” and the hero saying, “oh yeah, watch me!” No hero, no villain; it’s all happening inside my head, it’s me versus me. There is no training montage that will suddenly make me victorious. There is no the me that I want to be versus the me that’s holding me back. It’s all just me.
Panicked me and determined me, cautious me, anxious me, ridiculous me, pained me, depressed me, happy me, obsessed me, exhausted me, frantic me, funny me, serious me, distracted me, terrified me… they all exist in tandem and it is chaos. I can’t bring order to that chaos and I know that now. But I am resolved to bring order to my life outside of me. I am resolved.
So back to my list, my schedule that I am trying to create. I will do this. I tell this to all the parts of me. And I decide, or realize, or whatever, that if I don’t manage to do it one day or one week even, if I fail, that I don’t have to abandon the whole plan for the rest of forever. (We actually shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Colloquialisms sometimes actually make sense, imagine that.)
I can start again the next day, the next week. The next month if need be. I can adjust it, I can change it as many times as needed until I find a way to make it work. Even if I fail. Even when I fail. I can start again. I am resolved.
That is my resolution, as it were: I’m going to stop trying to replace the chaos with order, I’m just going to surround it with order and let the chaos be. (I’m strangely happier that way, anyways.)
Happy New Year.