Skip to content

Three On Thursday

We’re another week into this thing and I have some thoughts to share. Maybe some of this will be stuff you can relate to and maybe you’ll find a nugget to help you cope. Or maybe not and you’ll just chalk this up to another rambling (and slightly vulnerable) post. Here’s what’s rolling around in my head:

  1. I had a session with my Life Coach the other day and it was very helpful. All the stuff I’m committed to doing . . . writing my story, coming up with a program to help women in the workforce, working through the crap from my childhood . . . are sort of on hold as I try to just get through this time that we’re in. So she and I talked about anxiety and how I’m feeling and her suggestion . . . which is really so obvious but I still needed to hear it . . . is to make two lists when I get anxious or overwhelmed. One list is for the things I’m worrying about that I can’t control. And the other is for the things that I can actually do to help me cope.
  2. This session also illustrated very clearly for me how my response as an adult to a situation that’s out of my control is directly related to the things that happened to me as a child. When my parents split up, when the grownups drank too much, when my mother and stepfather fought and there wasn’t dinner, when all the things that made me feel unsafe happened, my response was to control as much as I possibly could. What I mean is, when things are out of control I feel unsafe so I do my best to keep things in control and safe, not just for me but for the people I love, too. I’d say this is what makes me a good manager, a good wife and mother, and a good friend. It’s also what makes what is happening right now harder for me to deal with.
  3. On the other hand, I have recognized that even when I think I’m in control of things . . . I’m not. Sure, we make plans to meet friends for dinner or go to a concert or take a vacation (all of those things were on our calendar for April and beyond and they have all been cancelled) but the reality is that it’s all out of my control. Things happen. Plans change. Events get rescheduled. Pretty much every plan we make is ultimately at the whim of the universe. This pandemic is an opportunity to recognize that and accept that and use it as a reminder that all we really have is the present moment.

And that’s where my head is this Thursday. I hope you’re doing well but even more than that, I hope you’re staying home. Really. Just stay home.

Please add your link below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. I can relate to what you’re saying. It’s really hard to accept (that’s my word for this year) that there’s nothing we can do but wait this out. I too like to be in control, to prepare, to take the lead, to do things that need to be done. But right now we just can’t…
    Wishing you peace of mind. We will get through this. Stay safe!

  2. Oh, yes. That’s such good stuff, Carole. If there’s anything “good” about this time to STAY HOME, it’s that we can reflect and find some meaning for ourselves. Thanks for sharing. XOXO

  3. I am sitting here trying to type with tears in my eyes. Yep, I am nodding my head to all of this. Three weeks ago, I would have never said I was a worrier… but today I am confessing that yes, I most certainly am. About.All.The.Things. I am going to try and do that list suggestion – and then I am going to actually do something from the coping list. I am sending you so much love today. You are not alone – in any of those feelings. Thank you for sharing something that will help me! XOXO

  4. Carole, you and I have had similar childhood experiences, so I know exactly what you are talking about. It never really goes away, at least it has not for me. I have become more aware of it as I have gotten better at being self aware, but I still want to jump in and control what I can. That’s good in so many situations! But there does come a time when you have to admit you have done all you can and surrender. It’s so hard! And it’s so scary! I have had to really do that this week. My kitchen drain has been stopped up for a week, my microwave died Monday, the fuse that ran the outlet that was connected to my husband’s oxygen blew, and I feel BESET on top of all that is going on. My husband and I use the phrase from the book Matterhorn – “there it is” to remind one another that reality just happens. It helps to put my head back where it needs to be. You have given, via your life coach, some great advice. And I think it will help you to remain open. This was a very thoughtful and open post. You are getting really good at that!

  5. I think we all have similar things rolling around in our heads… and some time to think about them. (Or not.)

  6. I’ve been working on taxes and fussing about all the $$$ we may owe, so today I’m going to get out and clear some flowerbeds of winter leaves, prune some roses, and look for new growth. We really have very little control over so many things, but I’m going to go control the heck out of my flowerbeds. Thanks for your thoughts, Carole!

  7. Up until last night I thought I was breezing along, not being stressed about the universal situation right now. But then I jumped on Smokey for something and he jumped back… and I cried. As I thought about it afterward I realized that my sharp remark was simply a very dysfunctional way of asking to be reassured. Once I figured that out it was easy to actually ask for what I needed, which turned out to be a 20-second hug and some fact-based talk.

    I never thought I was a worrier, either, but I guess I am when things get this bad. But as more than one person has said/posted/written on the sidewalk with chalk, We got this. We can do it.

    And so can you {{{hugs}}}

  8. I’m very much a control freak in the sense that feeling a sense of control is important to keeping a lid on my anxiety, so I very much get where you’re coming from. It’s helping me a lot to focus on the things that I can control right now, even if they’re not huge things. I can make sure my family is well fed, that I get exercise and enough sleep, that I take self-care seriously, and so on.

  9. Wow! I love that list idea. I have been dealing with more anxiety than usual these days too. I am going to give it a try. As a control person too, I appreciate your advice to be flexible. Things change. We need to adapt and grow. Loved this post!

  10. lists are my go to for anxiety reduction. Lists of all kinds, to do lists (often don’t actually even need done, just need to be out of my brain), gratitude lists, ungrateful lists, shit lists, song lists. LIIIIISSSSTTTTTSSSS of lists! I hope the lists of what you are and are not in control of will help you half as much as they help me!

  11. Control is so tough, especially with trauma in your history. I used to deal with it in really self-destructive ways, from age 15-25. And it’s there every morning when I wake up, still, even though the unhealthy practice is long gone. I’ve found different and healthier ways to work with control (which is a plus!)–but you are so damn right that even when we THINK we have control, of course–we *never* do. xo

  12. Sending lots of love your way today Carole. And yes…this whole event is a big lesson in the control world! xo

  13. Good stuff, Carole – thank you! I almost caught up on my podcasts today, and if I’d done it sooner, it would’ve been a perfect ToT – Kate C Bowler, Brené Brown and Krista Tippett with Rebecca Solnit. grief, fear, gratitude, hope, meaning … and nothing that made me feel bad or guilty or less. Hugs.

  14. This week I have constantly reminded myself this moment is all there is and to observe and be here now in this time. Thank you for your 3 things and sharing them with us.

Comments are closed.

Back To Top