Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm not that depressing/How to live in the moment

A combination of factors has kept me from posting since my last post about death, the most prominent of which being my lack of discipline when a) I'm overwhelmed or b) when I'm focusing on something else; last week it was exercising regularly for the first time in years. (Made it to the gym five days in a week though, whoohoo!). So whenever I had a second that post would pop into my head and I'd be all "everyone who reads me is going to be all depressed or think I'm all depressed" forgetting that a) I'm not reaching 25,000 people (yet) and b) the point of the post was that death shouldn't be depressing, but inspiring.

Then I saw this today over at Untemplater and had to share. THIS is what I meant, ok? Don't worry about death, guys, it happens to everyone. Be inspired by it. I think my example of enjoying the moments you're picking up dog poop would have been a good addition to the author's list. Especially at 3am in the morning when you have to walk out to the dumpster when all manners of terryfing creatures could be moving about. Isn't that why I agreed to get married in the first place, so there would always be a man to make that trip to the dumpster and face the potential threat of raccoons and rabid squirrels or werewolves?

But I digress.

I read this today as well on WikiHow, a great site for learning (generally) useless but interesting things when you should be doing something else (I know about a lot of these, ask if you need one). Zen driving is really the same concept, just applied to one specific, often stressful, scenario.

Often stressful for me. Remember the time I screamed at CW because I didn't merge in time to take the right exit out of Providence? Or how much I hate traffic? No? Be thankful.

Ways to live in the moment, be more positive, and avoid flipping out:

The tips in the Wiki article about focusing on breathing or the sensation in your hands and feet etc are helpful tools (not necessarily applicable when cleaning up dog poop; thinking about how sick the dog actually feels is more effective, ie, considering the feelings of others. Poor Maddie.). The Untemplater article is more abstract, but I like the idea of asking yourself if this is what you want to do on the last day of your life and watching out for too many no's. Because a few no's are ok; no one wants to go to the OB/GYN on the last day of her life.

There's also making a list of concrete actions to take when you're overwhelmed and freaking out. They've been telling me this since middle school, but breaking down your goals, even those actionable steps, into baby steps is hugely important. And the concept has finally sunken in. Hooray!

And then there's my favorite: thinking of something worse that could have happened. There is always a worse situation you could have to deal with. Like getting your face ripped off by a bear or getting bitten by a shark; use your imagination!

And when all else fails, call me and we'll go get a drink. Because being with other people helps take the focus off yourself and gives you an outlet. Plus alcohol is fun!

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