I am a responsible adult. I work hard and I care about doing a good job. I need to stay current in my field, so I am attending a professional conference. The speakers are very knowledgeable and interesting. I focus intensely on their speech – then moments later I find my mind has wondered off! This is the typical conversation between WORK ME and my NAUGHTY mind:
WORK: “Naughty mind. Get back here and focus.’
NAUGHTY: “OK – I am focused on the speaker. He has brown hair. He looks like a horse trainer I saw last week. I wonder if my horse….”
WORK: “Stop that!! Get back here and listen. This is important.”
NAUGHTY: “Oh, Yes. OK. It is important. Hey, did I finish that assessment due tomorrow. That is important. I need….”
WORK: “Now cut that out! This is crazy. You are a dedicated professional. Discipline!! Be disciplined and listen!!”
NAUGHTY: “Alright already!! I am listening. Chill! Oh look, there is a picture of a kitty in the presentation….”
WORK: “I give up! Where is the coffee?”
I don’t think I want to talk to mind anymore today.
You ever have days you just can’t win? At the last minute, I needed to take my husband to the doctor. I had to call work and let them know I would be late. Then, I felt guilty about leaving my work team hanging – I am old-school dependable. I am ol’ reliable, at work 20 minutes early. But not today.
My husband kept apologizing for needing me to drive, no matter how much I assured him it was OK. “I love you. I want to drive you. We are a team.” Then I felt guilty for making him feel guilty.
When I got him back home safe and sound, I felt guilty that I had to make haste and rush out the door to work – no time to throw the ball for Charlie dog or rub a puppy belly. They both looked so sad!!
That is my vicious circle. When I am at home, I feel guilty for missing work. When I am at work (two jobs), I feel guilty for neglecting home and farm chores. When I carve out ME time to ride my red mare, I still criticize myself for the To Do List I haven’t finished and the floors I didn’t mop. Then, I work myself into a silly state and get in a huge hurry. What does that accomplish?
I hurried by the gas station and slammed my finger in the car door. How dumb was that? So now I feel guilty, hasty, and ouchy! Why do I do this to myself?
But, I am still going riding tomorrow!!
It has been one of those days – well, the whole week. Do you ever feel so frustrated, like – no matter how hard you try – you are still left holding the short end of the stinky brown stick?
Well, it has been that kind of week for me. But you know what I did? I dropped the stick. I emotionally dropped the stick. For the remainder of this day, I declare I will no longer accept responsibility for anything that is outside of my direct control.
Hey, I am on a grief journey, and I know a thing or two about “out of control”. So I am not going to feel like a failure because something didn’t work out. I am not going to let anyone belittle or demean me because they failed to plan and I couldn’t work enough magic to make it perfect.
I am not responsible for the actions of others or their outcomes.
Nope. Not today.
I dropped the stinky brown stick.
Declare your emotional independence! Next time someone leaves you holding the short end of the stinky brown stick – DROP IT!!