Sweating the small stuff

Friday, June 10, 2011 Permalink

There’s a myriad of books out there to help us work out when we shouldn’t (or should) stress about things. Don’t sweat the small stuff is probably one of the better-known, here in Oz anyway. I have never read the book and am not really into self-help books; not because I think they don’t work, but because I get so caught up in over-analysing my own behaviour that I never make it through the book or its exercises.

I was thinking about this earlier today when I called into my local newsagent to pay my paper bill. I only get the weekend papers delivered so go in every month or so to put money onto my account. I’d been putting off going as I expected problems. I’d put my deliveries on hold for a few weeks while cat-sitting across town and suspected they would still try to charge me as their record keeping seems a bit dodgy.  But I finally felt so guilty at the idea of being in debt to them that I called in today on my way to the train station. Once there of course the transaction went smoothly and, though I reminded the guy of my absence, I didn’t triple check to make sure I wasn’t overcharged.

I’m a natural worrier. And I worry about everything, but especially the small things.

When I travel I obsess about the hassle of packing my car or ponder on the logistics of getting things down my two flights of stairs efficiently rather than what to actually pack or the trip itself.

I lie in bed at night thinking about some inconsequential work thing (which is never as worrying in daylight hours) or stressing about some minor matter over which I have no control…. And there it is again. That word – a favourite of mine: control!

I do it all the time. I sweat about the small stuff.

Don't sweat the small stuff.I am getting ready to sell my house, but instead of starting to make arrangements to put it on the market I am obsessing about the fact I’ve had Saturday commitments impinging on my time to look at potential new homes. And I am berating myself for not spending enough time scouring websites for open houses to visit. All of this worry and guilt focussed upon myself rather than acting bloody DOING stuff.

Perhaps that’s my problem. Spending my time worrying about things saves me from actually having to ‘action’ them. Whether it’s an underlying apathy or anxiety about the task at hand, it seems that (for me, anyway), I get some perverted comfort from stressing over something, because it puts it in the too hard basket and allows me to not do anything about it. So, I need to take heed of my approach to exercising…. and, in those cases where something IS in my control, I need to stop thinking about it and talking about it and just fucking do it (JFDI). And in those cases where I have no control I need to acknowledge that stressing and worrying will not achieve anything at all and I need to surrender to the will of the world and let fate have its way.

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