Friday, August 28, 2009

How To Stay Sane

I know I'm not the only person out there with issues, but I need to share - not gripe! By nature I am an anal-retentive, obsessive-compulsive perfectionist who is always trying to help others, even if it means I have to sacrifice something for myself. It's the way I was raised. (Thanks Mom!).

Mom raised me to be open to new experiences, practice the Golden Rule (do unto others), give without expecting anything in return - pretty much be a decent human being and be a joy to the world, not a burden. Well I have been giving a lot lately, mostly to help my friends and family but also to stay busy so I can ignore my issues. I'm not one to feel sorry for myself and I refuse to be a victim.

Let me explain briefly - my parents have been unwell lately on and off, they have been wishing that I'd come to visit them (they live about 800 miles away), one of my best friends has progressive MS and my neighbor and friend/mentor who is in her 70's is having health issues. For the past month I have been researching and learning about the internet, blogging, web pages, programming (a little), book publishing and it's a bit overwhelming. I was "let go" from my job in a few months ago and decided I didn't want to work in an office anymore. So the stress from embarking on a life-long dream is taking it's toll too. I always wanted to be a professional writer and I am working like hell to make that happen. Just a little bit of stress in my life, wouldn't you say?

Aside from that, as you can tell, I am always trying to take care of everyone else. Two of my friends (who are boyfriend and girlfriend) are going through seriously tough times right now as well. I have been where they are now and it's a very scary thing to be at rock bottom looking up and praying you see the light. I feel deeply for them and understand the fear, uncertainty and hopelessness they are feeling. Like I said, everyone is going through tough times right now.

As I see it, I have two choices. I can sit around all day and cry, bitch, piss and moan, yell, scream, blow snot bubbles, hold my breath, stomp my feet and be a drain on all those who are around me OR I can choose - read that again - CHOOSE to be positive. Trust me, it's not easy, but I choose to be positive. In life, I have usually chosen the road that is most difficult. Trust me, it is difficult to be positive in light of all that's going on in my life and in the world today. But I am doing it.

In order to keep my sanity, I pray (no it will not kill you to do that), stick to an exercise routine in order to get rid of my pent up frustration and anger, I write (you're reading it now) and talk to friends and my parents frequently. I also volunteer my time as a District Chief and firefighter. I attend (mostly free) classes to further my education and training in the fire service, thereby keeping my mind busy. I also read, spend lots of time with my 4-legged kids of which I have seven, and spend time with my husband. Gardening, landscaping and planting trees and shrubs helps get rid of frustrations too. You ought to see my yard!

You see you really have two choices in your life. You can either be a victim of circumstance (which is what most people do) or you can be strong willed, determined and brave and choose to be positive. Get a hobby, read a book, exercise, do something physical (be nice!) to get rid of the anger and frustration you are feeling (don't deny it) and become someone who is a joy to be around instead of a drag. It's a choice and it's yours to make.

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