I totally got schooled Wednesday morning by a patient about Wednesday being the day anything can happen. Apparently that’s from the Mickey Mouse Club?! I’ll take his word for it! What he didn’t know was that even though it was first thing in the morning, many “anythings” had already happened! Since the toll road is having issues, I have been taking an alternate route to the office I am filling in for, which extends the drive a little bit, but is worth it if I can avoid sitting in standstill traffic. Monday: fine. Tuesday: raining but fine. Wednesday: accident that shut down 94! Ok, I left myself time. Just take the detour maps gives you. Detour route…closed. Umm…now I am DEFINITELY going to be late.
In my younger years, this would’ve been disaster. I had an agenda, planned ahead, thought of all the possible issues and accounted for them. I would’ve freaked out for two reasons: 1. I am going to be late! How bad does that make me look?! 2. I’m being detoured off the highway into some random place in Gary! How am I supposed to know where I’m going?! In my older age, none of this even bothered me. It was sort of life’s metaphor for having a path, but not being stressed about detours. You’ll get to where you’re going eventually. I planned ahead, I was doing everything I could, and it DOES NO GOOD TO STRESS ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN’T CONTROL. Getting worked up, upset, stressed, worried would not get me or anyone else anywhere faster! How many times a day do things not go as planned?! A lot! Do you find yourself stressing about the circumstances out of your control? That unneeded stress is killing you. Well, maybe not you yet, but your adrenals. They can’t keep up with the constant barrage of stress! Give them a break! They already have to keep up with stress over things you CAN control, vigorous exercise, caffeine, and all that wine you are drinking. Quit demanding more from them or you will find yourself in a heap of hormone hell, eventually.
I wanted to tell you this story because this is an everyday situation like many that my anxiety patients would get into a tizzy about. Always evaluate a situation calmly. Things don’t get done faster because you are yelling, or crying, or complaining about how it didn’t go as planned. Ask yourself one simple question: Is this something I can control? If not, relax. Do your best. It is what it is. Silly human. To think you could control things in the world, sort of makes the universe laugh. In my case, I used the extra time to turn up the radio and sing to my jams. Not because I didn’t care that I would be late, but because I couldn’t control an accident that shuts down the highway and puts me an extra hour and a half behind! When I showed up, I was more than ready to give 100% to my patients, good vibes for days, and it all worked out in the end. I would’ve made my biochemistry a mess by worrying, and what kind of doctor could I be to my patients if my mind is stuck in panic mode over something I can’t control. Breathe. You’re a tiny speck on a spinning planet in the middle of the universe. It’s going to be ok. I promise.