This week I’ve been working on not taking on other people’s worries unnecessarily. Not in an I’m alright Jack kind of way but I tend to fixate on other people’s stresses – particularly my husband’s – which can be pretty unhealthy, and I’m sure irritating for him/them. It’s hard to explain this but let me see if I can break it down.
Now G and I are working from home I can hear him doing his thing downstairs. He’s so good and works a million times harder than I do – sure, it’s a new job and he has to impress but he’s a machine where I find myself easily distracted. But I hate the idea of people being rude to him on the phone (all part of any job) and if I accidentally catch a snippet of conversation wafting up the stairs, I can’t focus on anything else. I have to fight the urge to run downstairs, grab the phone and give whoever he’s speaking to a piece of my mind.
It was the same when he was job hunting. I want the best things for him because he’s brilliant and anyone who can’t see it makes me furious. You see how that could be a little OTT?
I’ve had to give myself a talking to and accept that I can care about the people I love but ultimately must leave them to deal with certain issues themselves. I mean, unless they ask for my input. I know this is just my anxiety manifesting itself in a new way – focusing on things that are not in my control and distracting me from the things I have power over, like hanging up my clothes, taking care of my skin – ringing the dentist.
I close the door on my little office now and put podcasts on to tune everything outside the room out. I need to do this, or I’ll worry myself into an early grave. And it’s not just this newly identified behaviour – I worry if the people I love are happy, have lived fulfilled lives, have any regrets – like, calm down woman, and think about your own life.
There’s work to do here and it’s been a lot better since I’ve had the inner pep talk. I’ve been more focused and I’m just trying, as is the 2020 COVID mantra, to take one day at a time. I’m not just here to look out for myself but I have to trust that the people I care about are working on their own shit and will ask me for help if they need me. Hopefully.