The year is swiftly coming to a close and with it comes the inevitable ‘look back’ at the good, the bad and the seriously weird that was 2017.
We saw a new government elected in the USA that has been creating waves both there and around the world. We’ve seen Brexit being pushed forward, the Australian Same Sex Marriage postal vote getting a ‘Yes’ (a personal favourite of mine) and the collectively appalling treatment of women in Hollywood (and elsewhere) getting a much-needed hard examination. So much upheaval in so many places…while most of us are just trying to move forward, feed our families and lead relatively normal lives.
Social media and news agencies continue to create hype with ‘click bait’ headlines. But not all news is fake and I think we are all starting to be more savvy in our choices on platforms like Facebook, engaging less with internet trolls and trying to learn how to be civil in sharing our thoughts with those that will most likely think differently. I firmly believe that we are going through the same learning curve that our ancestors did when they sent letters, then post cards to interact in a written medium. Keep in mind that it ain’t going away so let’s embrace and make it work.
Chaos to Freeze
This brings me to my recent ‘lightbulb’ moment. It came to me as I prepared the studio for the end of year schedule. Some staff have had to change their usual commitments, and we have had to say fair-well (temporarily, I think) to one of our long-term instructors, Kate. That, coupled with the usual upheaval that occurs as we get the studio ready for the holiday closure, was starting to stress me out. I take my job seriously and personally (anyone that says ‘it’s just business’ has never owned a small business…EVERYthing is personal, folks). I want clients and staff to have as little disruption to their usual schedule as possible. That’s not always going to happen or be feasible…but tell that to my brain!
As the stresses piled higher and higher I reached that odd place where suddenly it all became too much. I couldn’t seem to get the solutions I thought I needed and I didn’t know how much more I could do. There are three choices we make in stressful situations: Fight, Flight or Freeze. They are self-explanatory and we’ve all been in each of them. In this case, I chose that latter; I gave up and stopped, choosing to sit inside that chaos, watching it swirl around me.
It was in that eye-of-the-storm moment that I realised it didn’t matter if I fixed everything; that was going to be impossible in some cases. It only mattered if I kept my cool and experienced this life in the best way possible. I wasn’t going to ‘stop swimming’ and I am always going to do the best I can for everyone. But I needed to stop thinking I had to make everything perfect. Once that realisation set in, my mind calmed and I got back to doing what I needed to do.
To be fair, this is not a new realisation for me and shouldn’t be new to you. Heck, it’s as old as the hills and philosophies have been created around the idea that I control nothing except how I react to life. Funny how we forget it, though, until things come crashing down.
If I want to be a crazy person or react angrily to situations then that’s my prerogative. I think I’d rather enjoy life during the good, the bad and the weird. I like that choice much better.
Keep Your Centre
That was the Christmas Gift that was given to me this season and I happily regift it to you. Keep your calm centre as your families carry on like mad chooks, when the steaks are overcooked at the holiday lunch, when the kids are upset they didn’t get that Wonder Woman lunch box they wanted, when your clothes fit a bit tighter than you remembered, when you argue with your partner about them using the last of the wrapping paper…Take deep breaths and make the decision to do the best you can at the time, not the best someone else thinks you should be. Just keep swimming at the pace that works for you; remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Oh, and random acts of hugging pay back ‘yuge rewards.
If you can do a bit of that, I guarantee you’ll have a great holiday and come back to the studio with renewed energy and fewer aches.
Happy Holidays, my friends! Enjoy every second.