I am the queen of planning and have been since I was a little girl. I had a day planner before I was in the third grade. I found it therapeutic to have everything written down so that I could check things off my list and off my mind. I guess as a child I felt a lack of control in the world around me and writing was a way for me to get my worries and thoughts about the future out of my head. This is a great thing for us all to do but, for some can get a little out of control at times. Just this past week I was at the playground with my good friend and our children. I have/had so much on my mind that I whipped out my day planner and my notepad and began writing down my to-do list for the next day and scheduled the appointments I needed to that were coming up. My friend looked at me with a smirk as she knows me very well by now and just said: “Sometimes you don’t have to plan everything. Live a little. Let go Jess.” Planning for me is at times is a must. I enjoy writing down my plan for the next day as checking off boxes helps me feel accomplished and reminds me I am on the right path to managing chronic pain. Each day it is literally written on my to do list:
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Then the rest of the so called “normal” things each of us has in our daily day such as phone calls, activities, errands etc. With that said my friend has a point. I am an over thinker and worry to an unneeded point. There is a LOT going on in my life right now and sometimes I get way ahead of myself and begin to worry and my worries spin out of control. Clearly, worrying/anxiety only increases pain levels but I am a work in progress. After I put down my day planner at the playground I started to actually enjoy the day and play with my daughter and laugh with my friend and the kids. The picture of my daughter, Kayci was taken about five minutes after I shut down my notebook and in essence my brain. Look at this kid! She is having the time of her life and is hysterical. Yes, I will always write down a to do list and be a planner: it helps me in my management of chronic pain and life in general but once written down I truly need to let the crap in my mind go and enjoy the moment. I am thankful for my friend because we spent the next two hours with our kids running around and having fun outside making memories that mattered. Kayci will not be three forever and as all toddlers can be, she is a handful but she is pure light and joy. I know everything I worry about works out and each time the thing I am worried about never comes to fruition I think: “See Jessica, you did it again! You lost hours of your life and had terrible anxiety for nothing.” I will learn……..eventually! My inner critic is a real asshole at times: need to shut her down for a month or so.
Worrying and trying to control our lives/situations/people will never change the outcome. It truly does become exhausting. We all need to let go and just see what happens. We can plan the little things like my simple to do list I write each night for the next day but we cannot plan the big things in life. Things will unfold as they will and that is all there is to it. I would much rather be happy running around the playground with my daughter than focusing on my worries.