Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Ways to Deal When You Just Can't Deal

I strongly believe everyone has a specific tolerance level for BS. Some people, like Mother Teresa, are experts at weeding out the BS and not letting it disturb their lives. Other people, like me, dwell on the BS to extreme levels and pretty much let it run the show.

I just can't tolerate the BS. I totally suck at it. 

Take the light to moderate piles of BS, for example. These smaller piles of BS include things like:
  • Screaming kids and sales people showing up at my door at the same time
  • A check I wrote two months ago clearing today
  • Kids skipping naps (aka: mommy's work time getting blown up)
  • A package with expensive 2-day shipping getting delivered to another house
  • Someone's stupid dog walking into my yard/garage/life with no leash
  • Hurting my toes somehow (it happens more often than you might think)
  • A super-clever and/or passionate Facebook post getting 2 likes
  • Anything related to Kanye West
  • My neighbor's kid screaming bloody murder outside like an asshole at 10PM

Now I can handle about 5-6 of these in one day before I start to lose my cool. They're petty, irrelevant irritations, right? No big deal. But then you've gotta add in the big, sometimes enormous piles of BS:
  • Feeling like I have no control over my kids
  • Dealing with an insecure marriage
  • Worrying about how much money I can afford to spend on groceries
  • Hurting for a family member struggling with illness
  • Hurting for a friend struggling with death
  • Balancing what I want with what other people say I should want
  • Juggling demanding relationships
  • Feeling like nothing I do is ever enough to make anyone happy, including myself
Those are a few of the big, steamy, smelly piles of BS that sulk in the background of my mind. Combine a couple of those huge piles with a few of those small piles (especially when the small piles hit upwards of 5-6 a day, which is pretty much every day) and you get me - a woman who needs to deal but just can't deal. My grace is gone. My energy is gone. My drive is gone. And it's humiliating and shameful and annoying all at the same time. 

But I've found a few ways to make it work. A few methods to keeping my head up. A few mechanisms to moving forward even when you want to head indoors and just say screw it. Here we go.

#1: Just say screw it.
No, seriously. It's important to care about others, but every now and then, you need to tell everything and everyone to just piss off for a while. I did this once and it was glorious, honestly. Take an hour to get away from people and phones and laundry and work and any influence of negativity or obligation and just let it all go. Nobody is going to hate you for it...and who cares if they do. This is about keeping yourself sane, here, people. We're not trying to make you blissfully happy at other peoples' expense...we're trying to keep you sane so you don't end up doing something dangerously destructive to yourself or to someone else. This is helping those you love even if they don't understand or appreciate it. 

#2: Eliminate the cupcake.
If you don't want to eat it don't have it in the house, right? This same mentality can be applied to my primary mood-killer - comparisons. I don't mean to do it, but I compare myself to everything....especially when I'm already feeling down about myself. I let the outside world influence me way too much and to reduce the temptation to compare and be destructive to my own self-worth, I often need to eliminate the source. Turn off the TV. Stay off Facebook. Spend less time with electronics that connect to the endless world wide web and the vast number of shaming sources. Don't go into online forums for answers to your questions - trust me. Get the overexposure out of your world for a little while so you can refresh.

#3: Hang out with a puppy.
Or some flowers, or a forest, or a kid. The only kids I'm amazed by are my own. I get a distinct sense of awe from watching them figure things out. When they say funny stuff I laugh real hard - like a belly laugh times a thousand. Sometimes just their faces, the curve of their cheeks, their tiny fingers, is enough to bring me back to reality. The BS isn't the reality, people. "Peony starts with P, Mommy!" Puppy feet. That's what life is all about. Bees on buds. Tree shadows. Find something that isn't tainted and dip into the purity for a little while.

#4: Develop your talent.
Did you enjoy an art class in high school? Dabble in creative writing in college? Have a thing for dancing in your car, in the kitchen, or at weddings? Where is your happy place? A dear friend of mine danced ballet for years and to this day, running through her positions makes her feel at ease. Granted, she uses the back of a chair instead of a barre these days, but it doesn't matter. Her talent is in her feet and her arms and her heart. What do you love? Do more of it. Make time for it even though the BS piles are telling you there's no time for it. Ignoring BS piles is a surefire way to destroy their power over you. 

#5: Set one goal and take one step.
Redirect all the energy wasted on BS. What do you want? Pick something tangible, concrete, specific. Figure out one thing you can do this week to help you achieve that goal. I, for example, want to travel to a one-bedroom cob cottage I found on AirBnB and stay there for a full week with very limited contact with the outside world. What do I need to do to get there? I need more cash. How can I get more cash? More clients. How can I get more clients? Visit them in-person with some well-researched proposals. How can I visit them when I have kids? Use their time in school this fall wisely. You get the point, right? Find something you want and create a path, however long-term it is, to get what you want. Take the first step this week by just making the plan. Redirect your anxious energy onto something gloriously all about you.

Obviously I'm no expert here. I still can't deal on almost a daily basis. But you know what? I fake it. I say screw it. I try to set my attention on things that make me who I am....because as much as I love people, the only thing in the world I can control is myself. And I want to be happy. I want to stop doubting every decision I make. I want to stop feeling the pressure to defend myself. I want to deal with the BS like a boss. Isn't that all any of us can ask for?

What about you, dear readers? What is your favorite way to deal when you just can't deal? I'd love to hear about it in the comments down below and as always, thank you so much for reading. 

10 comments:

  1. Touche, I especially go by the "f*ck it method" on a daily basis. Whatever. Screw it - no one is inducing a heart attack/stroke except myself. I'm of value to no one dead. I had a lot of bs years ago when I was still with my son's father but have since eliminated that hazardous relationship from my life and while I still have to tolerate him, it's in a completely distant capacity and it's WONDERFUL. I have full control of my son so I am happy about that at least but I don't play; I'm a serious militant when it comes to behavior, especially outside these doors. When I start giving you the "eye" it's time to evaluate your life choices. Grown adults and children, especially my son, fear this stare and know I mean business when it happens. I'm not sure what it looks like but I recognize when I'm doing it because people's facial expression change. Lol! It's the funniest thing. My boyfriend is the only one not phased by it but that's a good thing, I have other ways to deal with him. :) Hahaha. Time for yourself is important and I try to take that time after work when I watch Barefoot Contessa, it's the shiznizz and love getting inspired to cook. Nom nom nom! Which reminds me I need some wine/alcohol. :) tehehe Have a great weekend gorgeous and take it easy, shake the bs off! XOXO -Iva

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    1. Dude you have GOT to teach me this stare you speak of. I wish I could scare people with one look! That's a power stare right there! And you know what else is awesome? That you watch Barefoot Contessa. I can totally picture you chillin and watching a cooking show with a glass of wine and your feet up. Haha! That is my idea of relaxing! Thanks for stoppin by, Iva :)

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  2. I LOVE this! I'm with you and that's why I have 2 kittens. I needed some freaking happiness in my life! I also add fresh flowers to my home each week, and work out no matter what! Even if I have to trudge the kids with me. So much better! Hope things are going well with you!

    Oh and I haven't watched Barefoot Contessa but HGTV is a godsend!!

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    1. HGTV and Food Network! I don't even own cable - I watch episode after episode on Netflix. And you know what I love? The fresh flowers idea! I love having them in my home and I have an abundance of wildflowers outside at this very second. I should go cut some this morning and make it happen! Have a happy weekend, Kristen!

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  3. These are all really practical strategies. It's not worth wasting time, energy, and emotions on situations we don't really have a choice over or the ability to completely fix. For me, because faith is a really key part of my life, when I feel like I'm getting close to tipping over the edge of overwhelmed-ness, I go straight to prayer, or the Bible, or to talking to someone who I know is wise and has the same priorities I do. That's really comforting and helps me get my head back on straight. Our family is dealing with loss from several different directions right now--and I'm taking the time to mourn, and to recognize that yes, this loss is real, and we're going to feel it for a long time, but I'm not willing to let the mourning take MORE than it's fair share of my life, you know? I'm not going to let it take me over...even if I will occasionally fall down crying while doing housework in the middle of the afternoon. It's good to have those things which can get you back to being focused on all of life, not just the sucky/annoying/tragic parts.

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    1. I don't get as much from scripture (I have Bible issues that I am having trouble working through) BUT I do get that sense of peace and applicability from attending actual church services. I'm in the choir (although right now it's the off season) and I feel like I'm floating after our practices. Makes me happy. I'm so sorry you and your family are struggling with loss, too. I think it is so honorable and brave that you've found some incredible coping mechanisms to help you get through these challenges. And I think everyone has at one point or another just lost it while cleaning :) I tend to do it while vacuuming or scrubbing the tub.....so good to read your comment, Rach. Hope you have a good day!

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  4. And why does everything have to go wrong on the same day? Last Monday, I woke up with a back ache, my car wouldn't start, commissions were due and needed to get in early - I was down 3 and not even at work yet. My job is incredibly demanding with important deadlines. If I don't get the taxes in on time or the commissions calculated by pay day it isn't pretty. 5-6 BS incidents do it for me every time. Exercise helps the most, but on particularly trying days like last Monday I can't fit it in. Gratitude is supposed to help, but usually doesn't work when things go really wrong. Looking at my doggies always helps. Buck gives me that sideways look or Teddy lifts his ears or rolls over for a belly rub and I always smile.

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    1. Sav that sounds horrific. And so typical. It's insane how much the dude upstairs thinks I can handle....sometimes I just look around and say, nope, can't do it. And you know the whole gratitude thing just makes me feel terrible about myself. Like, why are you complaining and feeling anything other than joy and happiness? Look at all you have? And I look around and think yep, I have so much, how awful I can't somehow make myself happy enough to really show appreciation? Backfires. And I'm glad your pups help you out :) Hanging with my chickens and my kiddos certainly helps me!! :)

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  5. I usually read to help calm down. It tends to help. Or I stuff my face with chocolate.

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    1. I love reading. I need to find better books. I keep finding these "recommended" mystery novels that ultimately end up being like a 1940's crapola book or some story about a kid who is slain. Not cool. The chocolate idea sounds better :) haha

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