Regular readers will have noticed that I missed a few dates on my posting schedule. Yes, I failed to meet my posting schedule for the past week or so. And the reason for this…. was that I fell off the proverbial ‘wagon’.
Different people have different definitions for what their ‘wagon’ might be. It usually has something to do with the steps they are taking to overcome some form of addiction or harmful habit. At age 40, I am in the process of undoing unhelpful thought patterns and ‘re-wiring’ my brain. For me then, my ‘wagon’ is all about the things I do to help this process along. Things like sleeping early, practising gratitude and appreciation on a daily basis and so on. My ‘wagon’ also has to do with staying away from things that help activate the old thought patterns. For me mostly, these are things that tend to put fear or anger into my mind.
Well guess what? I fell off the wagon and in style, because not only did I not do the things I aimed to do daily to help myself, but I also did things that I try to stay away from… in this case, I watched a ton of documentaries and videos that scared the life out of me (more about this in another post)! I know you’re curious, so I won’t leave you hanging like that – not without at least giving you a small clue about what it was: it was to do with the collapse of the national power grid and similar disasters (in case you hadn’t thought it through, we are so dependent on electricity and computers that if we lost our power grid and infrastructure, things could get grim).
So there I was, spending every available waking moment watching these videos – to try and learn and understand. It often meant staying up late, so I could watch the videos once the wife and little one were in bed. This stuff was super scary and it took hold of my mind. It even led to my putting together a ‘bug-out bag’ (a sort of survival kit that you can grab and run when the poo hits the fan). Add to this some sleep deprivation and an absence of every practice that was aimed at lifting my mood and spirits, plus sitting on my behind – in front of a screen – for hours on end. Yes friends, I did not feel good. In fact, I felt downright awful.
But, there’s good news: I snapped out of it! I am back on track and I’d even say that I gained out of the whole experience. Again, I will write about this in another post.
So how did I snap out of it? And how did I get back on track? And most importantly WHY? That is what I really want to address here.
As real and scary as it was to me, I know that my little (mis)adventure is hardly the stuff of newspaper headlines. But global disasters aside, for each of us, there are things that can unsettle or otherwise upset us. And to us, in our day to day lives, these things matter. Also, when you commit to doing something to help yourself and face a set back, it can get you down. But for each of these scenarios, and no matter what else may be ‘going wrong’ for us at any given time, there seems to be an antidote. It may be so subtle that we are hardly aware of it, or forgotten, because it has always been there, but there is no denying the strong underlying force that seems to always push us towards something better and makes us want to help ourselves.
When I think back on life, I can see that this was always true. The things that I worried about always took care of themselves, no matter what happened. Looking back on some of these things makes me wonder why I ever got so worked up about them. It all seems so silly! I can laugh about them now, but back then, it all seemed so real and so scary. For example, when I was a kid, I would often have that ‘sinking feeling’ a Sunday evening. It was because I hadn’t done my homework for school. I knew that the teacher would be checking and that I’d get in trouble. The funny thing is that I couldn’t be bothered to actually do the work, but it didn’t stop me from worrying about it somehow. Anyway, it sometimes seemed like a matter of life and death and yet now, it is simply a memory that brings a smile to my face. Do I worry about it now? Not at all! So this leads me to conclude that whatever it is that I may panic about right now, it will be something to laugh about in years to come and that I will always be ok.
I’m not so worried about doomsday scenarios and ‘what if’s’ anymore – at least for now. I don’t want to think of the worst and live in fear. Of course I will balance this outlook with a certain amount of being prepared and by taking a few obvious precautions. My bug out bag is all but disassembled now. But I added a few items to my ‘Every Day Carry’ (or EDC) rucksack. Should the poo hit the fan, I will have some spare nappies and wipes. I packed them for Dakota but I guess they’ll come in handy anyway.
I am back to trusting that things are always working out for me and that I will be ok – no matter what.
For anyone who’s reading this that has fallen off their wagon – don’t worry about it. Just get back on again and keep getting on.