Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lesson Learned

I was in no mood to get up today. I slept for 8 hours, but every bit of me wanted just one more hour. In my head, What I Want To Do began debating with What I Should Do. "We don't HAVE to get up right now...sure, we'll miss the staff meal at work, but we're not hungry, are we? We're fucking tired." I remember thinking, Okay, fine...let's learn a lesson here. I'll sleep until the last possible moment then rush to work. I will then have a bad day because of it. This will teach me to get up on time.

What a crock of shit. I just lied to myself to be comfortable with going back to sleep. Eh, whatever. Zzzzzz...

Sure enough, I had to rush to get ready...rush to the bus, which then showed up late...skate like a demon to work and start my shift without even taking a moment to prepare myself. But then everything went just fine for the first half of work. I was well rested and in a decent mood. Some lesson I taught myself, eh?

Then something happened. The prep work I was going to do during my shift was not going to get done because we were busy and dishes needed washing. Anxiety hit me, and my mood turned sour. I started giving dirty looks to servers and the busser as they brought me more stuff to wash, and I shouted, in my head, Not now, assholes! I have to finish up green beans and potatoes! I began to freak myself out.

And then this occurred:

You don't have to believe your thoughts.

Yes, thank you, brain. I'm quite aware of that. I've read that in several books related to Zen and Buddhism and even during treatment. I have that down, thank you.

Why are you upset? Let's break it down.

Gee, I'd love to, but I'm a little fucking busy.


Okay, fine. I don't think I'll be able to finish prepping that big box of green beans AND cut all the potatoes AND wash everything. Oh, and they're almost out of plates with paper for the burgers and fries. I have to do some of them.

Well, what are you going to do?

I'm going to do the most important stuff. Prioritize. We'll get through it, but this still sucks.

Why the anxiety?

Because I can't do what I wanted to. I'm afraid they'll run out of something they need for an order.

But you're doing your best. And you're being mindful of what they need immediately.

Well, yeah...

So why are you beating yourself up with fear of something that probably won't happen?

Because...I don't want to let them down.

If they run out, will they yell at you?

No...they'll just tell me they need something as soon as possible.

So, you're making yourself feel bad worrying about something that probably won't happen, all because you're not as in control of everything as you thought?


Quit trying to control everything...

...and just let go. Thank you, Tyler Durden.

Hey, I'm just your brain, what do I know? Bet you feel better now though.

Yeah, I do.

You just challenged your thoughts. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, bitch...good job.

(and scene.)

I finished my shift. The prep I didn't finish will get done tomorrow, either by somebody on day shift or by me tomorrow. I can't believe I that challenging thoughts and feelings worked. Actually, of course I can believe it. It's just crazy how real and important those thoughts, feelings and anxiety were for such a short period of time. Oh no, the end of the world is nigh...and then it's gone.

So yeah, the lesson I learned today was not the one planned it was one I needed reminding about: I don't have to believe my thoughts.

But here's the real lesson I learned tonight. I have a couple of friends who messaged me today and needed to talk. Maybe they needed my input, but probably they just needed me to be there and listen. Had I woke up when my alarm first went off today, I could have talked to them via phone, text and/or Facebook messages. Instead, I slept. I didn't know they wanted to talk until afterwards of course, and I am not responsible for other people, sure...but that's not the point. I want to be there for the people I care about. Hell, I want to be there for people I don't care about, too. 

I can't give when I'm being about me and what I want. Sleeping in occasionally for me is fine...but I knew what I should have done. And that's the thing. My new life relies on avoiding complacency and following my intuition that tells me to do things I don't want to do...but that I know I need to.

That's what I learned today.