Good Morning! Hope your Monday is off and running smoothly. I had a great weekend, and in case you missed it here’s the recap! Splendid.
While attending our church service yesterday, I felt a special connection to the message and wanted to reflect on it today. And before you think differently, I promise that anyone with any religious background can relate to this one.
Actually, talking about what I take home from services has sparked the first post of a new series I hope you will enjoy reading here on the blog!
I named it Coffee Talk because I want it to be the type of subjects you would enjoy reading or discussing with a friend over cup of coffee. Think of it as a virtual heart to heart, if you will.
I included Food For Thought into the title because I want to questions to come up that come up to make you think! I would love you to engage back into the conversation with me and use the comments section to discuss the topics at hand. So without further adieu, let’s start the first one!
Coffee Talk: Moving Past What Doesn’t Matter
(I’m also linking up with Katie because… well… I think this series is going to be marvelous.)
It’s no secret that Scott and I have been through more than our fair share of adjustments and transitions over the past few years. In fact, since the day we exchanged wedding vows, everything about our every day lives has changed. My last name, the city we call home, our ability to see Orlando friends and family every day, wardrobes, licenses, and occupations are just a handful.
With any new life changing situation or new chapter, there also comes a set of challenges and obstacles we encounter. Transitions. Things that pop up in our “plan” of how we see our lives unfolding.
Most of these things come as a surprise, and aren’t exactly what we were hoping for. Sometimes these things are people. Sometimes these things are the environments we live and work in. And sometimes, we build our hopes up so high that everything is supposed to happen “this” way, and as a result, we get frustrated about what these new situations are and what they aren’t: what you’re used to.
That’s just it. The concept of change. Transition, adjustment, moving forward… all of these things equate to taking an unfamiliar step into a new direction we can’t predict the results of.
So what do we do? We live for the day and take it in baby steps, day by day. We see how everything turns out, and the smart ones do so without those preconceived expectations in tow.
They accept change, take situations for what they are, and move on. They find and create their own happiness.
The biggest take-home I got from our pastor was to live in the NOW. Stop thinking about “one day” or in the future when things might go a certain way. Quit wasting the time you have and start living life to it’s fullest.
Feeling extremely connected to this concept at this point in my life, I started taking notes and jotted down three questions he asked the congregation:
• How much time do we spend or waste worrying about things?
Oh man. Who doesn’t waste time worrying about things?
At this moment in time, I am surrounded by silly life worries and stress about petty things. Things that don’t matter. Things that are frustrating and annoying. Rumors and gossip. Who did this or who said that. Things that, unfortunately, I find myself guilty of stressing myself over as well.
At the end of the day, who really cares? None of us should. Things happen, and how you deal with it is the only thing you can control. Basically, you have three options:
1) Complain about it being different.
2) Do something to change it.
3) Realize it is what it is and move on.
I know I am guilty of the first two, and the third is what really takes my focus and determination to follow through. As someone who has gone through a multitude of changes in the past few years, I feel like I have been faced with these situations over and over. Every day, around every corner I turn, something is different than what I am used to… and usually I don’t like it. Because it’s new, and change isn’t an easy concept to grasp and accept.
But, over the past few months, I have finally realized that I choose my own happiness. I can’t always control the situations I am put in, but I can control how I let them affect me. I have started to separate what I used to know with what I know now, and I appreciate the two categories separately.
We are all handed things in our lives for a reason, and with every challenge or frustration, we also have the opportunity to learn a lesson. Is this going to change? Is there anything I can do to change it? If not, then don’t stress over it.
The sooner you realize that, the more you will learn and get out of every hard spot handed to you.
• Do you experience frustrations with people that are dominating your thoughts?
Of course. If I am frustrated with something, that situation or person completely takes over my thoughts and energy at that point in time.
Whether I keep what is going on to myself, or share it with loved ones, I allow it to consume time out of my day to dwell on it and ninety-nine percent of the time, I get mad at myself for allowing myself to worry over silly things I can’t change. (See point above!)
Once again, if you have frustrations with something or someone, only you can fix them. If it’s a case or situation that is simply un-fixable, stop giving them the time of day. Instead, focus your energy on the positive things and people surrounding you!
• Have those things ever gotten so full that you miss what is going on around you?
Absolutely! Friday was a perfect example for this.
Since I usually spend my weekend at events, games, practices, or outings, I try to dedicate a good part of my Fridays to cleaning the house. As soon as I finished my work for the day, I went upstairs to tackle some laundry and start the cleaning process. Right then, I encountered a situation I instantly became frustrated with. No matter how hard I tried to change it, the answer was clear and no budging was going to happen.
So I got angry. I shared my frustrations with loved ones and I ended up spending the entire afternoon on the phone. I got zero cleaning done, and I barely even took a break from it to get outside and run before the sunset. Umm… that’s crazy. Why do we allow ourselves to get so frustrated with things we can’t change that it ends up consuming our hours, days, weeks, and even years?
Instead of getting what I needed to get done, I completely stopped my day and plans to get wrapped up in frustrations. Why?
It’s really silly, and there comes a point when you have to tell yourself you are not going to let it affect you anymore.
Separate it from your day, your mood, what you are doing when you encounter it, and put it on a shelf far, far away from anything that concerns you. It’s really not worth it.
Food For Thought
I do my best to try to listen to my own advice, and when I do I am a much happier, more productive person. Change and challenges happen and we are the only ones that can control what happens next.
You get the choice to spend your time in the spotlight and on things that matter, or caught up in the background on things that really don’t.
If you ever get in a place where you can’t distinguish exactly how to handle it, or if it is even worth stressing over, think about how it will directly affect you a year from now. Better yet, five years from now. Are the things and people you are worried about still going to be there? If not, then they certainly aren’t worth your trouble.
Whenever I find myself at wits end, I have to take myself out of the situation and become emotionless. I can’t care. If something is the way it is, and I have tried to change it the best I know how, and it still isn’t ever going to budge… why persist? Accept what it is and move on.
Let those you worry about do the worrying for you. At the end of the day you will be the one enjoying life in the meantime.
And there it is, friends. Our first Coffee Talk! I hope you enjoyed reading my little nuggets of perspective every once in a while, and I welcome you to join in on the conversation below!
Questions of the Day
• Are you good at walking away from stress, or do you let it affect your mood/day/life?
• Any tips on how to go about your day without getting wrapped up in it?
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables
Sometimes I get stressed out, and then it’s a matter of getting my perspective back. It usually takes a quiet moment to bring me back!
Exactly. Or seeing someone else going throw something else a lot worse. My hopes are to keep an open and positive perspective without having to do that!
I think that at some point we get stressed about things that don’t matter at all. As I was reading this I couldn’t help but think in all situations that I over stress, complain, when they were small things that in five years won’t matter.
I think is a lot easier siad than done. We encourage others to do certain things when we struggle to follow them. It’s a lot easier to get caught up in the stress, instead of moving on.
Jou always encourages me to move on. He tells me that I should live the present, because I won’t be able to enjoy it if I keep thinking in the past/future. He’s the best at it. That extra-push keeps me going whenever I feel like I’ve lost track.
That’s the biggest thing that has helped me get over what I don’t need to be worried about in the first place. Five years from now I won’t even remember it happening. Why let it get you down?
Scott is also great at helping me press forward. He is not one to dwell in the past, and I look up to him for it. Thanks for sharing!
I love all of this. The idea of the series and all the is in your actual post. It is great. I can relate so much.
Stress really used to affect me big time and there are still moments where life happens all at once and it still does. For the most part though I have gotten better because I try not to worry about what I cannot control, which actually is a lot of life when you step back and look at it. Half the time you stress you miss out on what is currently going on for something that may or may not happen. I have tried to become more easy on myself and look to what I have the chance to control and what I don’t. Since I have done that things don’t seem to be so bad or at least pile up as much as they normally would.
The way I go about my day without getting wrapped up to it is mostly looking to motivation which is why I blog. But I also just look to what really matters and what doesn’t. A lot of what we worry about has no affect on our lives for the long run unless we allow it to. I try to let go of things when I can look at them and move forward and not look back to it. There are a lot of petty things that happen that do not need to be looked back at. There are a lot of things that happen that were not done on purpose that do not need to be looked back at. So by not focusing on those I am able to keep pressing forward!
You are always such a positive light! I’m so glad you have also started a blog and influencing others to control their outlooks as well. Yes, it’s hard not to focus on the petty things, but I agree that we have to move past them to grow and move forward. Great tips!
This is a great post. I’ve always been an absolute worrywart and have really been trying to overcome it. There’s no point in worrying about something that won’t matter, but it’s always pretty hard to grasp that concept. My husband is the complete opposite and goes with the flow so I always try to lean on him for support on this.
Reading motivational posts like this give me the perspective to get me back on track if I’m getting caught up in stress or insignificant matters. Keep ’em up! 🙂
Definitely. I for sure have the same problem! Glad you have an interest in this series!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables
Thank you for this post!! I so needed this today! I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately!
Glad it was able to help! 🙂
I think it’s natural to have emotional responses to situations/people/etc we care about. I try really hard to momentarily give in to that emotional response, consider if I can do anything to change the situation, and then move on. It’s been hard to accept that means not having certain people in my life, but a vital part of my happiness is tossing the drama. Love your thoughts!
Totally. Over the past few years, I have finally come to realize I have to let go of certain things and get rid of drama. All it does is weigh you down!
This was so great to read today!!
Lately I have definitely been getting caught up in WORRY. My boyfriend and I have hit many obstacles in buying our first home, I have experienced job changes and am still very unsure if I want to stay where I am right now.. I get worried about the future, I get frustrated things are taking so long (according to My plans that is..)and frustrated by our schedules (they are essentially opposite now!)
I realized lately through all these negative feelings that life can just pass you by in worry.. I’m 27 and I really feel I was 17 yesterday and it’s wonderful to have lived life but also so scary. It goes SO fast and there is no guarantee for tmrw and so I am working towards living with as little worry as possible. When my boyfriend started telling me ‘you worry too much/all the time/relax” consistently it started to hit home what was going on in my mind. I am really working on this lately. I will keep this post handy! Just loved your thoughts on this 🙂 Excited for more ‘coffee (tea for me) talk “!
I couldn’t agree more! Life really is too short to worry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and I’m so glad you are up for “Tea” talks! 🙂
In this busy world full of To-Do lists, hectic schedules, and increasing responsibilities, letting things go becomes a skill that has to be deliberately practiced to keep stress in check.
I know I am prone to put unrealistic expectations on myself which causes me to over analyze and think too far into the future. Sometimes too much thinking without action can create a gap between where we are and where we believe we should be, This leads to stress and anxiety which if left unchecked can turn into a habit of negative thinking and inadvertently pushing us farther from our goals. This quote by Joseph Campbell says it best “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
I have seen and have personally used worry as a defense mechanism and a procrastination tool. I usually find that when I am frustrated with someone else over trivial things, it usually stems back to my own fear of failure or lack pushing my comfort zone. In these instances it is safer to be annoyed with someone else than it is to face my own shortcomings.
Being present in the moment is the greatest gift you can give someone. This is something I continually work on and I am much improved from where I started. Putting the cell phone down and listening instead of just hearing has made a world of difference in my personal and professional relationships.
One of the best things I think you can do to manage stress is minimize your exposure to negative people and surround yourself with individuals you can grow with and learn from. Positive people and a good friend to listen who will challenge you when you need it can make all the difference!
Great post Heather! Thanks for sharing and thanks for giving me something to think about!
Wow! All very good points, thank you for sharing all of this! I couldn’t agree more about surrounding yourself with positive people. A good attitude really is contagious! I also love your theory about putting the cell phone down and listening. In this day in age it is refreshing to see a group of people hang out together without someone being on their phone. Being present in the moment is definitely something I need to focus on. Thanks for commenting! 🙂
Our preacher just spoke on this subject a few weeks ago & man! was it good reminders!! Start living for the DAY instead of worrying about what lies ahead… that’s something we can’t control…but we CAN control TODAY.
Thank you for this!! I think I’m going to love convo’s over coffee 😉
Love those messages that just stick with you. I’m excited to continue the series!
This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I was helping Michael deal with a stressful work situation that put our entire day on hold for hours and it came to a point where we said, “How do we manage this better next time?”…Michael started writing down our ideas and I came across your blog….it truly is so difficult to not get completely bogged down by worry, frustration, anger, and anxiety when unexpected things happen. But I do fully believe that boiling it down to what you can and cannot control is invaluable. Also, to decipher what the actual issue is and just to deal with that. Don’t go off on tangents and let it balloon into something much bigger than necessary. I guess for me it always goes back to this….”Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference” …and I love your proposal of “Will this matter in five years?”….We have had so many instances in the past where we obsessed and hung on to anger when things didn’t go “as planned”, but when we look back, it all happened for a reason, taught us a valuable lesson, and led us to something else that we are grateful for. It’s hard to remember that in the moment, but I have gotten better, and I appreciate your reminder to always ask that question!