Cleaning Up the Mess

I thought my life was pretty much under control, and then I lost it.  I found this page at   http://betterme.org/cleansweep.html  which suggests some very thought provoking areas of life to get under control.

I have looked at many of these areas in my life and discussed them with my wife. We are making steady progress. This category is where I will share some of the experiences I have had and am having in looking at these areas of my life.

I am not going to attempt to achieve them all but work through each area as I can.

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Right Now – How do you feel?

So the question I first read on this list of 50 things to change your life was

How do you really feel about what you are doing right now at this exact moment?

Well, I can remember that I was feeling lost. Confused as to what I was looking for in life. Very angry about almost everything, work, other drivers, the world, the family, the cat. Whatever I was doing I was angry about it.

I don’t feel like that now, medication, therapy helps. Learning not to get stuck on things that really are unimportant (if you don’t let them bother you) was and still is hard.

At the moment I am obviously writing this. It feels good to be in a different place to where I was. I still get cross but not like before. I’m Still confused about things but I have a structure and form to work through things.

Last week I went to the dentist, there was a guy in reception. Same early 50’s, same portly overweight shape. He was livid, abusive verbally to the staff and all because he felt the dentist had not listened to him complaining in the surgery. It’s no wonder. I was like that, but now I can see I am no longer. I said thanks to the receptionist and she returned a smile. That never used to happen, but it seems to happen now all the time. Not just people I know but everyone seems to be less against me and happy to smile back. Or am I just noticing it now and people were never actually against me at all?

In the supermarket the other day I became overwhelmed with the difficulty of finding the last item on the list (cornflour). I was ready to sit down in the aisle and give up on life. I asked an assistant. I gave up being a fat know-it-all bloke and accepted that someone who worked there could help. She also struggled to find it. We had a joke about it, I felt that it wasn’t just me going mad and normality resumed (at least until the checkout).

I still struggle with the daily things, but not so much now, and generally I feel that I can enjoy what I am doing right now whatever it is. I don’t have to get cross – and it’s actually more satisfying and enjoyable not to be.

Getting Started

I have been ‘around the houses’ a bit in trying to think about what it is that I need to think about. I couldn’t focus on things. I started a few sessions of cognitive therapy which helped to talk through some issues and help me sort out what was not bothering me.

The biggest and best thing to come out of these sessions was to realise I needed more structure to my thinking. I needed to look outwards at what I could do and change rather than inwards and stressfully at the things that I had no control over.

I found some very helpful pages on the internet which were about sorting out things. Those pages raised questions which I have found to be helpful to work through. The blog is a space for me to work through these questions and write down what for me are my answers.

There are many such pages and blogs along the line of 50 questions to sort out your life. I just picked one and the questions seemed worth thinking about.