I had to laugh at myself the other day, although my thoughts were more annoying than funny. It seems that recently the books and articles I want to read have overwhelmed me and I am way behind. Now, I acknowledge that I often go through periods when I don't read as much as I usually do, reluctant to start a new book while I am in the middle of other kinds of projects.
But when I realized how behind I was in my reading, I began to feel stressed that I had let this happen. There are several lonely books sititing around the family room, along with a couple of magazines that I haven't opened yet. Good grief, I thought, I better get crackin'.
there were also a couple of library books that I had borrowed -- and renewed -- that I hadn't opened yet either, and then I debated whether it better to take them back or hold onto them and pay the fine. World class decisions, right?
Then I thought, what am I, nuts? It's not like I read for a living and HAVE to read any of these books. I do want to read them and probably will, but there shouldn't be any pressure to do so. The pressure was coming directly from me -- to me -- and that's when I decided this is just plain wrong.
I think we do this to ourselves in other areas of our lives, too. If I have been out shopping for paper goods etc., letting them sit in bags in the basement for awhile before I put them away is not the end of the word. I will get to them when I get to them -- I always do, and who else cares anyway? But I can often feel myself getting upset because some of these little chores are not done and I should be more on top of things!
Most of the time no one will care or notice what I haven't completed or what I have, for that matter.
I am not sure how to turn off this internal stress-generator for good, but I sense that the best way for temporary help is to simply talk it over with myself.
- Do you have any idea how many books you have here to read? You better get moving!
- But wait. I am reading these books for pleasure.
- So? You should still keep to the schedule. Read 'em and return 'em or donate them ASAP, that's our motto.
- But that doesn't make sense.
- Well, if it doesn't, who else are you gonna blame? Thanks to your Type A Personality and your goal of doing everything quickly so you can check it off a list.
- Oh, yeah. I see what you mean. But what if I don't want to play at that anymore?
- Up to you, but it ain't gonna be easy. You're not so good at change, as we both know.
- Well, I wouldn't exactly say that .. .
The moral of the story, then, is that I will try not to stress myself out with things that don't really matter in the grand scheme of life.There are, unfortunately, enough serious things that require our attention that we shouldn't waste time or energy or our health on ones that aren't. So I will read when I can and want to (click here to see my suggestions). How does that sound?
By Teresa K. Flatley