In past posts, I have written about many types of fear (or dread or whatever you want to call it), including:
- Fear of loss.
- Fear of losing things.
- Friggin’ fear of practically everything else1 you might think of.
Today I would like to write about …
… fear of losing track of things.
Losing track of things seems to be a recurrent theme of mine (see here and here for proof of that). And, as usual, when I write about fear, I assume that I am not alone (although your details, in this area, may vary).
Among those things I have recently feared losing track of:
- The right word to use, when expressing myself.
- The exact right number, as I’m needing to enter credit card numbers, patient numbers, numerical dates, account numbers, and a kashmillion 1other non-intuitive codes2, while performing computer-based transactions, before TIME RUNS OUT!!
(pant, pant, pant)
Okay, I caught my breath. Where was I?
Oh, yes. That list of things I have recently feared losing track of:
- The cable for my camera, which I plan to use in Panama (when I’m away, in less than two weeks).
- The actual dates for my trip (although I think I may have memorized those at this point).
- The right way to do bullet points for this list (don’t even try to visualize how bullets have been flying everywhere, here, in the construction of this post because … it’s been a disaster).
Well! The last word — of that last bullet point of that last list — leads me to this cognitive distortion: 3
This is a particularly extreme and painful form of fortune telling, where we project a situation into a disaster or the worst-case scenario. You might think catastrophizing helps you prepare and protect yourself, but it usually causes needless anxiety and worry.
Hmmmm. You know what? When I went to retrieve that cognitive distortion from my other blog here – called Ann’s Helpful Hints (re: Letting go of Judgment) – I realized that there’s something else I’ve lost track of.
How to edit my posts on that second blog of mine.
Yes, dear readers, I was thinking I would like to add something new, to this list of antidotes for unhelpful thoughts. I wanted to add a new antidote, but because I haven’t edited the two posts at that second blog since I created it (almost a year ago) …. I don’t remember how. And How to Edit those particular posts …. is not immediately obvious to me. And I can’t consider trying to figure that out, right now, because I have to finish this post and get to work, before …. TIME RUNS OUT!!
(pant, pant, pant)
Sorry. Where was I?
Oh, yes. I was thinking of adding a new antidote to my list, for the first time since March. What is that new antidote? Something like this:
Talking to yourself. If you are stuck in an old, unhelpful way of thinking, especially one that involves a “critical voice,” try challenging that old voice by speaking in a new, kinder way to yourself. Watch the language that you use, and speak to yourself as you would to somebody you might be naturally kinder to — a friend, a stranger, anybody who evokes empathy and sympathy in you.
I have found that antidote — of talking to myself — can be a really effective way to learn (and unlearn) things. As a matter of fact, here are some times when I’ve been talking to myself, lately:
- When I’m afraid (especially of doing something that’s new or that feels new, because I haven’t done it in a while).
- Other times when I’m judging my abilities.
- When I have to enter long patient IDs, when I’m at my work computer, about fifty friggin’ times a day.1
Okay! It’s time for me to start wrapping up this post, people.
What feels left unwritten, at this point?
My mother sometimes said to me, “Ann, I think you might lose track of your head, if it wasn’t attached.” Therefore, as a supporting image for this post, I COULD show you a picture of my head, to prove that I haven’t lost track of it. Yet.
However, I can’t take a photo of my head. If you’ve lost track of that of why that is, you’ll just have to see footnote #4, below, for the answer.
Instead, here’s a photo I snapped a few minutes ago:
Why THAT photo? (I imagine you saying to yourself, right now.) Well, it represents several other things I tend to lose track of:
- Food, once I put it in the refrigerator.
- Eating healthier.
- A Zen, mindful, balanced, centered, or what-ever-you want-to-call that helpful frame of mind.
- My own personal power (that is, awareness of those things I can control).
Okay! Time for me to take some personal power and end this post.
Thanks to Earthbound Farm Organics (for the Zen and the Power), people everywhere who lose track of things, and to you — of course! — for reading today.
It’s possible that this is an exaggeration.
Other non-intuitive codes include any collection of alpha-numberic characters that don’t resemble the language I learned growing up. Email addresses, anybody? Not to mention the numbers and symbols I need to use, every time, to insert these friggin’ footnotes.
It’s not the last entry on this list of unhelpful and automatic thoughts (also called cognitive distortions in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), but I think you’ll be able to find it, soon enough.
I’m not showing a photo of my head, because — at this point in my blogging path — I am not showing photos of my face. I suppose I could show a photo of the back of my head, but, I washed my hair right before I slept on it, so it’s a mess. Don’t even try to visualize it, with hair flying everywhere … it’s a disaster. Plus, I’ve got to end this post, soon, and get to work. Did you lose track of that, too? (Don’t worry, you’re probably not alone.)