People in therapy often talk about losing things, including valued possessions. I sometimes suggest they watch the George Carlin routine, “Losing Things.”
Losing things can result in losing confidence in one’s self and that routine has helped me find my way many times.
People often come up with interesting explanations of why they’re losing things, including supernatural interventions (e.g., mischievous or angry ghosts hiding the object). I like to normalize losing things with the expectation that at least one of my possessions will be lost at any particular time. That way, I won’t be losing my mind and I’ll be pleasantly surprised when I find something I’ve given up for lost (often when I’m searching for the latest thing I’ve been losing).
Speaking of losing things, I just now had a moment of panic when I couldn’t find this book about the type of group I’m facilitating for doctors today:
Sometimes I think I try to make my life more interesting by temporarily losing things I need (I had placed several items on top of that book). Also, I don’t want to be losing this: even if I couldn’t find the book, I would still be able to do the group today well enough.
Do you see losing things in my other images for today?
I’m losing my investment in undying worship; I’d be happy with acceptance.
If you have any thoughts and feelings about losing things, feel free to express them in a comment, below.
One thing I’m not losing is my gratitude for all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.
When I’m petty, I feel guilty. When I observe other people being petty, I get scared, because I’ve observed pettiness wreaking havoc with relationships.
Here’s a definition of petty:
1. of little importance; trivial.
“the petty divisions of party politics”
synonyms: trivial, trifling, minor, small, slight, unimportant, insignificant, inessential, inconsequential, inconsiderable, negligible, paltry, footling, fiddling, niggling, pettifogging, nugatory, of little account
2. of secondary or lesser importance, rank, or scale; minor.
“a petty official”
My personal goal for today is to make other people being petty of little importance, trivial, minor, small, slight, insignificant, inconsequential, and negligible to me.
Reproof should not exhaust its power on petty failings. — Samuel Johnson
More than jealousy or possessiveness pettiness kills love. — Marty Rubin
Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of petty success. — Maude Adams
Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out — it’s the grain of sand in your shoe. — Robert Service
The art of giving orders is not to try to rectify the minor blunders and not to be swayed by petty doubts. — Sun Tzu
The constant petty behests of life permit few opportunities for major satisfactions, and when one is offered it should be seized. — Rex Stout
Petty things don’t bother me as much as they used to — Rebecca Lobo
Mankind accepts good fortune as his due, but when bad occurs, he thinks it was aimed at him, done to him, a hex, a curse, a punishment by his deity for some transgression, as though his god were a petty storekeeper, counting up the day’s receipts. — Sheri S. Tepper
Yesterday, in a welcoming room in Newton Massachusetts, I was finding this, among other stuff:
I love finding things, knowing that there’s always room for you, me and the stuff here.
Whatever stuff there is, it’s smart not to stuff it. There’s room for you and me to express our stuff, no matter how smelly and improper that stuff might be. Don’t forget: we can always choose to let our stuff go.
I’m now finding room for all the other stuff in yesterday’s photos.
I’m finding welcome room for my stuff here, even when I don’t know what it is (like the stuff in that last photo).
Note: Some of the links in this post use adult-oriented language.
“S-words.” Yes, that’s the title for this momentous post — my first post of the New Year and the first one that has a number higher than 365.
How did I arrive at that title?
Who cares, really? That’s in the past. Let’s just deal with the present for now, shall we?
Of course, now that I’ve committed to being in the present, I want to go back into the past, just for a moment (because that’s how our minds work, people). In posts past, I have blogged about words that start with a special letter: a P-Word (Procrastination), an A-word (Anger), and a D-word (Death).
That D-word is usually a conversation stopper (and it’s really buried in that linked post, too), but let’s move on, shall we?
Today, I would like to expound/ramble/write about some S-words. How many, exactly?
Let’s find out!
Today feels like a new start, because it’s New Year’s day. It’s also a new start for me, here at this blog.
As with any new start, I’m keeping some old things — to help me feel safe, secure, and competent enough– and introducing some things that are new. I won’t name what the new things are; I’ll let you notice those on your own, if you are so inclined.
There was another, specific change I wanted to make in my blog today, but I haven’t figured out how to do it, yet. The change? I want to stop using asterisks for footnotes (because those asterisks can sure pile up, people) and start using another S-word: Superscripts, those little numbers that hover above the line.
I think superscripts might help provide a more convenient and pleasurable experience here — for you AND me.
Support is something I sometimes have trouble asking for. I often try to solve problems on my own, because of past experiences. But I guess I might need some support, specifically with that change to superscripts.
We shall see.
Yes, steam. One of the post titles I was considering, this morning, was “Letting off steam.” Why? Because:
Our heating system (which I wrote about here) has been continuing to act hookey, flooky, or however else you want to describe a friggin’ system that isn’t working correctly. For one thing, the radiator in the bathroom started sounding (and feeling) like a seriously insane steam bath, the thermostat kept pooping out, AND the boiler in the basement was needing new infusions of water constantly. Because I don’t like to bother people, and it wasn’t an emergency, I sent an email yesterday morning to the Heating Guy on My Team, Tom Prendergast, that explained the situation but which also said, “No rush,” because I assumed this was a busy holiday time for him. Nevertheless, Tom called me back yesterday (just as my son and I were about to go out for lunch*) and he sent over two guys who changed the vent on the radiator, which is definitely helping the situation.
Because situation #1 included two of my “triggers” — machines (or other systems) not working properly AND hunger — I felt the A-word (anger), yesterday afternoon. At everybody. At the world. My son, who is so smart that when he hears a certain tone in my voice, sometimes says, “You’re hungry,” was even smarter, yesterday. When he heard “that tone” he asked, calmly, “Are we going to have our New Year’s Eve fight?” which helped, for many reasons. What else helped? I let off some steam with my bf, Michael, about some things that had been bothering me. And, I ate some friggin’ thing.
There it is. One of the big S-words, for sure.
I wrote about shame several times last year (including here). I assume I’ll write about it again, in 2014.
Here are some things I have felt shame about (which I’m working on letting go of):
Anger, which is just another human feeling.
Imperfections in my body and mind (also human).
Okay! There were some other S-words I could have written about today — including sleep, singular, and snoring, plus the S-word George Carlin said you couldn’t say on TV** — but it’s time for me to start ending this post.
So what am I missing, at this point?
An image! I can’t think of a suitable s-word for that, so let’s go with a p-word: a photograph!
Checking photos I have stored on my iPhone ….
Hmmmm. Here’s something, but it’s an image I’ve already used, twice before (here and here). It definitely is an important S-word, though:
Hmmmm. “Stop” can be a very useful word, but I’m still not satisfied. Let’s see what’s on Google Images, today, for “S-word.”
As usual, I am surprised at the selection (in order of appearance):
After that excellent S-word,”Serendipity”, Google Images then presented LOTS of pictures of …. swords. Sorry, but those don’t meet my needs, today.
But suddenly, one more “S-word” showed up:
Thanks to my son, Michael, George Carlin, Tom Prendergast, anybody else who contributed to the creation of this post today, and — of course! — to my special, surprising, and super readers, everywhere.
* We were actually going out for sushi, another S-word, but doesn’t that sound (fill in your own judgmental word, if any, here)?
** Here‘s a link to that classic Carlin routine — “The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV”. These days, it depends on the station.
Jonathan Hilton, a blogger I follow and really appreciate here, recently did a great post about worrying. What I found most helpful about that post were the numbers he quoted about worry.
Here were his Worry Mathematics: After subtracting (1) future-oriented worries about things that never happen, (2) past-oriented worries about things we can’t change, (3) needless worries about our health, and (4) petty miscellaneous worries, the post concluded that 92% of what we worry about is wasted energy.
92% of worry is needless, said Jonathan.
I’ve said, to people, that worry never does any good, but I certainly believe that 8% of time spent worrying is “legitimate” (involving financial and other survival issues). However, as Jonathan pointed out, worry is different from concern. As he wrote “Worrying has never fed a child or ended any trouble.”
In any case, I know that seeing such a low number, in Jonathan’s post — plus his specific dismissing of different types of worry — has stuck with me, in a helpful way. I’m doing an even better job, since I read his post, of letting go of worry (which is an old and well-practiced habit for me).
Here are some other things that are helping me let go of worry, these days:
Having faith in my own process.
Assuming the best, instead of the worst.
Letting go of concern about what other people are thinking.
Being more present in the moment.
My sense is, though, that I’ve probably written about all of the above, before. And I’m not sure how helpful such general, oft-cited statements might be, for you.
So I’d like to write a little about some specific improvements I’ve noticed lately — related to letting go of worry — in a particular area.
My mind seems to have an infinite capacity to lose track of objects.
That’s an old and familiar story, for me. My mother used to say that I would lose my head if it wasn’t attached.
However, there are many things that are NOT attached to me, and most of those I lose, regularly. These include my keys, my cell phone, directions to places I need to be NOW, sales receipts, the one ingredient that I just bought at the supermarket that I need for cooking, the nail or screw I need to put something together, that one piece of vital information I need for something incredibly time-sensitive and important, and so on and so forth.
And I lose things in such creative ways! I’ve oft stated that my brain seems to want to make my life more interesting, exciting, and challenging, misplacing necessary objects at exactly the wrong time. If something is really important, I tend to carry it around with me and then — BAM! — just when I’m ready to leave the house, it’s gone. Then, when I’m looking for it, it’s clear that I’ve hidden it, with clever and unmatched skill.
It’s like I’m the best magician possible, making things disappear, even when I think I’m paying close attention.
THAT routine never gets old, I have to say. I just watched it again, and LLOLed (Literary Laughed Out Loud), the whole way through.
He was so great.
Anyway, I haven’t lost track of my point: Here’s how things have changed, lately, for me.
Now that I’m worrying less, being more mindful, and having more faith in myself and my capabilities, I’ve gotten a lot better at finding things.
I’m still losing these important things, mind you. But when the cell phone, keys, directions, and banana guacamole are gone, right when I need them most, I don’t berate myself. Instead, I accept, with forgiveness and humor, my human tendency to Do That Losing Thang. Then, my mind is clear from self-judgment and regret, and I can usually find what I lost, pretty quickly.
It’s like I’m accepting and even loving the quirky way my mind works. Which is wonderful. I’m also letting go of anxiety about being late (which losing things might worsen). And I’m having faith that the lost things are there, waiting to be found. (As my friend Eleanor said to me recently, when I described losing and finding my keys, “You knew they were still on the planet.”) And, even if things do seem to be lost forever, I’ve been realizing that I can survive without them.
As a result, I’ve been finding things much more quickly. And I’m on time, more frequently.
So, dear readers, I’m going to wrap up this post … to give myself time, if needed, to find my keys, cell phone, lunch, and my head — in whatever places I might hide them — before I leave for work.
Thanks to Jonathan Hilton, George Carlin, Eleanor, and you, for finding your way here today.