Three weeks to go, and the voices are growing louder. Which voices? Those tiny little whispers that tell me I'm forgetting something, that I haven't planned this out well enough ( I probably haven't) that I still have to pack, choose a storage company, figure out which things to ship, sell the car, make some repairs to the car in order for it to be sold... I've never loved uncertainty, and naturally it will be by my side for the next few months, if not years. So, at the risk of seeming like a know-it-all (I'm not, and all three of these techniques come to me from someone else) for anyone else dealing with a stressful situation, I've listed a few ways I've been using to combat feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Entertain the positives. It's so easy to entertain the negative "what ifs". It feels like that's my default mode sometimes. But positive outcomes are just as likely as negative ones. And which thoughts are more motivating? Positive begets more positive. And imagining what if... I go to New York and fall deeper in love with the city than I am now? What if I meet some great people and form strong friendships? What if I find classes and opportunities that enrich my creative life? What if I soak up all the sights and it fuels my writing? These are the possibilities that I was in touch with when I made the decision to move, and those are the thoughts to keep close as I step out.
- Baby Steps. I have three weeks to do this move, and tackling one question at a time, one day at a time will make the fears smaller bit by bit. And the longer I wait the bigger they become in my head. It's funny because the tasks themselves are never that difficult. For example: find a nearby storage unit. However, when tied to all the emotions and worries, a small task like this can feel like ten tasks in one. It's not. It's one little task.
- Remember that old adage, "it will pass". A friend once told me that "it will all get handled. It may not be the most comfortable time of your life, and it won't be handled perfectly-- nothing is, but it will be handled, the stress will pass, and make way for better times. That's a certainty" Good words. It also reminds me of the Bible passage "yea, though I walk through the shadow of the Valley of Death". The operative word here is "through". You aren't walking endlessly in misery, you are walking momentarily through a time of uncertainty.
Of course it's easy to read these and let them soothe momentarily, and then let them float on out of mind. What's challenging is to use them continually, and make them as habitual as the self destructive patterns sometimes seem.