Tag Archives: control

A fun lesson in stepping back and letting go.

Last week, I found myself going into ‘nitpicky’ mode over a few type A peeves of mine with M. Leaving his belt on the bed. Every.single.night. when he gets home from work. Leaving the little tag from his dry cleaned shirt on the floor, and his socks balled up ON THE BUREAU, to name a few (hee), and it would put me into a sour mood for a stupid reason and it would snowball a bit from there. I was mad at myself for getting irritated, as it’s not the biggest deal for *me* to just pick them up, but once in awhile, I just feel like I am constantly walking around and picking up after what hurricane M has left behind 😉

On Saturday morning, after I got home from my b9 classes, M hugged me and sighed and said “I feel like we haven’t been ourselves lately. And I want to fix that.”

And it made me realize that I was a huge part of why we weren’t ourselves last week and not entirely connected. Silly reasons. Valid frustrations, sure, but legit problems? No. Not a chance.

So, I stepped back, and I told him I was sorry for being nitpicky and grumpy and naggy all week and I wanted to make the day better, and take a fresh perspective and outlook. Just breathe, shake it off, and move forward. Because, let’s face it, I have an amazing husband (and yes, he too, has an amazing wife, just sayin. hee), we have built an amazing life together, and there is no sense nitpicking the week away.

Beyond the nitpicking, I also notice that I have been far too controlling in what we make for dinner, how we decide what to have and what we make on date nights, particularly (date night in, our specialty!). So I issued a challenge that would be far ‘harder’ for me than it would be for M.

I tasked M with making ME dinner from start to finish, and I was not allowed to meddle, to clean around him, to tell him to cook ‘neater’ (yes, yes, I do actually say that…LOL), and just roll with it. And next weekend, I would do the SAME for him. A fun challenge, if you ask me, and a way to appreciate each other. M tagged pictures on instagram as #wifeappreciation dinner and I shall do the same next weekend. As much as I thought it would be hard to be in the dark, to stay out of the kitchen, and trust that whatever he would make would not only be tasty, but would also not break the caloric bank 😉

It turned into a lesson for me of taking a step back, releasing control, and embracing M for who is he – perhaps a messy cook, but a damn good one at that, and a man that truly DOES appreciate me, that does love and support me, and that may toss his socks and belt aside, but in the grand scheme, doesn’t matter in the slightest. And it turned into one of our most connected evenings together of late, and a needed one at that.

Sometimes releasing control and stepping back is far more valuable than I ever thought it would be.

Perfectly imperfect, and always learning and embracing.

Throwbacks: a panic attack, revisited.

**Here’s a throwback of a different kind. Most of these have been recaps of stories I’ve shared on my old blog, about my divorce, or things I haven’t shared here, that are part of my story that some of you may not have read. This story and journey I have recapped here. The story of the first year of my new job and all the ups, downs and in-betweens…**

It was this day, a year ago, that my boss went on maternity leave 10 days early. And a day that I had my very first panic attack. Something I’d never experienced before. Suddenly, a wave of nausea, fear and well, panic washed over me. I was scared. I wasn’t ready (or so I felt). And to top it off, I was going to Jamaica in two days (given my boss did not think she was going to go early as it was her first child, my scheduling a trip right before she left didn’t seem to be a big deal…at the time!).

The perfect storm to cultivate a panic attack, no?

I remember sitting at my desk, in my old apartment, texting M frantically, IMing my sister Jess, and tweeting out my feelings to anyone and no one at the same time…scared and worried and wondering how the hell I was going to make it through three months without my boss, my safety blanket and security net, still very new to my job and to working for a global company (speaking of, I had my first call with our China PR team that night, a call I rarely joined, let alone had to lead!) and many names, faces and personalities to cope with. I had a list a mile long of notes, reminders, who to send what and when, yet I was still scared and feeling very unprepared.

And it was then that M said to me: “remember, it’s okay to lose to your opponent, but you shouldn’t lose to fear.”

And that statement, as simple as it sounds, was exactly what I needed to face the next 12 weeks. It was probably the hardest 12 weeks of my career. There were a lot of tears. There was a lot of unknowns I had to just face, and do. There was a lot of faking it, and a lot of questions I hated asking for fear of ‘sounding stupid’ (one of my biggest fears). There was a LOT of travel. There was a shitton of discomfort.

But most of all?

There was a shitton of growth too. I took this job in January 2011 with a hunger to grow, to be pushed, to learn what it is that I want out of this career move, what I want my job to look like. And looking back at the last almost year and a half? I have come incredibly far. I won’t mince words or half-say it. I conquered it. And I am damn proud of that.

But.

There is still so much I need and want to learn. So much more growth. More discomfort (it IS the year of getting out of the ‘zone after all) and reaching the next level. I’ve sensed that change starting. The ‘what am I waiting for’ feeling…just start doing it. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t even ask for it. Just DO it. That’s why I was hired. And that’s why I took it upon myself to request attending two social media events coming up (which I cannot wait to go to!) and why I am trying to approach my day-to-day with more confidence and direction. Not waiting for permission or for the answer to be given to me.

And I think this idea – the premise of unseating comfort zones and *not* waiting for permission can be applied to so much in life. What, precisely, *are* we waiting for? And why are we waiting? Think about it. There is always something ‘on our bucket lists’ or something we want to do ‘when we have time’ but why wait? Why not make it a priority and just for it. Empower yourself. Don’t wait to be empowered.

And that is exactly what I plan to do. No more panic attacks. Just do it. 

Letting go.

I have always struggled with this. Letting go. 

I think it’s been the root of my anxiety and overthinking ways (of the past!) and the inhibitor to growth and adjusting to change, in some capacity.

When I moved in with M in August, I started to let go a little bit. It took time, and it was frustrating, but I’ve let go of things like a spare dish in the sink, socks on the floor, whatever it may be, and have accepted that we are different people with different habits and allowing the house to not look as perfect as I’d like sometimes is perfectly okay. I used to get so anxious about it (moreso in my past apartment) in keeping it in tip top shape all the time and sticking to my once a week top to bottom cleaning, and while I do strive for a clean and tidy place now, I’ve realized that a few socks or papers laying on the table won’t kill me.

Learning to let go in this capacity has actually really helped me let go in other ways, too. Like with my routine and my workouts. I am better at adjusting my workouts to the conditions around me (as evidenced by last week’s workouts) and working out smarter, not harder, and the biggest one? Running. Letting go and not being so anxious or nervous prior to starting a run has done wonders for me.

For example, yesterday, M and I decided on a mid-day outdoor run. It was relatively mild (so I thought), and the route we chose would be solid, mostly downhill (so I thought). It ended up being a lot hillier on the way back than I remembered (funny how when you run the opposite way down a street, you never notice all those rolling hills…since they were subtly downhill the other way!), a lot windier, and colder (I didn’t wear my headband because I thought it was warm enough. Fail. Frozen ears). But instead of panicking or letting my breathing get out of control, we paced ourselves, slowed when we needed to and maintained a pretty steady pace. I don’t think I could or would have been able to do that before I started practicing this thing called ‘letting go.’

I have also learned that letting go means not comparing and not tearing myself down mentally, either. These will always be areas I need to work on, sometimes everyday, even, but instead of allowing fear to drive me or even competitiveness, to an extent, I am becoming more and more content with the me that I am, regardless of what others might think or assume about me, my relationship or my actions. That’s been huge for me.

The barre n9ne 60 day challenge has been, by far, one of the biggest tests for me in terms of letting go. It sounds like an oxymoron, in a sense, since this challenge has been all about focus, determination, dedication and being relatively strict with my eating and workout habits, but it has also meant throwing the rules out of the window and dedicating myself, mind, body and soul to this approach. It was really scary at first. It went against much of what I’d done in the past. But now? I can’t even fathom anything different. I can’t even fathom a better approach for me. One that works. From the eating habits and food log to the style of workout, to the combination with running that has been my special sauce. Letting go and not ‘going halfway and then stopping‘ has proved to me that dedication and hard work are, quite simply, all you need.

There are areas that I still have plenty of work to do in terms of letting go. A challenge coming up that I hope to be able to share with you soon (that is very, very exciting and I am bursting at the seams waiting to share it!) will be a true test of letting go. Of throwing some inhibitions out of the window and just going for it. I know I can do it, I just have to apply what I have learned and dedicate the time and focus to it.

This post literally came to me this morning as I was making my breakfast…and it’s actually given me a lot of food for thought in how I can apply this to all aspects of my life. Because letting go has been what has helped me change, grow and develop into who I am now. And I couldn’t be happier.