The day I started writing this I was worried. Stressed. Panicked even.
I had been sent to a meeting in London for work. Usually, this would be the General Managers responsibility, but as my GM had resigned and would be gone at the end of the week, they wanted me there instead.
Somehow, in six years as Assistant Manager, I had never been called upon to attend one before.
All of this, combined with the new rules, regulations, targets, and budgets (being strictly enforced,) made me nervous about being the face of our store for the higher-ups.
I spent almost a week feeling stressed and scared about what might happen at this meeting. About being put on the spot, humiliated or berated in front of the other managers. I had even dressed up just a little and applied makeup that morning, something I don’t usually bother with but I felt I needed a little extra ‘armour’ to boost my confidence.
After discovering I was in fact at the wrong location and desperately making my way to the right place, (not the only one to have made this mistake, at least!) I stumbled in, late, shaking and convinced this would be the worst day of my life.
I was freaking out internally more than a little as I smiled and introduced myself. But, the meeting continued without missing a beat and as my heart rate slowed I calmed, a little.
During a break I apologised and explained. The person in charge was understanding if firm.
The day continued. The world didn’t end.
The time came for presentations, the part I had been dreading most. I was 8th out of 12, so I had time to build some confidence watching the others. My time came, I stood up and spoke, they gave me positive feedback, I sat down.
That was it? Yup.
No major roasting, criticisms or hotspot questions designed to trip me up.
The rest of the meeting passed, we all stopped for a ‘bonding’ drink together before heading our separate ways home.
As it turned out (apart from the bumpy start), the day was a standard day. The people were pleasant and the whole thing was not worth even half the stress and worry I awarded it.
A whole week of my life I spent freaking out over something that passed without trouble.
This reinforced an idea, my co-workers, bless them, had been trying to get through to me the whole week beforehand.
My worries were my own creation.
My wonderful GM had told me, repeatedly, that I knew what I was talking about, I knew my shop and I had nothing to worry about. He reminded me that I was good at what I did and I could answer questions confidently because I knew the answers. Still, even with him telling me this, I found it so difficult to actually believe it. I had worked myself into such a state!
This is actually something I think relates to my NATs issues, I find it extremely difficult to accept compliments. Even if deep down I know they are true, while I can appear to accept them with (usually self-deprecating) gratitude, actually believing them is so incredibly hard.
I know now that this was a life lesson for me.
Of all the times I have worried over nothing, this was an almost textbook example. The kind of experience you might use for a case study, even! I lost sleep over my mind’s insistence on worst case scenarios. In the end, I had a normal, even pleasant experience!
I even told the big boss that I’d like to come again in the future. Am I mad? Maybe, but I think now the ‘fear of the unknown’ isn’t there to hold me back, I could actually get used to this!
It got me thinking, how many of the things that stress me out on a day to day basis are really worth getting stressed about? More than that, how many are actually real and not just my own ‘worst case scenario’ thoughts kicking in again?
Honestly? An embarrassingly large amount.
I had a bit of a parenting epiphany the other day, to be explained in another post, coming soon. With this came a realisation, cemented by my experience at the meeting, that I create far more troubles than I truly have.
If we are honest here, many of us are guilty of this.
I waste my time, and more than that, my happiness, on stupid ‘might never happen’ crap. People always say, ‘enjoy their younger years, they grow so fast’ about having kids. How true is that? My Gray starts school in September! School! This year! What??
One thing I do not want is to look back on his childhood with regret. I do not want to look back and see memories of myself rushing us from place to place, activity to activity because of some imaginary deadline or checklist. Nor do I want to see myself turning away his requests for play or attention because I am too stressed about unimportant things to function.
While I know I am not a perfect mother, the important thing is that I want to be. I want to be the mother he and his brother deserve. To be the best of who I am for my babies and their happiness.
And I will never be able to reach that goal if I am holding myself back worrying over nothing.
It is hard to let go of this mentality. But for them, I am going to try my hardest, one day at a time.