How can you use your anxiety?
My gizmos, ie smartphone, smartpad, smartTV, smartspeaker, etc., have taken over my life. I use them for work and for play and like others in my generation started out just playing around with each platform and thought it was fun. Somehow along the way I have become anxious using the different smartools as it is no longer just for fun but somewhat of a necessity. I can't image going back to a "dumb" phone for work or communicating with my friends on just the telephone. The other day I was told by my phone that it was time to update the OS system. I wasn't ready. I didn't want to take the leap yet without knowing what it was going to do. I hit the "later" button but when I got up the next morning it had decided to update on its own. I felt like a slave to this thing, dragging me forward without my permission. The anxiety was rapidly growing like the carbonation in a soda bottle after being dropped and ready to explode. Now I am a facilitator for a widowed women's support group. The youngest is 72 and the oldest is 95. They are amazing women and I am so blessed to be working with them for the last 3 years. They are my heroines and I learn from them each time we meet. They too have their anxieties and have seen their share of new inventions and technologies which have seeped into daily activities without being asked if they want them. They were thrust into caregiver roles, business partners, financial planners and accountants before they were ready.. On the job training I guess you would call it. They used their anxiety as a motivator to jump in with both feet. This is called healthy anxiety opposed to Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety is something nature gave us to help us in dangerous situations. In prehistoric times it helped us react to situations quicker which gave us a larger chance to survive. The difference between the healthy and unhealthy is whether or not we let it control our lives. So as my anxiety increases as a middle aged plus woman who is a bit afraid to learn something new I look at these beautiful healthy women who also had anxiety but used it to get them through the tough times in life. They owned it, took control. Sure they stumbled and had days or weeks of doubt but they didn't let it take over. It occurred to me that when my grandfather had a heart attack at 80 the anxiety of his future health motivated him to start lifting weights and my great Aunt who did yoga and stood on her head into her 80's kept moving because she was anxious about losing mobility as she aged. What they all have in common is they used their anxiety as a stimulator to move forward even when it was difficult. . So, I decided to own it as well. I signed up for gizmo classes at the library, looked at chat rooms to answer my questions about social media and put together a plan for becoming proficient with my smartools. I know once I do, another culture changer will come around and I will try to decide whether it is for good or evil but I will put the anxiety in my backpocket so it has just enough room to nudge me forward but not enough to freeze me in my tracks and then I will jump in. Or, maybe I will start with my big toe.
How can you use your anxiety?
The other day I was waiting for the instructor of my exercise class to show at 5:30 in the morning.... before I go any further with this story I know some of you are thinking, 5:30am-who does that? Believe me, I do only because if I jump out of bed in the morning and get dressed and go I don't have time to think of excuses. . It is a similar philosophy to brushing your teeth but the clean feeling lasts all day... anyway, the instructor walks in and I say cheerfully, good morning, how are you? and she says, uncheerfully, I don't know I just woke up and came here. Nothing has happened yet.
My first thought to that response was, ok, I can understand that. It is 5:30 after all. But then I thought, wait!! You woke up! That is definitely something! I know we take that part for granted. Some might even ask why are you mentioning this, it happens every day. Yes, if we are lucky, it does. There are plenty of everyday things I take for granted and I am working on really looking at the daily gifts. My cup of coffee and newspaper every morning, my stretching that helps with all my creaks, lunch with girlfriends, my reading glasses that come in every color for every room in the house, my husband filling in the nouns as I try to explain something I saw and the text string between my sister's family, my brother's, my mom and mine from all over the country as we put our 2 cents in on some new technology that only my younger brother understands. I am grateful that I woke up this morning and can look at life from the middle plus and smile at the changes occuring around me and within me. It's a good lens to look through.
What are your daily gifts?