I’m not a big fan of Dr. Phil. I find him to be boorish and condescending and I’ve rarely, if ever, made it through an entire episode of his show. But, I did once, a very long time ago, while switching channels retrieve a bit of brilliance from him about perspective.
Basically, his “guest” was on the show discussing how her former spouse “ruined her life” Her holidays had been ruined. She was bad cop, he was no cop at all. He was good-time, fun dad. I could relate. I was feeling the exact same way. Holidays without my children were lonely and depressing. I was feeling really loathing toward my ex-husband. Then Dr. Phil said something that stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing, because it was so long ago, but the gist was this “You just need a change of perspective. Instead of looking at those days as lonely and depressing holidays, think of them as your special days off to spoil yourself. Do your favorite things, things you can’t do with your kids, pamper yourself, your life may be harder, but it’s not ruined, unless you let it be.”
That next Christmas, my kids gone with their father, I took myself to the movies for a triple feature. I ate junk movie food, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I decided to make Christmas whatever day I got to be with them. I learned that all we really ever need, is to change our perspective.
The same applies to anything in our life, overwhelm comes from within. It’s only from within and with a change of perspective that we can quell the overwhelm, We create it and we can kill it. No one else is ever to blame.
Part of this process for me has been to calm the overwhelm, cutting myself some slack when I am too sick to write, but also holding myself accountable to get back on track as soon as I can. I focus on only one chapter at a time. Even on days when I think I can do another chapter, I stop myself and wait until the next day so I can build some consistency. While I hope to get back to the place where I am writing every day consistently and without distraction. I will not throw in the towel as I have in the past.
I know I need to continue to take this seriously. make this a daily priority. If I cannot get to it first thing in the morning, I must do it on my lunch break, or at the end of my work day. I must honor the process and the necessity of this work to my growth.