Have you seen the quote/image going around Facebook about anxiety girl? It’s this super hero drawing of a girl with her hand in the air and it says, “Anxiety Girl. Able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound.” Or something like that. But, you get the picture, right?
Without a doubt.
I could be at the store and someone could look at me and I could be like do I have something in my teeth? Is my zipper down? Are the kids not behaving? Is this color of my shirt not good? Did I not brush my hair? Am I missing something? One of my kids? Is it because I don’t coupon? Should I go to a different lane? I really liked these shoes, maybe it’s my shoes. I knew these shoes were ugly. Do I have chocolate on my shirt? What is it about me?
She probably wasn’t even looking at me and was probably trying to read the sign at Starbucks stating that if you bring your receipt in after two pm that you’ll get a second treat for only $2. Yeah, I know. I fall for that every single time. Hmm….now I think I need coffee.
But the worst case scenario thing?
Wait. I said that already. But, it’s the truth.
And beyond that part of me, that let’s jump to the worst case conclusion about what others are thinking about me or how this day is going to go or all of that, I’ve found that I have a really hard time letting things go. Like really hard. Like harder to budge than an elephant sitting on my car. Although that’s never happened either.
I think about things. Way into the middle of the night where I toss and turn on my flannel sheets which are much too hot for summer but they’re my favorites and I analyze everything. And then I jump to the worst case scenario much much too often.
But I’ve realized somethings in this past year. First, anxiety isn’t something to mess around with. If you deal with anxiety and it’s crippling then seek help. There’s no shame in that. Thankfully, I’ve had some great friends that have talked with me and shared with me some truths and I’ve dealt with those bouts of it and still sit in my bed most nights smiling. But, beyond anxiety, I want to talk about that worst case thinking that I tend to do.
Like the gal that looked at me in Target.
Maybe she was just looking to look. And maybe, just maybe I shouldn’t make it about me.
You see all the things that I was worried about were really things about me. Do I look okay, are my kids behaving, did I do this right and so on type of things. You know the truth is that probably those things don’t really matter in the sphere of meeting people. And when I allow my own insecurities and doubts to creep into my mindset and posture then it’s not about finding joy it’s about finding a million and one things to worry about.
Worrying, jumping to the worst case scenario, and all of that robs us from the joy of today. That’s angst. We don’t want that. That’s what I’ve discovered. I have friends who simply want me to be happy and who wonder why I allow stuff to fester at times and not allow the happiness to sink in.
I don’t want that.
I don’t want that for you either.
I want this group of moms (and dads because there are some great dads who read finding joy as well) to embrace life even in if it’s not perfect. I want us to put our heads on our pillows at nights and to not think we didn’t measure up but to know that we made a difference. I want us to not deal with angst or anxiety but to rather seek out joy.
That stuff. The stuff that, at the end of our days, we will wish we had spent our time on instead of letting other stuff creep in and push the beauty, the joy, and the awesome moments of life out.
So starting today and for the entire month of August we’re going to do a little challenge on the Finding Joy page on Facebook. It’s going to be easy (And I’ll do recaps and highlights and extra posts here too). And all it is is that I’m going to post one simple thing to do each day. Maybe it’s call a friend and tell them how much you appreciate them. Maybe it will be to do something for yourself. Maybe it will be to take a picture of you with your kids and to only take one and to not make it perfect (so smile…as you can see from mine). These things are going to be about living life fully.
Not worrying what people think. Jumping to the worst case scenario. Not being stuck.
And maybe, maybe it will be saying hello to the woman at Target who smiles at you.
Will you join me?
I can guarantee you one thing – participating in this won’t make life perfect. But, my hope is that it helps you find just a bit of joy in your journey. My hope is that it will diminish the times we spend worrying about what others think and instead interact and love on those around us. My hope is that it helps you smile even for a moment. But really?
I want it to be about being happy. Loving who you are. Taking care of you. Being thankful.
Rock on awesome mom. That’s our rally cry. Less angst. More joy.
Spread the word. Get a group of friends to decide no more angst and instead more joy. Let’s laugh, think, love, and know that we’re making enough. Let’s be the person that learns to love life and herself. Let’s live. Really really live.
To join simply join the finding joy blog Facebook page below. Starting August 1 I’ll put one simple joy finding challenge up on the page. Be ready for awesome. I tell you, I can’t wait to see what happens. I know this. It will change lives.
I’m very excited about this challenge!I just have one question; It states “To join simply join the finding joy blog Facebook page below.” Below is a Facebook page for Facebook Developers… Is that what I want to join for the challenge? I’m sorry if that’s is a dumb question…
Hahaha! It parsed wrong. I fixed it.
(that’s what happens when write at 12:30am)
This is going to be great! I have struggled with anxiety most of my life. Therapy and med keep it from crippling me. When I get anxious it really affects my family so I’m up for anything to beat the angst ! 🙂
Anxiety is no joke! Medication/supplements do help but in my case, some of it can be alleviated by being thankful for what I have or trying to train my brain to stop or go do some specific fun activity when the downward spiral starts. I’m very interested to see what you post each day! Great idea!! 🙂
True! I am so glad that you wrote that. Sometimes I think it’s easy to try to diminish anxiety, but as someone who has dealt with it i can truly agree with you that it’s not a joke. I think i want for us in this challenge to really start to appreciate all we do, love ourselves, and to be grateful.
Bless you, Amanda.
I’m in! Anxiety and I are old friends. I can definitely use more joy in life right now! Thank you! 🙂
I can’t wait for this. I have been so stressed and sometimes feeling like a crappy mom. I watched the YouTube yesterday and you said one of the days might say something simple like take a picture of yourself holding a sign that says “I am enough” and I started crying. I am enough. I have to be. I am the glue that holds it all together. But sometimes…..sometimes I feel like I’m too much. 🙂
This should be an interesting month. I can’t wait for the challenge. Thank you Rachel, for being to us what we sometimes can’t be to ourselves.
I’m in! I’m an “old” mom with grandkids, but somehow my children’s ages don’t seem to matter. Anxiety can find you in any stage of mothering and sap you of your joy. I can use a daily reminder, especially now after being with family and then going back home, so far away they all are! Bring it!!
This is great! I read your blog all the time and love it. I find so much comfort knowing I’m not the only mom who feels like this. I suffer from clinical anxiety so I’m really looking forward to this challenge! Thank you for being a voice for so many 🙂
I’m just a little late to the game…I’m going back over the posts and doing it anyway…I have zero idea what I am enough for certainly not my life but I guess we shall see….