It’s funny how we wish for things.
Today, my husband has been off work and so I was really hoping it would be a productive, full, crazy day. Instead, it’s been very laid back. We haven’t got a huge amount done, and this stresses me out because I don’t like feeling like my time with my husband home is wasted. But I’ve been thinking, and I think the reason I feel stressed when this happens is more because of my high expectations than because the day itself is stressful. I’ve realised that if I expect to get tonnes done but then don’t manage to, it triggers my anxiety because I feel like I haven’t achieved anything. Whereas if I just contented myself with enjoying the laid back nature of a day with my husband around, I could potentially enjoy it a lot more.
To all intents and purposes, this day has been lovely. I’ve laughed a lot, had fun with my children, talked a lot with my husband, and I even got more sleep than usual this morning. So why have I felt stressed? Because I think I place too much value on the things that don’t in reality matter as much, like housework or outings. What really matters is my family and the memories we make together. Will I remember, in the years to come, how tidy my house was on a certain day? Probably not. But I know that I will remember the little things that make me smile, and the special occurrences that are what make wonderful memories.
Of course, it’s all easier said than done. Changing deeply-ingrained thought processes and fixing anxiety symptoms is far from easy. But it is possible, and I think that little realisations like this one are what makes recovery possible in the long run. One step at a time, big changes can take place.