Have you ever felt like you’re viewing a film of your life on fast forward? It’s when you feel like everything else is whizzing around you and passing by at top speed. Your friends appear to be comfortably winning this daily marathon when you’re still dawdling at the starting line trying to tie up your shoe laces. Is it just me or does every day feel like it’s heading for hurricane speed?

Feeling Anxious

First thing in the morning I start with a list of chores, emails to answer, school letters to respond to, tasks and accomplishments I wish to complete. It makes me feel organised and I convince myself that crossing off the whole list by the end of the day is a perfectly reasonable expectation. Until I glance at my watch. I have fifteen minutes until school pick up and I haven’t even got past number one on my list. So I charge off to the playground and land like I’ve fallen out a tree only to wander around pretending that life is a breeze. Secretly all the incomplete tasks are thumping and jumping around in my head. My heart is speeding up and my head beginning to ache as the pressure is pounding at an alarming rate. I’m confronted with unanswered messages to friends I don’t want to lose, that half written blog I ought to scrap and start anew; then there’s the empty clothes draws and the ironing pile the height of Everest, the blank excuse for an advert design and the exciting story idea blatantly neglected. Whilst time insists on refusing to wait for me to catch up with my life I’m left with the all too familiar feeling that I’m never achieving enough.

This daily routine used to cause me anxiety. I don’t think I’ve become slower at doing things, yet every time I glance at the clock after reading an article or writing an email, time seems to have vanished and I’m always pushing myself to catch up.

I can’t help wondering if it’s a symptom of my age or maybe the earth is spinning round faster; perhaps those extra minutes or hours I thought I had, never existed in the first place or it could merely be that I’m trying to do too much. So I’ve decided to adjust my expectations. I’ve stopped trying to beat time. Instead I’m learning how to fly alongside at my own speed.

Of course my desires haven’t changed. I’ve no intention of shirking any chores or giving up on my aspirations but the time frame in which I expect to realistically complete them has. As long as I’m not procrastinating, as long as I’m still taking steps towards completing a few tasks each day, I’ve realised that what’s truly important is that I keep moving forward and trying to reach my dreams.

#OpenBook

@lonerganbooks

NOTE: Anxiety about anything is detrimental to health and generally counterproductive as most of us end up over thinking and stressing about the situation too much or resorting to completely avoiding what’s making us anxious through fear that the outcome won’t be to our liking. Whilst I’ve been able to teach myself to manage any anxiety I experience so far, you’re not alone if you find the feeling overwhelming.  Anxiety UK is a charity which specialises in helping anyone needing support.