This past weekend, I attended a 2 day photography workshop. I picked this particular workshop because it wasn't too far away from where I lived.  I paid for it over a month in advance and I was really looking forward to it. I knew when I paid, I would cross my fingers that my hubby would be in town to watch the little one, but that he could possibly be gone as well. Sure enough, the day before the workshop, he had to fly out of town at the last minute for the entire weekend.  It made things complicated; which was what I wanted to avoid.
Today is one of those days where if I am asked to do one more thing for someone, I am going to lose it. I am a people-pleaser, which means I have a really hard time saying no. So when I am asked to help out, I am almost always going to reply with a big grin and a "sure thing," even if I don't want to. Today I feel stretched so thin. I feel like I am just not capable to do all of it. But I stress that if I break commitments, then I will make someone mad at me. So, either way, I lose. Stress is there no matter what. What happened to good old laid back Fridays?
I came across a really cool quote a few weeks back, "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit." -Dawna Markova
On Saturday, I went on a road trip. I drove all by myself to Moab and back in one day. That's about 9 hours on different highways, freeways, state routes, whatever you call them. Big multiple lane roads moving at very fast speeds. For most people, this is nothing special, but for someone who gets anxious and has fears associated with driving, its a huge accomplishment. One speeding ticket and one potential dead deer later, I rolled into my garage at 10:30 at night ready for bed.
Gift Giving and Keeping Score Yesterday, I went to work and we had a baby shower for a co-worker. The food was excellent, the decorations beautiful, and a table was full of gifts. No matter if it's a baby shower, a bridal shower, Christmas, or a birthday party, I can't help but feel that your gift gets entered into a silent competition in the minds of everyone watching. It's as if each gift goes through a rating system. A score is given for the level of creativity, thoughtfulness, expense, quantity, and quality for the gift itself as well as how it is wrapped. And somehow the overall score given to your gift correlates to how much you love that person, or even worse, how you rate as a person on a scale of worth.
We live in scary times. Between the recession and natural disasters, you never know when a crisis could hit your home. Many people are one pay check away from losing everything. We live in scary, stressful times. It makes sense that now is the time to plan and prepare for what may lie ahead. We can't predict the future, but we can do our best to prepare for it. And if we are prepared, we won't have as much fear.
I am a big believer that hobbies can improve our confidence in ourselves. Some of my hobbies include crafting, blogging and blog design, scrapbooking, but especially photography. I love the satisfaction and pride I feel when I capture a portrait that I know will be treasured for years. However, fear is never far away. I finally had a photo shoot with a complete stranger's family that found me from my website. Even though I knew I had the knowledge and experience to take their pictures and come up with some decent shots, the fear of having to prove myself to these people made me a nervous wreck!
Imagine you are on a beautiful island, surrounded by palm trees, sand, and the soothing sounds of the ocean. How could anyone be anxious in a place like that? Yet, several years ago, when Mr. T and I went on vacation to the beautiful islands of Maui and Kauai, each day began with horrible panic attacks. I was sick the entire trip. Ever since then,  I get really bad travel anxiety when traveling far from home.
Years ago, I tracked my anxious thoughts in a journal to define my triggers and reduce my negative thinking. Triggers are fears or situations that bring your anxiety to a heightened state. For example, speaking in public, riding in elevators, writing a check, or driving on freeways may trigger anxiety for some people. Eating in public around others has always been a big trigger for me.