The other day I was standing at the bus stop watching the bus drive down the street and my heart began to elevate. One of the kids who is on our stop was taking his time getting to the corner. Not a care in the world. I started to get afraid that he was going to miss his ride. So, I began to frantically wave my arms at him to encourage him to hurry up and get over to the rest of the group. But he didn’t increase his speed. He just kept schlepping along. Meanwhile, the school bus kept getting closer and closer.
I couldn’t help myself… I told the rest of the parents, “oh my goodness that kid isn’t going to make it today! Look at him. What should we do?”
I was CRAZY at this point.
And one of the dads turned to me and said, “That’s not my problem. He knows what time he has to be here. He knows what he has to do. My kid is here and that’s the only thing I have to worry about.”
And I realized that I was filled with anxiety from my head to my toe over someone else’s problem. After hearing that, it all just released. The boy is in the 5th grade – he isn’t a baby. He knows what he is doing. That dad was right. So, I just turned to kiss Natalie goodbye for the day and let it go. And of course, the 5th grader ended up making it after the bus waited a few extra seconds for him to cross the street. But he made it.
I worry too much about other people’s problems. I am an anxiety ridden mess. Everything sets me off and I mean everything.
I also think I am a MAJOR rule follower. I know this is one of my biggest flaws. I’m married to a man who can’t be on time even if his life depended on it. So, while he finally decides to jump in the shower 20 minutes before we are actually suppose to arrive to a party, I am frantically racing around the house getting everyone ready and in the car. And what does Bill have to do then? He just has to lock the front door and put on his seat belt. Meanwhile, I’m running around like a madwoman doing the work for both of us in order to try to keep us on schedule (cursing him out in my mind for making me so crazy every single day of my life).
Well, I’m done with that. I’m done with doing the work for everyone. I’m done with worrying for everyone. I’m done with being the only responsible person. If everyone else can sort of live life without a care in the world and still get by — then it should work for me. And if it doesn’t, then I will figure something else out. But right now, that’s the mentality I’m going to take. Because while Bill is whistling as he walks to the car, I am trying to slow down my heart rate… and that’s no way to live.
I’m taking this mentality with everything that involves other people. If I’m partnering up with people and they just give up and not care about a project… then I am not going to care enough for all of us like I used to. I will just learn to do more things on my own. I can’t be all things to all people anymore. I won’t be. It’s time to start living life with a little less anxiety. It’s not good for my health – all this stress and anger has to be negatively effecting my body. I know it is hurting my spirit.
I think this revelation comes with age. You can’t please everyone. Everyone is not your problem. Stop picking up people’s slack. Boom. Three life lessons in a week. Thank you Universe. I will take it.