People always say, “Just go with your gut.” I never quite understood that completely but I recently learned that the “GUT” is considered “the second brain.” There is a distinct connection between the brain and the GI tract (the gut). So many people make “logical decisions” when their basic core is saying otherwise. I’ve been trying to connect more with my gut lately and I’ve been pretty successful, but not always. I sometimes resort to logic alone rather than listening to my “second brain”. My brain kept telling me to “hang in there” and keep working at a profession that I no longer enjoy, let alone dislike. My brain keeps me living in fear; fear of running out of money and being destitute, which comes from a childhood fraught with financial insecurity, brought on by a compulsive gambling dad. Is this a rational way of thinking at my age?–of course not, but I still make so many decisions based on that old fear. Ok, as a responsible human being I cannot totally abandon logical thinking, but sometimes you just have to “go for it.” My MO is to deny, deny, deny, until it becomes apparent that I must make a decision one way or another. A few months ago I took the plunge and gave notice but left the door open for 2 days of work per week, which was still hanging onto my fear. Then a few weeks ago I decided to pack it in completely, in spite of being scared to death. But, being brave is different for each individual and what you may think is no big deal, might be petrifying to someone else. I think it comes down to FAITH–faith in yourself to let go of your base fears and actually listen to your GUT. I think your gut will lead you in the right direction if you let it.
Every morning I wake up with a sense of urgency that if I don’t make every minute count in the day, if I waste any part of the day, then I am a failure. Ever since I gave notice to my job, I am actually very busy “working” on creative endeavors such as photography, writing, etc. That sounds great but it has become an obsession now and I never give myself permission to just veg out and chill. That was actually what Saturday was for when I had that day off. For years now, I’ve been working on Saturday so I don’t have that one day when I allow myself a bit of grace. I miss it and I need it. If I were giving people advice I would tell them to not take life so seriously and relax. But that doesn’t seem to apply to me because if I relax, I feel like I am wasting time. Ever since I got my life back, I have a sense of urgency that I have to make every minute count; that life is flying by at warp speed and I have to “make my mark” before I get “old.” I know that I have been given an incredible gift from God, which I do not take lightly, and I know how very fragile life is. I look at my friend Janet who was suddenly diagnosed with a potentially terminal illness, my friend Jane who has MS, and an old friend who has battled cancer for 2 years, and I know how lucky I am. I also know there is such a thing as balance but I don’t know how to be “lazy” sometimes and be ok with it. What I need to do is “live in the day” to some extent, and stop thinking about tomorrow so much. But unless I get a brain transplant, changing my inner core, I can only try.
Learning to value yourself is a lesson that is not easy for most people. Today I had a friend request on Twitter from an amazing photographer and author. First of all, my first reaction was, “Why would someone of his caliber even bother wanting to follow me?” Then I logged onto his profile and saw the most fantastic photographs from all over the world, but instead of marveling at his talent, I felt inadequate and small. At that moment I was ready to just give up on myself because I felt, “What’s the point, I’ll never even be in his league.” But as my wise friend Janet always used to tell me when I started comparing myself to others and coming up short, “Stop looking over the fence at other people’s yards.” I have to remember, I just started back with photography, after many years of just using a point and shoot camera. That negative thinking would prevent many people from writing, blogging, playing tennis, skiing, or anything if they compared themselves to the pros. I must realize that my work has value and I am a valuable person. Even if I don’t make a red cent on my pictures or my writing, it is a creative outlet for me and I must remember that I am valuable.
Overthinking; that can be a good thing or a curse, depending on how you view it. I am usually not an impulsive person, but sometimes I just don’t listen to my gut. I thought I was being “brave” a few months ago when I decided to give my job notice. But my resignation letter left the door open a crack by saying I’d be willing to work 1 or 2 days a week. In my heart of hearts I was hoping the owner would refuse that option, but she accepted it. So, although I now work Fridays and Saturdays, I still hate it and I get more and more resentful as the week progresses that I “have” to even be there. Also, in just those 2 days, I still get reprimanded. Last week and this week, I was told I had fallen down on my Spa etiquette. Both times I was about to say, “OK, this is not working, so I will be leaving in a month.” But I held back out of FEAR, and we all know that FEAR is the thief of dreams. It’s crazy to keep working there because I made arrangements to get enough money sent to me to live, but I am greedy. It all comes from my childhood where life was uncertain and I always felt I was living in the Coney Island Steeplechase funhouse, with constantly shifting floor boards due to our money situation. It’s hard to break old habits and that fear still exists and I always fear I will end up living in the street. In reality I was not totally brave, and that is not being brave at all.