We had a stressful weekend of financial wrangling. We owe a bunch of taxes this year, mostly because I wasn’t on the ball with projecting our income over the year and should have upped the estimated taxes we were paying. There was a surge in income at the end of the year which was great, but it worried me because I knew it would put us on the hook for even more taxes which were imminent. And here they are, due tomorrow. Of course it’s great that we did well financially last year, but a) I wish it felt more like we did well financially, and b) the tax bill stings.

Anyway, last night, as the weekend drew to a close a friend texted me about a show that Turtle and I really wanted to go to see, but had written off because we were busy doing the financial crap all weekend and didn’t want to deal with the hassle or expense of a babysitter. I was about to text my friend back that I couldn’t go, but then I realized a seed had spontaneously sprouted in me and I totally had to go and BAIL on the financial wrangling. So with Turtle’s blessing, I went.

It was the best decision. (Heartless Bastards rocked!) Today I still have to deal with all sorts of financial and business stuff, but my frown has fully been turned upside down.

When things aren’t going great, or are even going spectacularly badly, keeping your brain screwed on straight can be hard. Money stresses, personal/business conflicts, and bad news of all sorts can get us off track and on to the bumpy gravel of stress, malcontentment or sometimes outright anger. Having handled my share of these feelings, I always come back to the art of letting go. (I’ve decided it is an art.) It’s also an exercise, and needs to be practiced regularly or you just won’t get those muscles to work.

  • Let go of little things, every day and often. Then when bigger challenges slap you in the face, you’ll already be in the groove of of not letting things work you up.
  • Detach yourself from outcomes. Focus instead on your actions and doing them well, and accept the outcomes for what they are.
  • Do things that recharge you. Seeing a great concert or hiking up a mountain will replenish the good stuff in you, leaving less room for the bad vibes.

As someone who tends to fret and obsess over things, it’s crucial that I remember to do this type of mental exercise regularly and consciously. When I forget or am lazy about it, I always end up sinking into the muck of stress and feeling yuckay. But if I “stay in shape” so to speak and cultivate a healthy attitude and such, it’s so much easier to let stuff bounce off me. Today, I feel positively bouncy.

 

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