Saturday, Jan. 7th (27/339): Reviewing the week

Saturdays may be good days to reflect back on the week – especially to think about answering questions I posed in my new framework. It may be deflating to discover how little I’ve done in this arena. Then again, I may find I’ve done more than I realized, even if it wasn’t in quite the form(s) I anticipated.

Question #1: Where did I demonstrate courage?

This one takes some thought, since I tend to think demonstrating “courage” has to involve something big and bold, something that makes me quake in my shoes. But maybe demonstrating courage is about taking small steps or noticing things that happened more easily than before. This afternoon actually provides an example of the latter.

I used to avoid going to almost all parties, especially large parties. I was nervous around strangers, I felt out of place if there was alcohol (I’m not a drinker), and loud music has put me on edge. These are, of course, cliché images of parties. However, today I went to a friend’s celebration of her 50th birthday. The big advantage for me was, admittedly, that it took place at the InterPlay studio. I knew there would be people I didn’t know, but also people I did know. It was in a comfortable setting and for a friend I’m especially fond of. Afterwards, I began noticing the differences in how I responded in circumstances I would formerly have avoided or left as soon as possible.

While I used to shy away from people I didn’t know, today I comfortably introduced myself to at least one person before things got going. While I used to prefer fading into the background, today I boldly put myself out there to join performance, play and dancing. While I used to experience anxiety around taking initiative in any part of the event, today I simply asked one person if there was a clean-up plan and, finding that there wasn’t, got things started. While I used to flee as soon as the music got too loud (which it did after the main event), today I stayed until the time felt right to leave for other reasons. It seems a very small thing, but I’m appreciating the recovery that must have been happening for me to feel as comfortable as I was today. And you know what else? Doing this was remarkably easy! I might even be able to do this in another, less familiar setting!

Today I also began serving as “secretary” for my Al Anon meeting. I knew I would be nervous, so I made sure my notes were readable and got there extra early. And you know what? I experienced very little nervousness at all! I suspect the real courage came in making the decision to serve in the first place.

Question #2: Where did I let my fear hold me back?

This one’s harder to tell. I’m reminded that I did make a call that has tended to make me nervous in the past: calling my auto insurance company to give them my new address. And this reminds me of one task I have been anxious about addressing: changing my address with the DMV. I don’t know why this always feels scary to me, but it does. There’s something about contacting an official government body to change my address when my address is once again temporary that intimidates me. I’m in a different county, so that changes the locations for potential jury duty summons and I’m never quite certain whether the voter registration piece is picked up with it. Plus I really don’t like having to look for the new polling place. Sigh… I guess I have been letting fear get in the way of performing this seemingly simple task. Rats!

Action step(s):

  • Taking the time to make the notes for my meeting readable.
  • Making a new sign for the meeting and a “patch” for another sign.
  • Deciding on a “secret mission” that I’ll have to tell you about a month from now.

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