Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faith is (Why is my Best Friend)

I just ordered the book HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING by Dale Carnegie. A good friend of mine just finished it and spoke highly of it. The great news is, I have one of the main concepts down - imagine the worst-case outcome of an ordeal and figure out how you can move on from there. I've been doing that all my life, unknowingly. After reading books by Donald Trump, I realized he does the same too, especially when making business decisions. However, this doesn't mean I don't ever worry. I've cut down a lot since a teenager. I now try to severely limit wasting any emotional energy on things I can't control.

I bought the book today because it made me think of a concept I've read about recently. I can't remember which book since I read 3-4 at a time. Anyway, the concept mentioned bad times won't last forever and good times won't either; life is always in a state of change and flux. So then it dawned on me that while I've learned to stop worrying about scenario A, B, or C - the very slight annoyance I get with my private life now comes down to how do I reframe an inkling of a worry when I don't know what's going on due to a lack information from the person/event I'm worried about.

I'll give you a real life example. I live in Los Angeles and the running joke is everyone is flaky. Of course being the person I am, I'm usually 15 minutes early to meet friends. So when people are late, I've actually been sitting there a really long time. And when someone is 5 minutes late, I wonder where they are. When they are 10 minutes late I want to call them. But I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and I wonder why they haven't called me. And when they are 15 minutes late I wonder if they are even going to show because who doesn't call when they are running late?! They probably forgot our dinner for all I know. (I will call after 15 min though.)

I also worry if they got in a car accident or are tied down/super stressed at work and totally lost track of time or if an emergency arose. However, while sitting there for 30 minutes I always debate with myself HOW should I feel - annoyed, worried, angry, calm, or happy to have extra time for myself?

I've trained myself to not think anything until my friend shows up or calls because I want to have the "fair/justified" reaction. What ends up happening is I text friends and kill time while refraining very hard from having any reaction because everyone's allowed to be late on occasion even though I try never to be.

One time me and a group of friends were expecting 2-3 others and they never showed up. We called and left a message and kept calling because their behavior was highly unusual. We finally heard back a couple days later and while their reasoning was understandable they didn't show, I thought it was incredibly rude to fall off the face of the earth for that long. At least send a text! "I can't come. Something came up. Can't explain now. Touch base with you on Tuesday."

From the time I realize a situation is "out of place" to when I know why and what caused it is the conundrum. When people semi-disappear I worry a little because I don't know what is what. I want to give people space, breathing room, and don't want to add any more stress to their life; I get the world doesn't revolve around me. I also wonder how I can help. Then I wonder if I need to think about implementing those strategies I devised when I decided NOT to worry and envisioned THE WORST THING POSSIBLE happening. If the other party can't or won't communicate with me, when do I know it's time to put my strategy to use and move on with my life?

I'm very good at closure and being proactive in life. I'm less great at waiting, being kept in the dark, and wondering. How long is too long to wait for an explanation that may never come because someone is busy, depressed, or being evasive? And to make myself feel better and not fear the worst, I buy books like Dale Carnegie's and write posts like this. :) See - I feel better already. I just hope *******L is fine.

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