Up til last night, I knew exactly what I was going to drop and add this weekend…and then I got sick. So I’ve decided to change my drop challenge for this weekend to fit how I’ll be feeling.
Therefore, the first thing I’m dropping is indulgent feel-better treats (“Oh no, she’s doing another food one!”) When I’m sick, particularly when I’ve got a sore throat (which I do), I tend to eat a lot of ice cream and eat less of my healthier snacks – which is OK, because I’m sick, right? It’s like the rule that eating chocolate doesn’t count when you’re trying a new type (You all know that rule, right? My sister and I discovered it completely independently, so it must be universal). But wait! This isn’t so much about having a healthy, junkfood-free weekend! You see, I’m supposed to be going to my best friend’s bridal tea (a proper high tea in the city), so of course I’ll be eating little cakes and things! It’s about healthy habits and not turning to food to comfort me. I do often use food as a panacea for all of my physical ills (if I’m tired, if I have a headache, if I have a sore throat etc.) as well as an emotional boost, so it’s about really taking proper steps to make myself feel better rather than just eating junk food.
I am going to add uncertainty. Sarah Wilson mentioned in her Sunday Life column last weekend that she had to deliberately make herself be ok with not being in control of everything. It reminded me of last semester’s lectures on Cultural Psychology, when we learned about research indicating that people from collectivist cultures (such as Japan) tend to be more at ease with uncertainty and opposing viewpoints than those from individualist cultures (such as Australia or the USA). That struck a chord with me at the time and I have continued to reflect upon it since. The lecturers were speaking from a cultural perspective, but I realised on a personal level that I have great trouble not having all the answers – not knowing. One of the reasons I tend to go over and over things in my head is so that I will be prepared for anything that might happen and won’t make a fool of myself (oh, I do squirm for days if something embarasses me). This is reinforced by my scatterbrain, which means I like to take the time to get my head around things beforehand, as I don’t naturally think on my feet in a methodical way. As a result, I find it really difficult and unsettling to not be able to antipate the future when I don’t have all the information.
I’m struggling with this on a large scale because I do not know what I will be doing next year. This is my final year of a three-year Bachelor of Psychological Science, but I should have good enough marks to get into a fourth Honours year. This will be financially difficult, and so I have been considering options of going part time, deferring for a year, teaching part time, finding a completely different full-time job and many other possibilities. Of course, I can’t make any decisions until I know whether I’ve got into Honours and so I’ve been worrying away trying to consider all the possible permeatations!
On a smaller scale, I’m struggling with uncertainty in my immediate future. My best friend has just arrived home from London, where she’s currently living, so that she and her fiance can have an Australian wedding with all her family and friends around. She will be here for just under three weeks and I’m hoping to spend a lot of time with her whenever we’re both free. However, she hadn’t given me her flight times until a few days ago, and I was getting more and more fretful, not being able to plan when I might be able to see her and when I might be able to fit in study. I’m also struggling with other uncertainties, such as where and when to stand and move for certain things I’m doing for the wedding or, now, whether I’ll even be well enough this week for any of the friend, work or uni things I have scheduled.
The point is that it doesn’t matter how much time I spend thinking about these things, because thinking about them over and over will not magically make me know what the future holds. I need to learn to accept that I must wait and find out what will happen and deal with it then. This means I should focus my mental energy on what is happening right now and accept the uncertainty of the future. The hardest part will be accepting the possibility that I won’t have a plan for what might happen and therefore might make mistakes or fail. Reflecting on my life so far, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes even with my determination to think, think and overthink everything. The only difference was an unfounded feeling that I had any control over anything!
So, I am going to embrace the uncertainty of the future, whether it is the uncertainty of what will happen in a few hours or a few months or longer.