I’m up late again. Funny the things that can keep you awake. My mind tends to go over the days events at times, replaying and revamping for the better case scenario, and wandering into stuff that hasn’t even happened yet. My do-it-yourself psychology book tells me that I’m focusing on the past and negative emotions, which, by practicing cognitive behaviourial therapy, I can change my thought processes around, and therefore feel better about myself. My book also tells me that stress can occur when I focus on future events that haven’t occured, and for the most part, generally don’t occur anyway. Reframing the way you think, they say, is the answer to retraining your brain.
I agree, for the most part, that the above is true. I can see the logic of it there in front of me. Trouble is, I’m not good at sticking to the plan, although I am getting better at it. I am a natural worrier of sorts, if you can call it that, and I can stress out with the best of them. I think small doses can be ok and a learning experience, but trying to undo years and years of conditioning when you have a family full of eccentrics, neurotics and closet nuts, can be a hard call.
I think some of my family’s eccentricities have defined me. I have never really played by the rules, and can appreciate irony, particularly when it is weird, funny and not directed at me. I usually have a thing or two to say, some researched and verifiable, some not – an opinion in my family was important, whether it be objective, subjective, or just plain ludicrous. My penchant for motorbikes comes from my father, a slicked back, greased up highwayman of the fifties. Not so eccentric you say, but tell that to my conservative neighbours when they see a nearing middle-aged five foot nothing woman fire up her beast and ride into the sunset.
I don’t drink and I don’t smoke, but I don’t need it. My mind is out there enough without being helped along by a dose of funny stuff that can make you see things crawling down the walls. I can get that on digesics. I’m allergic to them. My husband tells me that it must be a real blast to have allergies to things – because you never know where your next ‘fix’ is going to come from. At least he’s an optimist.
Optimism is a funny thing. You either have it or you don’t. My family’s eccentricities were not akin to optimimism, although not irrational, and to an outsider completely normal. Having said that, after years of mature observation and study of society at large, I would say that I was one of the lucky ones. I guess you could call that optimism, couldn’t you?