Prior to breast cancer I was a total Type A. I am not ashamed to admit that. High maintenance, workaholic, no patience for slow moving traffic or slow moving lines at the grocery store, and I hated wasting time. What did I consider a time waster? Honestly, anything in which I was involved in that I wasn’t truly loving and unfortunately some things that I truly did love I considered to be a time-waster. My problem was that I didn’t live in the moment — I lived in the what’s-going-to-happen-next moment — and as a result of that I missed out making memories and from simply kicking back and taking the day as it came.
Do I regret my former Type A tendencies? Yep. Do I think that if I hadn’t gotten breast cancer that I would have changed? I’m not sure. I do know that I try to be more relaxed now. I try to not drum my fingers on the steering wheel when the driver in front of me won’t go the speed limit. I bite back a sigh at the grocery store when the person in front of me seems to have forgotten they actually had to pay for their items once they were rung up and are now scrounging around for a form of payment… really? During those times though I have actually found a way to take a mental step back and just breathe. I try to shut out the noise around me, concentrate on my breathing and not let my blood pressure go skyrocketing as it would have in the past.
Am I still driven? Yes, for both my clients and in my personal life. I have things I need to get done and like anyone faced with a life threatening illness, you realize that you just might not have all of the time in the world. I stop working when my daughter comes into the room and wants to talk. I truly try to enjoy what I am doing in the moment I am doing it. I want to have memories of the little things, whether it’s having completed a client project, watching a movie, taking a walk or simply enjoying dinner with friends.
Am I still a perfectionist. Yep. I don’t think I can change my innate inner make up but I do think I can harness those traits and tendencies that drove me to exhaustion and jeopardized my health.
I have learned to conquer the overwhelm. Live a day at a time and breathe. What can you do to make that happen for yourself?