This year, more than any other year, I have made an effort to keep my one little word at the front of my mind. It's been a big year, but different than I expected when I chose "choose." And this little word has pushed me and tested me more than I thought it would.
In a really good way.
The biggest thing is that I have developed a new mantra. Actually, mantra isn't the right word, I think I have just created a quiet and remarkably patient internal voice. It appears when I am in the middle of a "crisis" and I find myself asking,
"Real problem? Or fake problem?"
Ninety-nine percent of the time (or truly 100% of the time this year), the issue or situation that has me stressed or worried is a fake problem. I use the word "fake" loosely here because these are problems that exist. They are still something I have to deal with. They are still frustrating and sometimes very difficult.
But asking myself "real or fake?" means I take a second to assess. And when I am reminded that we (me, Paul, my family and loved ones) are healthy and safe, any problem (a product delay, an uncredited photo, a packed work week, a crazy car repair bill, a house full of bees looking for a new hive, a drastic change in deployment schedule, a fight with Paul, forgetting the one thing I went to the grocery store for) instantly seems more manageable.
This internal voice has been invaluable in handling the normal stuff that comes up and the concerns that keep me awake at night. I have been humbled over and over again this year as I realize how much I get to choose and how much a little perspective helps everything.