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Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed...
Old 03-14-2010, 05:55 PM   #1
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Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed...

by the idea of all the things which can potentially affect your life drastically for the worse, but over which you have little or no influence? Health care costs, economic cycles, tax changes, peak oil, corporate misdeeds and political machinations.....I'm not a conspiracy theorist myself, but I can quite sympathize with the feeling that may be behind the theories—that vast and powerful influences are arrayed against me and I don't stand a snowball's chance of diverting or avoiding them. Like a mammal in the age of the dinosaurs, I feel surrounded by behemoths which ignore me, except when they are hungry. If they do not devour me, they could easily crush me without ever knowing that they have. The only possible escape seems to be to find a niche to live in that's so insignificant the "dinosaurs" want it neither to exploit directly nor as a source of prey. What or where that niche is, I haven't a clue.

Are you all thinking, "duh, what took her so long to figure that out"? I don't know why these thoughts are coming up now. Do you have this anxiety?
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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I don't feel overwhelmed but I do sympathize! For me, these difficulties together make life challenging and I feel like I am constantly dancing/juggling to deal with what life throws at me. All of this keeps me alert, flexible, determined, proactive, and inventive.

Maybe it is because I am 61 and have not had an easy life, but I know that I will be able to deal with everything somehow, because I always have.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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Do you have this anxiety?
Nope. I try to focus on the positive as much as I can rather than fear things over which I have little control.

I've found it to be one of the few but very important advantages of being a shallow thinker...
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
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Did I feel anxiety about it at some point? Definitely.

However, I do not have this anxiety now (for the most part) and have not felt that sort of anxiety in a long time.

While it isn't possible to completely avoid any of those problems, it is very possible to setup funds and make lifestyle choices that allow you to "go with the flow" when these sorts of things inevitably happen. One example is the boom/bust market. The anxiety of a boom/bust can mostly be avoided by having 4-5 years worth of cash/cash equivalents you can rely on during a bust (and then replace during a boom), while you are in the withdrawal stage. Or, if in the accumulation stage, try and setup as secure a job as you reasonably can so you will have an income you can rely on during a bust.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:26 PM   #5
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In some earlier posts, I told of how my family got in some rough spots in my late teenage years and for a little while I thought we would become day laborers, though I did not provide details.

Obviously, we turned out a lot better than we expected. As things got tough again occasionally due to the general economy or our specific circumstances, I tried to remember that dark period, and reminded myself that I had so much now compared to then. There are always uncertainties ahead, but I try not to worry about things I cannot do anything about. I am trying to enjoy life here, for my own sake. Yes, me, me...

I have often tried to be a deep thinker, or so I thought. I don't know how deep I have been compared to the average person, but it most often just turns me into a somber mood. Was that better?

I don't think I will ever be as happy as Goonie, but that's just me. Nah! I am going to surf the Web now for some RV travel info. How shallow is that?
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kyounge1956 View Post
by the idea of all the things which can potentially affect your life drastically for the worse, but over which you have little or no influence?
...The only possible escape seems to be to find a niche to live in that's so insignificant the "dinosaurs" want it neither to exploit directly nor as a source of prey. What or where that niche is, I haven't a clue.

Are you all thinking, "duh, what took her so long to figure that out"? I don't know why these thoughts are coming up now. Do you have this anxiety?
I'm a deep thinker, so grab your pillows...
Of course, we all have some anxiety about the "dinosaurs" at one time or another. It all depends on how many surround a person at once at a given point in their lives.
In single or small sets, all are managable.
In a collective, run Forrest, RUN!
I recently sat down and wrote up a chronological list of events in my life, good and bad, since I was a teenager. It was an exercise I was given to do by my life coach. What I discovered after I was done and re-reading it, was not that I dwelt on the negative things (woe is me kinda thinking), but that I dealt with and came through all of the events as a winner.
None of us have ANY control over external events ("dinosaurs"), only our reaction to them and our solutions (if any). This is the niche I have chosen.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
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No, I definitely do not dwell on this sort of thing either. It does not do any good and things normally work out, so why worry. I agree with NW-Bound, in that I have had some "trying" times in my life and while it was not easy to get through, I think that it made me a stronger person. I have also lived through times of war, gas hikes and restrictions, high inflation etc, and have made it just fine. I have also lived through some great times and a lot of my life was easy, so I tend to focus on the positive also. I also have a good spiritual background and belief and feel that God will always be there for me, no matter what the future holds. I also have a good network of friends and family which helps tremendously also.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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I think we all go through rough patches, when it seems like life is conspiring against us. The "why me?" thing. Fortunately these things tend to be isolated and separated in life by corresponding good things. When I get in a funk, I give myself over to it for awhile, but then rally my inner forces to resume my normal routine while addressing the problem head on. No other way but to do this. It is good to have a support system of family and friends. Also interests that are enjoyable and relaxing. I have learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was, and that I can meet almost anything that life throws my way....just so long as I don't get hit by a truckload of stuff at once.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:07 PM   #9
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I do sometimes worry about the future (inflation, health care costs, taxes, etc...) but I figure that whatever happens, I'll find a way to adapt and deal with it.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:24 PM   #10
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I have had the two worst things already happen to me . I lost my husband and four years later I lost my son . That made me realize I do not have control over what will happen so I don't worry about it . I do still worry about my family but not about money ,health care or inflation.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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Once I learned to let go of things I really couldn't control, and focus on what I did have influence over in my own life, I became a lot happier and less stressed out. I also found it much easier to tune out all the "worry about this","worry about that" BS that constantly bombards us from the media.

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Old 03-14-2010, 09:41 PM   #12
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Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed...

I used to. Then a few years ago I started keeping a journal. Most of the things I feared did not come to pass. The things that did...well, I not only survived; but as time went by, I found myself happy again. I just roll with it....
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:45 PM   #13
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I chose my moniker on this board - Hakuna Matata - based on the 'no worries' attitude. When I was in college I worried about everything and eventually reached the point in my life that I realized it did no good. I control the things I can (ie. I put away for my retirement and live within my means) but I recognize that there are things outside my control and thus I don't worry about them.

I want to enjoy my life here on this planet and spending that time worrying about things you can't control doesn't make my bucket list. Enjoy what you can and forget the rest is my motto!

Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:49 PM   #14
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One of my biggest strengths, as well as biggest weaknesses is that I feel the need to have a contingency plan for everything. As a strength, most of the time, when something happens I have a solution already waiting for it. As a weakness, it does not allow me to slow down and smell the roses as much as I would like, or as much as my family would prefer I do. That's why I have the signature line that I do, and why I have a similar sign on my cork board over my desk...to remind me to "find joy in the journey" and not be such a worry-wort all the time, stressing over things.

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Old 03-15-2010, 07:20 AM   #15
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There are many renditions of this but...

#
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:43 AM   #16
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Once I learned to let go of things I really couldn't control, and focus on what I did have influence over in my own life, I became a lot happier and less stressed out. I also found it much easier to tune out all the "worry about this","worry about that" BS that constantly bombards us from the media.

Audrey

Well written Audrey, and I too, learned how to "let go" of things I really have no control over. When things get stressful, I just reflect on my life and how the issues over the years come and go...it's just a winding road with hills and valleys.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:59 AM   #17
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Funny this should come up, because just yesterday I was thinking about how overwhelmed I feel from all the technology changes constantly coming from my computer, cell phone, tv changes, etc. Always something to update, always something new to learn to use...tiring for those of us not interested particularly in techie things.
Other than that, all is well..
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:22 AM   #18
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Sometimes. I just finished reading Other People's Money and that is a depressing book. Makes me want to just stuff all my money in jars and bury it in the back yard.

But we're in better shape than a lot of other people we know. We have good health, no debt, a steady income, springtime is near, the weather is forecast to be good, I just changed the rear drive oil on my motorcycle, and there are rides to be ridden.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #19
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Sometimes the anxiety comes when you think that you can do something about the dinosaurs. For example, you see something on the news about health care, and you think "Maybe if I write a really persuasive letter to my senator, it would make a difference." It's usually better to admit that it's beyond your control, and just skip to the next news story.

Recommended reading:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Stop-Worry...8664101&sr=8-1
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #20
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As the "little guy", we have a lot more control over our destiny than in any other period in civilization. And in the US, we have better control than in the majority of countries around the world.

Yes, it is still daunting at times. But as long as it remains "at times", it shows you have a good grasp on reality.
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