It may be the result of getting older. Possibly even a little wiser. Perhaps it has happened since my breakdown or at least since I took a grip on my life and started to get things in the right order – work always coming after home. Whatever it was which prompted the change I am all the better for having proper perspective in life.
I don’t say that as a glib phrase or pretend that I keep everything in perspective all the time. One of the challenges of battling with anxiety is that there are times – for me, and I know for others – when things can quickly escalate in your head and a mountain can be constructed out of a molehill with a catastrophe and calamity hiding behind every spiralling thought. I work at maintaining my perspective – I think about it – I reflect on when I’ve got it right and wrong and try to learn from it when it goes wrong. I bank what I did right when it works.
In the last twenty four hours, I’ve noticed twice how much my perspective has improved. Both examples underline the progress I have made. I mentioned them not to be self congratulatory but because I know that I really like it when others share their experiences – it can really help.
My two examples are silly in some ways; watching Liverpool squander (again) a winning position and me (and my mate and golfing partner) playing like dopes today and losing- no being battered – in our latest Winter League match. Both are things I care about – are important to me, especially the desire to compete and win. I consider myself super competitive but I have learnt over recent years to channel that passion to win to allow me to give my best but not become controlled or dominated by it. I am able now to see these two things for what they are – intensely important for their duration – throwing myself into them completely – but not remotely important as soon as they have finished. Being able to move on quickly – being present – being mindful – and not dwelling on past failures, mistakes, disappointments or worse – is one of the keys to my wellbeing. It is only a small step from dwelling on the past to messing up your future with negative thoughts, worries and worse.
I am proud of what I have achieved in recent years, working at my wellbeing. I am grateful for the help of Rupert (my last counsellor) and as ever the love and support of my amazing wife. I am pleased to be able to be pleased in my life even when things haven’t gone as planned. And most of all I am pleased that I can still shout at the likes of Alberto Moreno – feel the intensity of emotions and commitments to things I care about whilst they are happening but for them to stay in their proper place – with a perspective to know, and genuinely to keep things in, perspective.