If you give a mouse a cookie

The other day I was trying to decide what I wanted to do. Go take a shower? Watch a movie? Go get some laundery done? I was thirsty… Maybe I’ll start with a getting a drink.

Yeah, I’ll go get a drink. Oh but wait, the breta is empty. I need to fill up the breta in order to get a drink. But the sink is full of dishes and I can’t fill up the breta if the sink is full. But the dishwasher is needs to be emptied before I can empty the sink.

Wow. That’s a lot of things to do just for a drink of water. No wonder my anxiety gets so on top of me! It reminds me of the “if you give a mouse a cookie” story. You know the one… Where the mouse wants a cookie and in about three pages, he’s taking a bath. Like, how did we end up here?!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were talking about what we wanted our lives to look like in the next year – like goals for our family, personally, etc. One of my main ones that I really want to focus on is to be less stressed out and anxious. For me, my anxiety and stress levels are pretty codependant on another. If I’m anxious, I’m stressed about why I’m anxious and all those spirals that go with my anxiety but on the flip side if I’m stressed, I’m anxious about being stressed and why I’m even stressed in the first place. It’s a hard place to be.

Okay, so I had to decide what I wanted having less stress to look like. Ideally, I would be the one that just says, “yeah, let’s go!” on any given adventure or the one that is spontainous and goes with the flow. Obviously, that’s not who I am or what I might even want to be. Talking to Shelby so much and discovering myself, I realized that that isn’t who I actually want to be. I enjoy planning and making all the lists that go with the planning. But what I can do, and what I want to do, is to just be a little less “stressed.”

In figuring out what what that is going to look/feel like, I came up with some easy things I can do every day or every couple of days to help ease that stress. A few of those things on my list were yoga, meditation, regular selfreflection…stuff like that.

But I don’t live alone or have just me to worry about, so in that initial converation with Ricky, I expressed my disire to have less stress in my mental space and he agreed that I (and him too) would benifit from me being not so stressed and anxious.

I thrive on rutine. When I have a plan, I feel stable. Ricky does…not. Luckily, that’s something that he wants to work on this year for himself, so it lines up perfectly with how I plan to be less anxious and stressed. We have come up with daily and weekly chores. We have set a regular date night and are going to take turns planning it. We have scheduled alone time without each other. We have time on the calander to budget every paycheck. It feels so good to have a plan. For me at least. We’ll see how he does. Haha!

I’m about two weeks into this and the time I spend doing yoga or the uplifting selftalk I am trying to remember has been so good for my little anxious heart. The internal “cookie mouse” still goes crazy and distracted and there have definitly been several moments of high stress and anxiety but it feels different. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s for sure a good different. I look foward to see how this develops and changes during the year!