Over the past few days, I have learned some new and interesting things about myself. This past weekend I went on a 1200 mile motorcycle tour of maritime Quebec. I cannot adequately describe how beautiful and peaceful the Gaspe Peninsula is.
I slowly became aware that as the first day progressed, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the fact that we did not make any reservations for the four days that we would be in Canada; we had no set timetable for anything, nor did we have any set plans for where we would end up each night. I have always tried to be spontaneous, but I always seem to end up failing miserably at it. I know now that it causes my anxiety to rise, and eventually that is exactly what happened. I became obsessed with watching the towns go by, and with it the motels. I had to keep telling myself not badger my husband about when we would be stopping for the night, as my complaining was driving him nuts, and I couldn’t seem to stop.
Saturday night we could not find a single motel room within 400 km of where we were. We drove from town to town, and as my husband and friends were thinking this was hysterical, I was having a terrible time dealing with it. We ended up sleeping under a car port on the ground next to our motorcycles. The hotel next door took pity on us, and loaned us some much appreciated blankets for the night. While everyone else was laughing and trying to make the best of the situation, I was a complete mess. I just couldn’t deal. Thankfully, Sunday afternoon found us in Quebec City with hotel rooms and hot showers. By that night I was eventually able to laugh at this, and be all the more grateful that I am not homeless.
The second and more important revelation that I experienced was earlier today while at work. This time of year is very busy for my department, and it can be very stressful. I have been running around, completely straight out. My anxiety level was again sky high! Instead of asking for much needed help, I just kept going, telling my co-workers that everything was ok and that I could handle everything. The truth of the matter was that I desperately needed help, but didn’t want to ask for it because I was afraid that people would look down at me, and think less of me. The reality of the situation couldn’t have been further from the truth. People want to help, and people do not think less of you if you ask for said help. If anything, they think more of you for understanding and knowing your own boundaries and limitations.
I finally accepted help from my coworkers. And with this acceptance my anxiety started to recede, and with that came the realization that I am not Superwoman, and that I do not need to do everything myself. It is ok to let others help and that people are not going to see me as weak, unprofessional, or incapable of doing my job.
Learning new skills can be incredibly scary, but once those new skills are implemented, they open up a whole new world. My goals for the rest of this week and for the weeks to come are 1) to try not to be so rigid in my schedule and to just live life, laugh more and enjoy it as it comes; and 2) to know my limitations as a human being and to ask for help before things get too crazy, and to accept that help with a smile and a thank you.