I used to know a woman, still do as a matter of fact, who could never act on life but simply reacted to life. Oh yes there is quite a difference. She is now 75 years old and just lost her husband about a year ago. She never knew how to make decisions she always let her husband or her children do that for her. She didn’t even know what she liked. It was as if she had to ask them before she could give you an answer about anything. I don’t think she can tell you what her favorite flavor of ice cream is even today. She always waited to see what would happen at work, in life etc. She simply reacted to whatever life handed her. There was not a lot of planning by her. I have actually known a few people like this and to a great extent we may all have some of this in us.
If you wait until things happen good or bad and you don’t take the bull by the horns, so to speak, then you could be reacting to life. I think this is someone, and by someone I often mean me, who maybe doesn’t have the confidence or courage or just the ability to act. Maybe you wait to see what will happen. Maybe you wait to see what others will do. This can be some of the most dangerous things anyone can do. Maybe you think a situation will get better if you just leave it alone and wait and wait and wait. Oh hello 2025 how did you get here so quickly? you might become lazy by not acting, you might let your health and well being start to slip. I think sometimes when I get this placid if feels as though things have become so enormous I just don’t want to deal with it at all.
You could actually spend hours, days and months sitting around worrying about something that might never happen but by golly when it does then you will react to it and not one minute sooner!!! But it will be there in the back of your mind lurking about when all it might take is a few minutes of your time to handle it and act on it.
When you react to life this way you have no choice but to react because you have waited until the last minute or not at all and as you know life waits for no one.
I have found myself reacting to life lately instead of acting. I don’t like it. I feel unprepared when I do this. I feel like life is sneaking up on me and I am not ready. Bam!!! in your face ready or not. I think this happens for me when I am stressed, overwhelmed by work, feeling indecisive and insecure. Will I make the right decision? What if? What if? What if?
I used to be more of a worrier than I am now I guess that comes with age. I had this little “what then” game I played. What if my house burned? what if I lost my job? what if me or my husband got really sick? ( I never played that game about losing a loved one because I have lost and there is no what if about that, you just deal with it whatever way you can) With this game I would imagine if this or that particular thing really happened and then what would I do. I would say and then what would I do? and then? I played out the entire scenario until I had an answer, This often helped me alleviate some of the worry and anxiety I felt. At this point you’re probably questioning my sanity don’t worry I do all the time. I say all of this because sometimes worry keeps us from acting on life instead of having to react.
When I have something difficult that I know I am not dealing with I try a few different things.
1. I break it down into manageable doable steps. Even if that first step is grabbing a piece of paper and making a list of the steps that need to be done. This helps me to realize that as I complete each step the task is getting more and more doable. You should have a notes feature on your phone. This is where I keep a lot of my notes so that I can glance at them frequently and maybe take care of something while I have a few extra minutes. If it takes you a lot of time and steps, so what? you are getting it done you are acting instead of reacting.
2. If I am really worried about something that seems to be on my mind a lot throughout the day I plan a worry time for this. I know it sounds silly but I was given this advice from a good friend long ago and it really works. Sometimes we feel guilty if we are not worrying about something that we think we should be worried about. This will give you the freedom to put it off until later and then you may find it isn’t even worth worrying about as much as you thought it was.
3. Stop procrastinating!!!! I know this is so much easier said than done. I am the Queen of procrastination. And it really helps to “Eat That Frog” first thing in the morning. Check out this book and my blog post about it and you will understand what it means to “Eat That Frog”
4. Take a mental health break. Take a walk, pet some fur babies, lay on a blanket in your yard and look at the clouds, read a book. Do anything that will help you regenerate you enough to want to act on your life instead of simply reacting to what it brings you.
So do you think you act or react to life? How so?
All of the beach pictures were taken last year on my trip to Wrightsville Beach near Wilmington North Carolina. I love this beach me and my husband go every year. We will be going in October this year a little cool for a beach vacay but I can’t wait!!!!
Love you day your way!!!