Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Holding Your Ideas Lightly

Here are a couple of the fun things I bought on the way back from San Francisco. British Airways sell things “duty free” on the plane. Of course, there is really no such thing as duty free anymore - basically they just discount the prices - but it still feels like you are getting a bargain. I got this cute little Lulu Guinness purse for £35. You could use it as a posh makeup bag or as a tiny clutch bag. I like it so much I’m thinking they would make good presents. Lulu Guinness designs are all a little quirky - that is what makes them so appealing, and I love the postcard motif in this piece. Also, I saved £9 on the retail price of Creme de la Mer. You probably already know of this product as it is a pretty iconic one; it’s supposed to be “the most coveted moisturiser” in the world. Because of the advertising I had never really looked at the real cost of the product, I just assumed it was out of my reach. But when I saw it in the British Airways brochure, I realised it actually cost less than the creams I am using at the moment! I’m so glad I found that out and tried it as I can now understand the hype. This is the first moisturiser I have tried that has shown almost immediate results. I’m noticing my skin tone is evening up and my skin feels super hydrated without being greasy. I’m definitely a convert. Isn’t it silly I never had the nerve to go up the counter and ask the price? I just believed the hype and got stuck on the idea it was too expensive. It’s funny how we get ideas in our heads and then struggle to let go of them - but when we do suddenly something improves for the better.

I’m finding that in another area of my life this week as well. This is the first time my husband has been away on business that I have actually felt okay about it. Every other time he has travelled, I have been beyond upset. I’d have separation anxiety for weeks before he went away and getting through the days after he had gone always seemed really hard. Added to that, something always seemed to go wrong while he was away. As a result, every time the words “business trip” passed his lips I’d literally feel ill with anxiety. For a corporate wife, this is a serious problem. You can’t be freaking out every time your husband needs to go somewhere, it just makes life way too difficult. The fact that my husband does not like traveling on business (as he says, he has done it so much, it no longer holds any appeal), and that he always took us with him whenever it was possible (proving that he does not like being apart either), still did nothing to assuage my fears.

I used to get really cross with myself about this. It made me appear needy and clingy, both very unattractive qualities. It also made me miserable. But of course beating myself up did nothing to help the situation; it just made me feel worse.

But suddenly, this time, it is okay. Frankly, I thought it would be worse for me as I had to leave my husband behind in San Francisco, but strangely enough, it has all been easy. Although I really miss my husband (I am rather partial to him!) I have actually managed to not only get through the time without him, but to have a bit of fun as well. Obviously I would rather he was here, but he just can’t be - and I’m okay with that.

But to get back to the point. We get set ideas in our heads about things, and until we let go of those ideas, it can be detrimental to our experiences and even our health. Once we do manage to let go of them, there is a huge benefit. I understand now I had a set idea in my head about business trips. Combine that with a little fear of things that might never happen and a couple bad experiences and you’ve got one miserable corporate wife. You see, my husband’s first major business trip happened when our son was barely three, just after we had moved to a new house 150 miles away from everyone I knew. I was petrified when I heard about the trip, and wept when my husband left, so I wasn’t really in the positive frame of mind I ought to have been. Then our friends came to visit for the weekend, their son broke his arm and had to have emergency surgery, I swallowed a fish bone in a restaurant and had to have a tube stuck down my throat in the emergency room, and I got a lung infection so serious the doctor nearly admitted me to hospital. My husband was only away for a week! It took three weeks after his return for me to recover. That experience stuck in my mind and anytime an absence of more than a couple of days loomed I would be beside myself with upset.

Also, whenever my husband would go on away, things would go wrong. Pipes would leak, locks would break, the electricity would go - you name it, it happened. This made me dread his absence even more. While I would not go so far as to ascribe completely to the popular belief that “there are no accidents - we create our own experience”, I do believe that we can affect our environment by what we are thinking and the way we behave. Here I was, walking around waiting for a problem every time my husband went away - and guess what I got?

Suddenly, miraculously, this time it is so different. The horrible sick feeling I used to get every day he was away is just not there. (As I said, I do miss my husband, just not to the point of actually making myself ill.) Nothing has gone wrong so far and I’ve actually been content while he has been away.

I did pray that this time it would be different, and that I would finally be able to be comfortable with my husband’s absence, so I don’t know why the heck I am so surprised. I’ve frequently experienced answers to my prayers. It beggars the question why I never prayed about it before. I did pray that my husband would not have to go away (rather counter-productive as business trips benefit us all), but I never thought to ask for a change of attitude until this time.

And it is that God-given change of attitude - the letting go of an idea I have clung to for ages - that has created a huge benefit in my life. So be encouraged to hold your ideas lightly, and never hesitate to let go of the ones that no longer serve you. And perhaps even more importantly, be encouraged to pray. It can change your life.

As for me, I’m counting the hours till I see my husband on Thursday, but for the first time ever, I’m enjoying the minutes in between as well.

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