Over to You

18 Oct

The journey has begun. 2 months ago, I started my Psychotherapy course and have loved every minute of it. Registering for it, and buying a tumble dryer, have been the 2 best decisions in 2013 – hands down. Part of it has to do with what I am learning, the actual subject matter, the people on my course and the lecturers, but it’s also due to the fact that I am simply doing something I enjoy. A lot of people have been (and still are) asking whether I am not overloading myself with work. After all I ‘have to’ go to this course two evenings every single week and one weekend every month. It’s a lot – no doubt – but these evenings have actually been some of the highlights of the past 2 months. Because I enjoy the course so much, it really does not feel like work. It feels like a present I am giving to myself every week.

Over 2 years ago, I wrote a blog post about Treats – the importance of indulgence and being nice to yourself every now and then. As a little treat trip down memory lane, I just re-read that post and am totally bemused that back in 2011 I did a test that told me I should be a Psychologist which at the time I found k-razy. What a difference 2 years make.

So, in a way this course is just another treat. There is of course the potential and the plan of this leading to something much larger than simply ‘enjoying the moment’, but the importance is: I am doing something that makes me happy. Sounds so simple. Yet, so many people I speak to do nothing in their lives that makes them happy outside or inside the ‘stuff you simply do’. Yes, we all have to work and the fun factor at work is not always particularly high. But whether or not work (or anything else) makes us happy is our decision, responsibility and doing. Work does not make us happy. The only instance that can make you happy is yourself. The same goes for stress. Nothing makes you stressed. It’s your reaction to a situation, your perceived imbalance between what is required and what resources you have to deal with that situation that makes you stressed. It is up to you. The bad and the good.

I find that thought motivating. It means I have responsibility and can’t rely on other things and people to make me happy, but it also means that I have freedom. Yes, dear Devil’s Advocate, we can not all run around and do whatever we feel like doing. But the area for movement and choice is much larger than we often think. Love it, change it or leave it. It’s actually that simple. Of course, the process of finding out what makes us happy can be a scary one, especially when we have forgotten what makes us happy. Or we are faced with the reality that a lot of stuff in our life actually does not make us happy and we should maybe change something. Change can be scary. Not to mention leaving something or someone. Change can be tough. But if it is the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. And most people (and official surveys) will agree that people usually regret the things they did not do, not the things they did.

But the good news is that while you are ultimately responsible for your decisions, you don’t have to go through the process alone. That’s where other people can be of great help. People who listen, who care, who can give a different perspective, who can ask questions, challenge some ideas, encourage. Coaches are good for that. Or friends. A good friend and a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate cake on a comfortable sofa listening to some good music after you have had a massage and just before you have decided to take tomorrow off.  Could be worse. Over to you.

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One Response to “Over to You”

  1. Georgia Rakusen January 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    i really admire your big leap. I think it is so important to find something you love, and make a big space for it in your life. For me, I don’t want to be defined by my 9-5. It’s important for me to have a large proportion of myself defined by what I feel and think outside of my work. I have committed to what I feel is, at the present, a manageable amount of creative writing sessions per week, and just getting back on this horse has made me so much happier. Have fun on your adventure Fabienne. Bon chance!

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