Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Nervous Nellie

on April 5, 2011

Last week when we discussed regrets, I mentioned that I don’t “do” regrets. This is a personality trait I’ve always been pretty pleased with. One personality trait I am less fond of is my nervousness.

I’m naturally a skittish person. I blame my sister (because when you get the opportunity to blame a sibling, why wouldn’t you?!), who liked to stand in a dark hallway or room and wait until I passed to jump out and scare me. While this is perhaps tangentially related to my nervousness, this paragraph largely exists so I can get a dig in on my sister.

In any case, the nervousness I’m talking about is related to doing things incorrectly, being late, or encountering new things. I’m also a borderline perfectionist, which only exacerbates the issue. And I’m not consistent either. I can be perfectly chill about major things, like buying a house, getting married or going back to school, and completely neurotic about other things, like making sure my phone is off before going to a movie or church (seriously, I have to check multiple times, which may speak to a bit of OCD-ness but I don’t want to think about that too hard). Generally, I would say my nerves get wound up about the stupid stuff. I leave to go someplace 40 minutes early when I know it will only take me 20 minutes to get there. I check, recheck and sometimes triple (or quadruple) check the schedule when I’m going to be riding an unfamiliar train. Until I’ve been someplace consistently many times, I’ll always look up directions again. I honestly don’t know where all of this came from. I know my mom has a nervous personality and although she tried to hide it from me, I think I must have subconsciously picked up on a bit of it.

I’d like to think only my closest friends know how neurotic I really am. I try to at least present the picture of peace. My poor husband though. He’s very patient and kindly accedes to my need to be at a scuba dive site a half an hour early just so I don’t have to rush to get myself set up.

Over the past several months I’ve noticed more and more how neurotic I really am about all this stupid stuff and how much energy I waste in the process. I’m really trying to focus on letting go a bit and handle everyday situations a bit more like I handle big events. Sometimes it means forcing myself to leave my cell phone in my purse when I know I’ve already checked twice to make sure it’s off as I sit and wait for a movie to begin. I’ve also tried visualization. It sounds a bit hokey, but the scuba shop I dive with is big on it. They use it in the context of imagining the potential problems you could have on a dive so you can think through solutions and be ready in case something does happen. I find it applies to my everyday situations too. If I can stop and think things through a bit I find myself a bit more prepared than I otherwise would be. This might turn into a new neurosis, but at least it seems a bit more productive than my current one.

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2 responses to “Nervous Nellie

  1. Samantha says:

    Hey, I was only working with what I was given. Half the time I didn’t even jump out at you because you’d already worked yourself into such a wreck that I felt bad scaring you. I was just trying to toughen you up!

  2. […] Nervous Nellie (ourviewfromhere.wordpress.com) […]

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