The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person or place is unintentional.

“You seem much calmer lately; much more relaxed. What’s changed?” she asked.

I was a bit flippant in my response. “I’ve stopped worrying about everything. We’re all going to die someday; it’s just a question of when, so why worry about it” I replied. “The more I convinced myself I didn’t want to get old, the longer I seemed to live. Now I’m trying reverse psychology on Mother Nature. Maybe that will help me live a shorter life.

“I’m just kidding though. I’ve actually come to realize that tomorrow’s going to happen whether I worry about it or not, so I don’t. “

“Well it definitely suits you!” she exclaimed. “You’re even wearing your hair differently these days, and is that mascara you’re putting on?”

“It doesn’t hurt to at least try to look good,” I said in my defense, “after all, this is the best I’m ever going to look- it’s all downhill from here!” She grinned in response. Then she became serious.

“I also noticed you’ve even been treating me better and not talking down to me anymore. You used to be so rude and insulting sometimes.” I knew she was telling the truth; I had been terrible to her.

“I’ve decided to treat you the way I treat my friends, and I’m trying really hard to do that,” I admitted. “but we ARE friends, aren’t we? I think we should be.”

“You can be my friend or you can be my biggest critic” she said, “but I like it better when we’re friends. We all needs friends who motivate and encourage us. There’s going to be enough people criticizing us, we should be more supportive.”

We were silent for a few minutes. I finished putting on mascara and carefully applying my lipstick. This was going to be a good day. I looked in the mirror and smiled; my reflection smiled back. We had finally become friends.

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Overthinking Things

An associate of mine (recent immigrant to Canada) told me that in his country, the work ethic was very different. Companies took responsibility for their employees, and looked after them. Part of Management’s compensation was based on their employee retention rate. The culture is very different in North America. When a company reorganizes, they eliminate the “skill sets” they no longer require and hire the skill sets they need. These “skill sets” are people. Gone are the days when you worked for the same company for most of your life and they invested in your development and progression. The average statistic for employee retention these days is 3 to 4 years.

For some people, this can cause anxiety and a tendency to overthink things. People plan their lives over a longer period of time than 3 to 4 years. The success of plans often depends on a level of security or at the very least not financial instability.

This recent article from Kaizen-Habits explains the very real effects from overthinking things:

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“Many people overthink because they are scared of the future, and what could potentially go wrong. “Because we feel vulnerable about the future, we keep trying to solve problems in our head”

David Carbonell, a clinical psychologist and author of “The Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It.”

I used to have the same problem; for years I used to overthink everything. I became incapable of making a decision, because I was sure if I kept thinking, I’d come up with a better decision. When I found myself on my own again, I was constantly worried and was overthinking everything. The world became overwhelming and I resorted to using podcasts and meditations to distract my thoughts and quiet my brain so I could sleep at night.

I’m proud to say I’m much better now. I’m working hard at distracting myself, just like the article describes, and I now have a different perspective on life, and on myself. I’m learning to worry less and that any decision is better than no decision.

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