Editor’s Note: This guest post was contributed by Nicole White, who writes about masters in health care.
I live alone, so it’s easy to set my schedule according to my pace and moods. I am used to my routine – the early morning jog, the cooking, cleaning and household work after that, then settling down to work, eating lunch, and then on to my regular tennis game with a group of friends, after which it is back to work, dinner and sleep.
I pretty much live and breathe this schedule for five days of the week, so when I have guests, expected or unexpected, it sort of irritates me to make the enforced change.
I recently had my sister’s children over for a fortnight while she and her husband were taking a much-needed break and trying to work on their marriage. While I love them very much and am very attached to them, they’ve never stayed over for more than a day or two, usually accompanied by my sister. So you can imagine the chaos and confusion that coexisted with me and the kids during these two weeks.
Suffice it to say that my carefully planned schedule was shot to hell – no morning jogs, more time in the kitchen, less time for work, and more time involved in making sure the kids did not fight, throw tantrums or break stuff around the house and hurt themselves. The first few days were the worst; not having been around kids a lot, I was unprepared for the effort that it would take to look after two children full time. I found myself getting irritated, with the kids at first and then at myself for feeling this irrational frustration.
It took a day for me to perform some introspection, some soul-searching on why I felt this way, and I realized that I was addicted to my schedule, to the time I had to myself, to my freedom to do as I please, when I please. It’s true that I don’t smoke or drink beyond the odd social occasion; I don’t overeat or do anything else in the excess. But I’m still an addict – to my routine.
When you’re a human being, when you’re part of a close-knit family, when you have friends who care and who you care about, it’s not good to be addicted to your space and time. Because when there are external demands made on them and you don’t have enough of them as you usually do, you start feeling severe withdrawal symptoms and lose control over yourself.
If you want your life to be more peaceful, if you want your emotions to remain tranquil and not swing like a pendulum, if you want to be in control over yourself and not fall prey to an addiction, you need to learn to take life as it comes, and you need to accept that change is inevitable. You must train yourself to adjust to circumstances, no matter what. Only then will you find it possible to master your emotions and gain peace of mind.
Do you have a hidden addiction? Tell us about yours in the comment section below and share with us any plans you have to overcome it using the insights gained in this post or other sources.
Nicole White writes about masters in health care. She welcomes your feedback at Nicole.White222 at gmail.com.