The Book– Make Yourself Cozy A Guide for Practicing Self-care by Katie Vaz

The Quote: Give yourself a time limit for what is bothering you.

MY Question: If something is bothering you, what do you do?

Me trying to explain myself: Yesterday, I was running to get the bus to get to the subway to get to volunteer work, and while I wasn’t late, I wasn’t quite early either. I saw the bus, which is what we call a “Select Bus” which means that you pay for the bus before you get on (receipt to show inspector). When I got to the receipt machine, it ate my metrocard. There is no ability to get a new metro at the bus stop. While I did have my credit card for “tap” I do not have my banking details on my phone, so if I were to be stopped, I had no actual way of proving that I paid. After having just lost about fifteen bucks, I did not want to add $150.00 fine on top of that. I let the bus go, stomping away, annoyed at both not taking the bus and losing my metro and about fifteen dollars. (still don’t want to hear about free mass transit- thanks for the suggestion)

It’s about a twenty minute walk to get to the subway I needed, where I could purchase a new card, etc. As I walked there I was fuming about the indignity of the machine eating my card.

When I got to the subway, bought my new card and boarded the train I sat down. I asked myself how long I was going to let this bother me.

Deep breath, which in a mask is not always a fun thing to do.

I know I’m not supposed to compare myself to others, but I thought about the person who might not be able to buy a new metrocard if their card was eaten. I thought that at least I am lucky enough to be able to buy a new one without it disturbing the balance of my finances.

I was still annoyed about losing about 15 dollars…I don’t like losing or wasting money, no matter what the sum.

But I let go of a little of the annoyance.

Then I thought about what’s going on in my life. Presently, there is a situation which I will talk about eventually, but not today, that is weighing on my mind greatly. While I was annoyed at the metrocard incident, it’s not really what’s bothering me today, but what’s been bothering me the past two weeks. I was displacing my anger at something else, and venting my frustration at this, really at its core, insignificant issue.

I sort of gave myself a twenty minute time limit to get over my anger at the loss of card. I thought it out, and gave myself the ability to forgive the act, and forgive myself for whatever was whirling around in my head. Sometimes we have to cut ourselves some slack and let it go.

It’s funny how coincidences work. I scheduled to write this post back in August, and when I jotted down the idea, I had a very different post in mind. Which is sort of what this quote in this book is trying to say: give yourself a time limit because you just might see things differently when you have some distance and some space. We change every day- we don’t see it- it’s sort of like a plant growing. One day there’s a seed planted in the dirt and the next thing you know, you have a plant. (FYI- got a little bit of help from Ted Lasso for some of these thoughts)

While I know that there is no expiration date on grief or bad feelings, I do know that carrying spite or anger or jealousy or any negative emotion will not make things any better.

If something is bothering you, pick a date in the future, and jot a note to revisit the subject then. Hopefully, the issue has sorted itself out by then. But if it hasn’t, maybe thinking about it as the person you are on that day as opposed to today will give much needed perspective.

If you are still hurting, or whatever, then continue on. But do what you need to do to keep moving forward. Stagnation never really helps anything.

41 thoughts on “Time Limit

  1. I love your self awareness., trying to unpack stuff (and understand what’s really going on emotionally) is sometimes, simple, sometimes layered, at least for me.) Appreciate your genuineness as always.//and as you alluded to, sometimes it just takes time, and things sometimes sort themselves out by themself.

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  2. Yes. This is something I practice, although I find it needs some form of action as a full stop to be most effective for me. I’d not expect to find such good advice in that book based on it’s cover & blurb. Do you recommend it, or was this the only thing you took from it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s what I call a nightstand book. It took me months to read even though it’s small because I read a little bit every day. It’s very cheery and light and it just gave me a little lift. It’s not life changing or really any different from books of the same ilk. It was fun and cute, but not necessarily a must have

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ah yes. I have a couple of those. My favourite is Charlie Mackesey’s The Boy, the Mole, The Fox and The Horse (although I do consider it a must have). I also have a poetry anthology containing 365 poems and so designed to be read each day. I don’t always pick either up, but they’re there for when I need them.

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  3. Life presents an endless supply of irritations . If we learn to don’t let it go , we’ll go nuts or be a bitter, angry person. Still, your card being eaten , 😤. Good job turning your thoughts around. I’ll pray for your worrisome situation.

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  4. Great advice, will try this out. It’s like the 5×5 rule: “If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 mins stressing about it” (easier said than done) 😅

    Though for now, I try to write my feelings in my journal (or type it in my phone) just so I can collect my thoughts before reacting. But I’ve only started this exercise last month.

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  5. This is good advice, which I need because I have a tendency to ruminate. So I am writing myself a note and sticking it over my laptop: give yourself a time limit for what is bothering you.

    Also, I saw the comment above about nightstand books, and your friend mentioned Charlie Mackery’s book. My parents gave me that book for my birthday and never read it! It was on the family room shelf. So I’ve got yet another book to read. 🙂

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  6. This is a beautiful post, LA. Your ability to pause, breathe, reflect, and then choose a healthy and productive way (time limit) to deal with the emtions is wonderful. I also appreciate you standing in the reality that there was an underlying issue that was triggering some of the emotions. It is so important for us to, as you write, take the time we need, yet also, to know when we need to set a limit, and move on The latter of which is profound and a wonderful awareness for people to hold. Indeed, we are always iterating, thus, the paradox is, sometimes we need the time, and sometimes, we need to get to the core, issue and let go of the things on the surface that are annoying us. Well done. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yeah, letting go is hard to do so putting a time limit on the frustrated/angry feeling is a good idea. Can’t you call the metro card people and explain about the eating of the card to have them credit your new one the $15?

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  8. I really like that suggestion, especially since some things have a way of working themselves out or becoming insignificant over time. Sometimes I look back on things I fretted over and feel mad at myself for wasting so much precious time on them when the situation turned out to be of little consequence later on.

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  9. I LOVE the idea of asking yourself how long you’re going to let something bother you. It makes me stop and actually think about it. Otherwise, a person (like me) will keep stewing about it. Asking this question gives you a chance to consider if it’s really worth it. Thanks for sharing!

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