Ice Cream and overwhelm.

Have you felt overwhelmed lately?

I’ve noticed many people expressing feelings of overwhelm. We can blame it on technology, or we can blame it on the news, or we can blame it on  disagreeing with somebody, or, on the somebody who we think is disagreeable! Overwhelm seems also to be affecting Google. When looking for directions the other day as I was heading back to my place on 16th St., Google pops up with “near 16th St.” Imagine I’m rolling my eyes here in befuddlement, bewilderment. confusion. and. yes. laughing. because …  it’s over. Well. If Google Maps is overwhelmed. how can I find my way? 

Let’s talk about that: 

What does a gallon of ice cream have to do with overwhelm? Nothing. As a metaphor, however, it works really well. So often we start out in a new relationship, or a new business opportunity, or even after the Christmas holidays playing with the new favorite Christmas toy, we start out joyful, happy, engaged, so thrilled. Imagine that’s like eating your favorite flavor of ice cream and loving it so much you eat a gallon of it. You absolutely gorge yourself on the ice cream experience. 

Then someone offers you another scoop. You don’t want that other scoop of ice cream. You know that you’re full.  You also know that you still love your favorite flavor of ice cream! There’s nothing wrong with not wanting the extra scoop, in fact, it makes sense. 

Yet what if you panicked …

… because you thought something WAS wrong with not wanting that other scoop? And the next day, someone offers yet ANOTHER scoop of your favorite flavor and … now you panic over your panic! Pretty soon you think, I never loved that flavor because you are so panicked that you are numb, so you swear off of ice cream altogether, so when the next scoop comes, it melts right before your eyes.

Time passes, and you decide, “Maybe I’ll try another flavor.” And the cycle begins again.

Let’s take a look at that new job ,or new project, or new relationship. You’re so thrilled. It’s so exciting. It’s a wonderful. That’s the first day, and maybe the second day, and maybe the third day, so that pretty soon you feel like you gorged yourself on this experience, particularly if you thrown everything into it. Then the next day you think “Oh my gosh, I’m not as excited about this as I used to be.” You think something’s wrong with you, and so you panic. You get the drift.

What if, you took the new job and the new relationship and you temper it?

Sounds like I’m asking you to choose your reaction, doesn’t it? Well, yes. I am. You see, we are all deciders in the end. I could have chosen to never use google maps again if it wasn’t more specific, or cried foul with the sense of overwhelm I had already chosen! So, yes, you do choose, so you can choose something else. How about this?

“I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can, perhaps even gorge myself on the first few days, and then, when I don’t feel as passionate about that experience as the first time, I’m gonna give myself a break to realize it’s normal. Then I’m gonna enjoy the scoop of business opportunity, or relationship, or Christmas toy and then I’m gonna enjoy the next … one scoop at a time. Every now and again I’m going to get excited about it  and  gorge myself.” You’ve heard the phrase, ‘one day at a time’. Now it makes sense. Our sense of overwhelm can become excitement, it is our choice, which we then, can savor.

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