The road to the proverbial chill pill

Because it’s a first, I thought I’d introduce this article properly! As you know, 9to9Daily was always intended to be a digital magazine, and so we started taking in new contributors to enrich your experience as a reader by adding new women’s perspectives and new topics. Emails have flown in, and first one up is Cecilia. You’ll remember her as one of our very first 9to9Girls. Cecilia is best self-described as a ‘Life lover, curious explorer, sarcastic and silly, closeted romantic, over-thinker and overly dramatic especially when hungry. I work in corporate marketing by day and attempt adulting the rest of the time.’

 Recently, I reached out to a colleague of mine for advice. She has an admirable career, is widely respected and has three young kids. I said: “I think of myself as an achiever, which is what motivates me, but also as a worrier and a planner. And these three traits feed on each other.” What I wanted to know was: how the hell do I achieve everything I want, even when things seem to be mutually exclusive?

I walked into that conversation looking for tips and tricks, for a recipe for success, but instead came out with a sensible, valuable piece of advice.

Take your time, figure out what’s really important, and take a chill pill. (Needless to say, I am paraphrasing).

The point is: we live in a world where there is never enough time and the competition is fierce. We are impatient and need to get all the answers here and now - and don’t say that it isn’t true, I’ve attended too many panels on “who are these unicorn millennials?” to not know it is.

But the reality is that life happens whenever it wants, and it generally doesn’t care if you hate waiting.

As an achiever and a worrier (no typo here, I mean I worry. All. The. Time. About EVERYTHING.), I found that my only way to sanity is planning and preparing for anything that could go wrong. I also got quite good at that. When I travel, I send my plane ticket via sms and via email, screenshot it in case there is no wifi and always carry a charger in case the battery dies. I am the queen of to-do lists.

And I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. Actually, I am pretty sure that’s going to be one of my next how-to posts.

But it’s not enough to give you peace of mind. There is no amount of lists that will make you stop worrying, no plan that will give you 100% certainty that things’ll go your way. At some point, you just need to calm the F down (#ctfd). And that is what I’m not good at. But hey-they say awareness is the first step towards healing.

So put things into perspective. Meditate. Take a boxing class. Go for a wine and whine with your girlfriends. Repeat to yourself that yes, your life is great already as it is and really, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

In the past we talked about the dangers of comparing our lives with those portrayed on social media. Turn that competition into inspiration. And share your fears with the people around you: like with my colleague, 99% of the time what feels insurmountable becomes manageable.

No matter how you do it, make it a point with yourself to always have that daily chill-pill in your to-do list.

Also, we are a community: so if you feel your advice would be better than mine, by all means, leave a comment!

Cecilia