If you’ve read my past articles on Stove Leg, you probably know that I work, quite diligently (most days, at least) in Corporate America. I match a lot of the stereotypes that come with working in such an environment. I work downtown, I wear a suit to work every day, I work in a cubical, you name it, I can probably relate to it (except for that Wolf of Wall Street crap- financing life insurance and multifamily realty doesn’t usually involve coke and hookers). Despite being a very, maybe even annoyingly, energetic person, I don’t suffer from anxiety very often. However, sometimes, when life happens, I feel that tightness in my chest just like everyone else.
I recall back to the time in Mid-January of 2019, where I was feeling my first dosage of real anxiety in the new year. Thankfully, when I get stressed, I drink a lot – of water. I went for a quick walk in the morning from my desk to the bathroom in our office. When I find a quiet second during the day, sometimes I pray, and at 9:06am on a not-so-special Tuesday, I prayed at the urinal.
I thought about some of the prayers that I would have to say every single day during my days at Catholic school. What was that one about serenity? That’s a good cliché remedy for feeling anxious:
“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Then something hit me. I had said that prayer hundreds of times in my life, maybe more, and it had become such a repetitive grouping of words that I would rush the entire last third of the prayer. I realized, at that moment, that my entire focal point was off. My whole life had been filled with me trying so hard to accept things I can’t change, and trying to muster the courage to change the things I have control over, but I never focused on what was and what wasn’t controllable in my life. How can I succeed at the first two parts of the prayer when I can’t tell the difference between the two?
Over the next few hours, I felt the anxiety pass through me like a kidney stone that I’ve thankfully never had, and it certainly has changed my view on the world around me.
The wizzdom, to know the difference, if you will (sorry).