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One less thing. Tuesday April 21, 2015

A phrase my family has taken from the film Forrest Gump is "One less thing" (always with his inimitable drawl!). On days when we are all rushing around with multiple goals to achieve, we find ourselves, back at the kitchen table, regaling each other with obstacles overcome in order to complete the tasks that we had set ourselves. And, finally we say that, on our To Do list there is at least "One less thing".

It's fairly easy to tick off practical tasks – the shopping, posting a letter, fetching the dry-cleaning etc. But what about dealing with those "inside things" - the worries, doubts, uncertainties that crop up daily – often the same ones that we were dealing with only the day before?

In order to tick them off the list we have to identify them. Perhaps that is the most difficult thing about them. They defy categorization, they lurk in the corners of our minds and loom out at us unexpectedly. We're having a good day, feeling positive and energetic and then one of these nagging thoughts reappears and we're fighting the same battle over again.

By identifying them, defining them, even writing them down, we might just shine enough light on them to make them shrink to something manageable. If we know what we're up against, we can work out how to deal with them effectively and ruthlessly. We can cut them down to size and finally banish them from our minds. So that we can say, triumphantly, with a corny Forrest Gump imitation accent: "One less thing".

After all, his other famous quote is: "Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you're going to get."

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Tue, Apr 21st 2015 @ 9:20am

Hello Rebecca, what a wonderful post and I can't explain how soothing it was to read this morning! My young son gets swallowed up in anxiety and your post came at just the right time for me and I will share it with him tonight. Thank you. Love from the room above the garage x.

Julia Tue, Apr 21st 2015 @ 9:53am

Hi Rebecca. I find your idea of a to do list of worries and anxieties very helpful. Thank you!

Mary Blackhurst Hill Tue, Apr 21st 2015 @ 10:42am

You know - I've never understood that quote; I mean - you're going to get chocolate, right? But this was a great post. Thank you.

Julia Tue, Apr 21st 2015 @ 1:12pm

Doesn't it mean you never know what flavour chocolate you are going to get? In a box.

Anonymous Tue, Apr 21st 2015 @ 2:01pm

As Julia says, a box of chocs!
The first time I saw the film I couldn't work it out as boxes of chocolates always had a sheet to show you what flavours were on offer...but not always! Way back, boxes of chocs were often just a layer of beautiful shapes but you had no way of knowing what you were going to get..."life's like a box of chocolates...".
Nowadays that's like The Revel Challenge!!!! No worries for me though as the coffee one is my favourite. I happily eat the half remains when my kids bite into one.

Leah Tue, Apr 21st 2015 @ 10:39pm

Thanks Rebecca, I really enjoyed your explanation and will try that idea in future. I tend to write so many lists and there is always one more thing!! I like the idea of one less thing. Thanks again.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 22nd 2015 @ 7:40am

Have you read the human givens book on anxiety, they have an example in it of a young boyvwith anxiety whom they helped. Their techniques got me over the anxiety and panic attacks that on one occasion hospitalised me. I haven't had an attack since reading it and seeing one of their counsellors for a couple of sessions. Eve

Julia Wed, Apr 22nd 2015 @ 8:22am

I really loved this blog Rebecca. It was a gorgeous day outside yesterday and I think everyone was taking advantage of the good weather. It's going to be cold and wet again on Friday. By the way I haven't seen Forrest Gump. Would I love it? I've seen clips and roughly know what it is about. Anyway I just wanted to say how great your blog was. And I am not just saying this. I liked your style.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 22nd 2015 @ 8:48am

Thank you all for your insightful comments - you've made me reflect more on both quotes! Even if we think we know which chocolate we're choosing, we may be nicely surprised or a bit disappointed when we actually bite into it, however seductive the fancy wrapping!

As for lists - we have to be careful not to let them proliferate. But there is something very satisfying about ticking items off and then scrunching the whole thing up and throwing it away. Perhaps we can visualise those things that have caused us anxiety to be thrown away too. Rebecca

Anonymous Wed, Apr 22nd 2015 @ 11:45pm

Great post Rebacca. Thanks oodles. :o)

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