Onward Into Battle

Sound Advice.

Sound Advice.

Bonjour! Happy Thursday, Freaknasties. A quick early blog while I get my work stuff for the day out of the way because the rest of the day is going to be BANANAS finishing up getting this home base settled, and getting myself and the huskies ready to head north.

“Deep breaths, Jenn. One thing at a time, it is only 10am.” ~ my mantra for today.

I’m a spaz. I’m coming to terms with it. I tend to match my reaction to my perception of the intensity of a situation in the moment instead of breathing and thinking. It wastes a lot of unnecessary energy. I get so worked up over dumb stuff. Like, really dumb stuff.

For example my existential FOMO crisis of last night.

One of the good qualities I have is the ability to pivot and focus. For as much as competitive sports messed me up, they gave me equally good life skills. I have intentionally treated the last few weeks leisurely, because I knew I would have to pivot into serious mode before I went back to Chicago. This will be a period of intense, laser focus that needs my full attention. I go to the barracks, train, live simply, and prepare for battle. It is a time of sacrifice for later glory. I am programmed this way, and it is easy for me to do. Last night I knew it was the beginning of this phase, so I ordered in, watched trash TV, and was in bed reading about the second French Empire before 10pm. I was born an 80 year old, so this was fun for me.

Texts then came in…

Some members of the OG-10 were kicking it last night. It looked fun, and I got major FOMO like I did in High School. Then I got mad at myself for being such a dumb girl about everything. Even if I were in town, I wouldn’t have gone out. I can’t in good faith enjoy myself when I’m in ‘training’ so to speak. It feels like a betrayal of the commitment. That might be extreme, but I’ve always been of the mindset that if you aren’t in the space you want to be in, your full time job should be getting yourself where you want to be. Waking up tired and probably late on a Thursday morning after blowing $50 is just not worth an Instagram moment for me in this phase of things. Give me eight hours of sleep. Besides, we are FORTY. You gotta save that ish for Fuck Off Friday™️… it’s the only way.

Maybe I’m weird. Ok, I know I’m weird. That’s not to say I won’t have my one window of fun a week, they just won’t be on the level they’ve been recently. A weekend away will now be one nice treat a week. You gotta play the long game here, people. I think that’s why I get so frustrated with the people around me who just get so stuck and complacent waiting for someone to rescue them. Like somehow, a stork is going to deliver a miracle on their doorstep. Luck matters a lot in life, but so does effort. If I went out last night, woke up hungover after blowing $50-$100, wasted the day feeling like crap, and then complained about my station in life like I was some kind of victim of circumstance? I hope all of you would have ‘eye-rolling’ listed as your cause of death. Not that Real Housewives and reading a book are high value intellectual exercises… they do save energy and money which is very important when you need them. In times like these, you gotta be a Bethenny… not a LuAnn.

But nonetheless, I do get jealous at those so carefree in situations that would give me a nervous breakdown.

Speaking of losing my everloving mind, I’m not. Again, I tend to be one of those people who immediately want to match the energy of what’s coming at me before thinking first. I don’t necessarily mean by action, I mean by physical and mental response. Panic, anxiety, freezing, etc. This is where I am so glad I have taken my time in everything and have attempted to relearn my responses to things. I still have that initial panic, but now I can breathe and think my way out of it most of the time. Most of the time. Still a work in progress.

Things are escalating in Chicago like clockwork. I’m being intentionally vague. It’s all meant to get that reaction out of me and gain leverage. I ain’t no fool. And to their credit? I had that reaction for 10 minutes. Panic and this feeling that I had to DO ALL OF THE THINGS RIGHT NOW OR ALL IS LOST. But I caught myself and was like… wait… you’re researching all of this French history for a reason. What would one of the greatest generals in history say?

Never interrupt your enemy while they’re making a mistake.

Don’t fight with your enemy too much, lest you show them the art of war.

There are two sides to every story. Typically the poorer behaved is the guilty party.

Thanks, Napoleon. And yeah, it sounds schmaltzy and lame AF that I went there. I’m a nerd. Indulge me.

It’s true though, chaos tactics are low intelligence maneuvers meant to pull focus. It’s the whole, “Look over here!” trick that makes you react emotionally and tip your hand. A couple of years of expensive CBT therapy has at least taught me to slow my brain down and not react until I can form rational thoughts. I react to things physically, I am a tactile processor when most people are auditory or visual processors. This means I have to physically feel a correlating stimulus to change my thoughts.

So when have I felt this way competing and what do I do to cope? Miss a takeoff in figures, you approach the next one making sure everything is aligned. Fall on an element free skating, you put it behind you and strategize the rest of the program. Struggling the first few miles of a race? You make mini goals from one moment to the next. Coming back from injury? Trust the process and have faith. Push when it feels good. That’s literally what I have to do to slow my brain down and retrain how I react. Those quotes help me, because I can physically imagine competitive tactics and strategy. Don’t warm up too hard with your opponent in tennis or they’re going to figure out your backhand angles. I get that.

If you tell me to breathe, meditate, and go to a happy place? I’m just going to breathe really fast and panic in my mind looking at a pretend ocean. It doesn’t help. Playing Enya and telling me to journal my thoughts is me writing, “HOLY SHIT OMG HOLY SHIT OMG,” with Enya in the background. Putting feelings in a physical space helps me. Give me some Napoleon quotes and send me on a brief run. I’m good. Actually, that’s why blogging helps. It’s the physicality of the typing.

So I do nothing. It’s D-Day so let’s keep the war metaphors alive. Stick to the plan and let them fire all of the cannonballs into the ocean trying to scare you they want. By the time you land on shore?

They’re out of fire power.

Damn, that’s good. I hope someone steals it and makes a Pinterest quote!

Today, we stay the course. Home Base ATL is officially settled. Some last bits of running around to do, and then tomorrow begins Operation Home Base CHI and simultaneously Home Base III is getting settled. I have the strength and discipline most people don’t, so time to use that as my greatest arsenal.

Ok, I better stop with all of the military conquerer crap before I start making Poland nervous.

I hope it’s a good day for all of you! Get out there and be the conquering hero! Just don’t get in a land war in Asia or anything, those don’t end well. (I’m SORRY it needed one more.)


Jennifer Gulbrandsen