Simply put, I nearly drove myself crazy.
When I made the decision to simplify my life I also made the decision to stop obsessing and worrying over so many things, most of which are beyond my control. It was hard to break a lifetime of habit but I was consumed.
For example: every time the price of gas went up it upset me. Not just because it would cost me more to fill my tank and drive my car, but shipping costs would go up, meaning the cost of goods would rise, meaning I'd have to pay more for the stuff I buy, and then I'd have to go without some stuff because my paycheck wouldn't go up and then… you get my drift.
My biggest test of late has been when I took my current job. Working in a corporate environment exposes me to so many different people with different personalities, quirks, attitudes and agendas. It could be very easy to get sucked in to the drama of everyday but I choose not to. In fact I'm almost fanatical about it.
When the gossip mongers and the rumor spreaders try to drag me into their petty BS I am quick to let them know I'm not interested. I think I've literally said to various people "I don't care" about a hundred times. They can be persistent too so I can never let my guard down for a second. It helps too that I really don't have the stomach for that kind of stuff. Never really have.
Along those lines I've also decided my job is simply that. A job. It is currently how I finance my life. My job is not my life. That exists outside of my place of employment. I no longer find myself stressed out and emotionally drained by my job. I think it makes me a much better and more productive employee too.
When people, even complete strangers, got upset I used to get upset too. Why? Now I tend to be more of an observer in these instances and find their antics rather humorous most of the time. People can really make an ass of themselves sometimes.
I came home from work the other day to find the water company had torn up our street to repair the line. We had to park up the block and walk home. I was just happy I didn't have groceries to haul. As I headed home my neighbor stopped me to rant and rave about how inconvenient this all was for her. Mind you she had nowhere to go or anything, she just wanted to complain. I stood there silently, gave her about a minute to vent and then told her to have a nice day while I continued home shaking my head. Never mind her inconvenience, what about the poor families that had been without water for two days?
I have a friend who is mired in debt. She works two jobs and still can't seem to get ahead because she won't change her spending habits. Now she just has more money to spend and less time to enjoy all the crap she buys with it. As she cries her heart out to me I just won't give her a whole lot of sympathy. I don't try to help her anymore because I now recognize the futility in it. She knows what she should do and I simply refuse to care more about her situation than she does.
For the most part it is the silly superficial stuff I no longer care about. And I make sure I have a better understanding of stuff too. I reserve my concern for the important things. The things that truly matter. The things I can actually do something about. As a result my stress level is much lower and my happiness and contentment is on the rise.