I've always been a perfectionist; even my year 3 maths teacher said so. I just thought I was slow and not very good at maths, but apparently I was just spending that time ensuring my answers were immaculate. Taking lots of time to get everything right is great, but with it comes anxiety and stress... I can't leave something unless I think it's just so, no matter how long I've been working on it, and if I'm not very good at something then to me it is simply not worth doing. I quit.
Not only am I a perfectionist, but I'm also a control freak, so the fact that there are many things out of my control happening in my life lately has been making me more anxious than ever. I'm like a cat: I may look cool as a cucumber, but actually inside my own head I'm jumping somersaults and my brain is racing around, trying to think of solutions to every problem under the sun.
People have different ways of dealing with these feelings: usually exercise (I lose interest quickly), eating (I feel rotten afterwards), or drinking (just not a good idea, really). But finally - finally after 27 years of being a bit of a neurotic - I think I've cracked it. Drawing, painting and scrapbooking. Lately I've been sat with my sketchbook for hours, happy just to make nice colours and shapes, not really caring whether something gets totally finished or if I'm not all that good at it. Because it just doesn't matter, and I like that. I like it when my hands get covered in rainbow pastels and when the paint is too watery and runs, and there's not a damn thing I can do to stop it.
I'm happy even just doodling hearts and smudging chalk. If that's what I fancy doing that day, I do it.
I may spend the rest of my time writing lists, bossing people, and generally doing things at a hundred miles an hour, but I know when I sit with my sketchbook I'm slowing life down and doing something just for me.
What do you do to chill out? Do you ever feel like life is running away with you..?