Friday, September 18, 2015

I So Suck at that Don't Worry Be Happy Thing

I can't think of many things in my life that I would change. I certainly wouldn't want to be famous. I look at how every thing Ronda does or says gets blown out of proportion, for good or bad, how everyone is all up in her business all of the time, and I know I would never want that.

Even if what I did this afternoon wasn't all that exciting - I worked on a grant proposal while waiting for my granddaughters to finish dance class - I still don't want pictures of me doing it showing up on the Internet.

I have a Ph.D. that I enjoyed getting 25 years ago and what I learned I put to use to this day. Education - check.

I really love the work I do. If I could pick any job in the world, I would pick CEO of a video game company. That doesn't mean every second of what I do is exactly what I want - I would rather write software all day than grants - but hey, no one has everything how they want all of the time.
Career - check.

Speaking of my career - if you'd like to download a free demo of the games we make, you can check them out here

I've been married for 18 years to one of the calmest people on the planet (a requirement to live with me), who is also brilliant and a great father and grandfather. I have four wonderful children who I love very much and the world's most amazing grandchildren.
Family - check.

At 57, I can still make the same weight division in which I won the world championships 31 years ago. I had my knee replaced, so I can hike in the mountains for fun and teach judo every Friday.
Health - check.

My bills are paid. I don't live in a 30-room mansion and drive a Lamborghini. I live in a townhouse by the beach in Santa Monica and drive a Prius, but I like where I live and I live 10 blocks from the office so I don't even really need a car. Recently, Ronda gave me her Range Rover so I had a car that I could drive a bunch of kids from Gompers Judo to events. I do not want what I have not got.
Money - check.

I have some really good friends, and although now that Ronda is doing great and the business is doing good, more and more new "friends" are appearing, I'm pretty adept at telling the former from the latter. I'd like to see my friends more, but when I think about them, I feel blessed with the number of people in this world I can count on.
Friendship - check.

So ... why every day am I worried about stupid stuff? I'm worried that my kids will make bad decisions, that we won't sell enough games to increase our part-time staff members to full-time, that the newest hire won't work out, that I didn't spend enough time talking to the stranger on the street telling me how reading Ronda and Maria's book changed his life ...

I don't just borrow trouble from tomorrow, because today is pretty good and tomorrow looks pretty good, too. I borrow it from six months from now.

If you're the same way, I'm sorry that I cannot really help by telling you why that is. I THINK in my case it is because it has worked out for me. Early in life, I did not have a whole lot to fall back on so I always had a Plan B and a Plan C and a Plan D and a Plan E and was constantly evaluating everything. However, while worrying all of the time might be responsible for much of the success that I have had in life, now that I don't really need that any more, I can't shake the habit.

If you're in the same boat, I can tell you that two things help me:

  1. Pray. I'm not one for running out and converting people. I think your religion is between you and God, but for the record, I'm Catholic and praying helps me a lot. It's the thing you can do when there's nothing else you can do.
  2. Count your blessings. I try to remember this because it helps immensely. Whenever I get stressed about things, my wonderful friend and mentor, Bruce Toups, calls me on it and says, "And look how far you have come."
There is a third thing that is Ronda's idea and involves water buffaloes but I am not so sure I agree with that one.


LsP said...

Hunting? Lol

Anonymous said...

i wouldn't call worrying if your daughters are going to make bad decisions stupid stuff. even smart girls make some really bad, dangerous, and dumbass decisions.

Anonymous said...

i would hate to be famous too.the only person who's not ronda who should be in ronda's business is you.sometimes we all need mom to smack us in the back of the head.

Dear Emily said...

Ms. De Mars,

Thank you for your constant and unique insight. I have a question for you that I hope is not too personal. I am a Christian and it affects every aspect of my life- how I think, how I act, how I react, and how I care for others. I was wondering how your faith has affected you and your family. Has it helped you to react to situations differently than you would've had you not put your faith in God? And in regards to your children, do they share your faith, or have they gone their own way? Was their father a strong Catholic as well, and did the two of you try to set an example of what serving God looks like for your kids?

Thanks again for always being so honest. I pray for you and your family whenever the Lord brings it to mind. All of you are such a blessing to this earth and everyone on it whose lives you touch.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Emily -
Three of my four daughters were confirmed. One was not. All of my children went to Catholic schools. Their father was raised Methodist but was taking classes to become Catholic before he died. Certainly faith has helped me in difficult situations, mostly by giving some comfort that it would all work out some how. As my grandmother used to say - God knows what he's doing even when you don't

Katie said...

I only recently learned who Ronda was (I heard her DNB speech about a month ago and adored it) and found your blog through her mentioning it. I'm so glad I did. I'm a 28 year old woman and I own a dog-walking company I started when I was 25, as well as being a professional actor. Those are two obviously hectic lifestyles, and sometimes it's hard to know how to pursue these passions that are so important to me and take so much out of me while maintaining my sanity and relationships. I really admire your attitude, and have found your posts so helpful and relevant to a lot of the things I go through. It's really great to have a blog where a woman who has been as successful at work, family, and owning a business as you have can share advice and thoughts. I'm grateful to have this resource - thanks so much for sharing.

(I also struggle with "don't worry, be happy" - best of luck with that :) )

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read how someone who's attained a high level of success in her life still worries about the little things. Worrying about your kids, your employees, some stranger on the street, etc. seems like a bad thing but if I were you I'd start becoming concerned the day I stop worrying.

Worried about your kids? Great, it shows you care about your kids and have a vested interest in their lives.

Worried about your employees being promoted or a new employee working out? Great, that shows you value your employees, care about them beyond helping you increase this month's profits, and don't just view them as cogs in the wheel.

Concerned you didn't spend enough time listening to the stranger on the street? The fact you even took the time to listen to the stranger shows you care about others and don't consider yourself better than/above someone because of who you are or who your daughter is.

Ventus said...

Im going to try and say a few things about this but i want to emphasize this doesnt have anything to do with religion or any kind of theories against it. As far as im concerned if religion is making people be better people its fine.
If a prayer works for someone thats fine with me too.

This just happens to be a view from a realistic - natural angle that can also help, especially since it is simple and i hope it will simply seem like ordinary common sense.

Trying to predict what next bad or negative thing might come along is a part of our human nature. It has its very real use and it has been so ever since we as humans have started existing. It has been honed and improved through generations, each of which survived because they were better at it then the others who didnt. And then passed that ability onto us through many, many generations. Its in our blood and genes. Passed down from every Grandmother and Grandfather in our family lines.

Of course it is not the only tool for survival but it is one of the most basic ones. Knowledge and cooperation, reasoning or logic are same such tools, even bigger.

But, such as it is... it is sometimes really difficult to make it go away completely.
Because it is such a basic reality influenced ability that does have various very real benefits. Its not just a figment of imagination.

But when it goes out of balance and takes over too much then it becomes a problem. It starts to take away the good times we could have and makes us waste time just thinking and worrying about various negative possibilities.

I think understanding this and looking at it like this helps with it, reduces it. I often say to my own brain, if you will: "hey, cut it out, its just those old instincts overloading again". And then with some additional effort and awareness of own inner world and behavior and thinking it can be balanced out.
As long a person is aware and notices worrying too much or thinks about various negative things too much - and dislikes that - it means you are ok.
Its much worse when you cannot notice such moods or thinking in yourself.

A person should not ever try to completely remove these kinds of thoughts, or to let them take over, but rather try and use them in reasonable amounts.
Not to blame oneself for it, either.
We are naturally built to be able to notice or predict (imagine) negative things happening, but in the modern world this ancient instinctual sensitivity to negative things, this ability to notice and imagine negative, potentially bad events very easily and quickly has consequences of its own.

And if you had a tougher life, if you are someone who had to struggle and really bite through to get where you are, and now you have kids and grandaughters and grandsons - who are all potentially in various dangers, short and long term...
It all adds up.

Looking at it all like this its not difficult to see how we can get overwhelmed with this inner monologue.
And to see how important is to learn to chill out and take things easy. At least in some smaller doses for the beginning. Not to completely dismiss being careful about now and thoughtful about tomorrow, but to get it all into a balanced state where it has its use but doesnt create more negative consequences and problems itself.

Hard to do, but if it was easy then it wouldnt be a problem. ;)

The main thing to know is that its possible to do and that we all go through ebbs and flows of it during our busy modern lives. We should try to get it into balance so we can still use it and learn to chill out in a healthy (also not extreme) ways and enjoy the moments we have a bit more with clearer mind.

- additional plus of thinking like this is that when we are of clear mind we can react better to any future danger or bad event. :)
So we are actually satisfying both the old instincts and chilling out at the same time.

This would be a shorter version of my grand chill out theory (jk), but i hope it makes sense and helps in some way just the same.

Brody P said...

Hi Anne Maria this an off topic question but was just curious, I would like to meet you in person to ask you this but this will suffice. How do you feel when you people say you spend so much time watching TV or you spend too much time on the computer go outside and do something? We live in society where technology has taken over and you create computer games that kids enjoy. The way I look at is, the kids enjoy it and they are learning a skill or a similar situation where you catch your son or daughter reading late at night when they should be sleeping. I just wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks