Friday, 23 October 2015

circuses, monkeys and a life motto

"Not my circus......not my monkeys"

This week's #Friday Reflection is "the words or motto you live by is....."

And my answer is the quote above - "Not my circus......not my monkeys" which is apparently a Polish saying that basically means "not my problem."

I discovered this quote on Pinterest (oh how I love Pinterest!) and it has stuck with me ever since, probably because it spoke volumes about my approach to life and the changes I needed to make.

I am the world's greatest control freak - I have to have my ducks in a row, I have to micro-manage everything in life (including any family member that happens to be around)
, I worry about everything! If there's not something major to worry about, then I will start worrying about little things because my brain likes to chew things over.

I found this quote at the exact moment when I decided that I needed to let things go, stop worrying about everything and just take a step back and release it all. I even chose "release" as my word for 2015. I knew that fretting wasn't doing me any good and life happens regardless of how many plans I put into place. I also realized that I spent way too much time worrying about stuff that wasn't even my problem (not my circus) and worrying about people who were big enough to worry about themselves (not my monkeys). 


#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

To remind myself of this resolution to not take on other people's issues, I even found a bangle on etsy and bought it for myself and I wear it nearly every day because it is a great little prompt when I start getting wound up - especially at work where it's still a bit hairy at times - it's like snapping a rubber band on my wrist - but a lot less painful!) 

The only flaw in my great motto is when the circus and monkeys are mine, but you know what? It is a pretty rare occasion when they are. My life is pretty cruisy now that I've let a lot of things go through to the keeper. If something is worrying me I pray about it, fix it if I can, or release it. Mulling over a problem and losing sleep and worrying does nothing to solve it - all it does is get me in a stew and I end up projecting scenarios into my head that are never going to happen. Life has a habit of turning out pretty well all by itself when you leave it alone. Even when it gets a bit crazy, that's part of the fun really! 

"it is my circus......and those are my monkeys"

The other thing my daughter pointed out is that when you recognize it is someone else's circus that is out of control/on fire/going crazy and someone else's monkeys running amok, you can sit back and grab some popcorn and watch the show. You don't have to get in amongst it all chasing other people's monkeys or trying to put out the flames - that's their job (and some people like living in a circus tent). What a relief to leave them to it!

30 comments:

  1. There are times when it is so difficult to let things happen and not try to control things. I am constantly having to tell myself you don't have control over this so don't worry about it.

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    1. I agree Heidi - trying to control everything has been my mantra for 50 years - I'm only just getting to grips with the fact that I can let things work themselves out (most of the time!)

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  2. I've never heard this quote before but I absolutely love it. I'm definitely going to use it. What a great motto to live by. Getting involved in other people's drama is always an energy drain. Great post :)

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    1. thank you so much - please feel free to use it with gay abandon as you let life take its own course and you chill out on the sidelines :)

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  3. This seems to be a motto I am seeing a lot of this fall, and I think it's because I need to hear it! I wish more of us were able to identify when monkeys are not ours! I'm over from the linky today but other days I'm just over 'cuz I like your blog! -Carol Cassara

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    1. thanks Carol - I read your blog all the time - like minds I think!

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  4. I popped over from Elena Peters site as part of #BlogShareLearn. I liked your motto. As it happens, I don't worry so much about other people's circuses or monkeys, mostly because I'm the stressed out ringmaster of my own failing circus and I just don't have the time.

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    1. that's put a picture in my head of you in a top hat chasing those little dogs in tutus! Roll up! Roll up! :)

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  5. Leanne, this is so true. As mothers many of us have the tendency to micro manage everything, and it becomes a way of life. But when the kids grow up we have learn to let go a bit. It's a process that I am in the middle of as well. It helps that my sons are across the pond so I can not be on top of them all the time.

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    1. that is so true Mary - micro managing is all well and good when you're parenting small children but definitely not when they are adults in their own right! A good time to let it go :)

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  6. I can so relate, Leanne! I noticed that sometimes when I'm having a hard time figuring something out it's best to just leave it to the universe and then it will kind of take care of itself. Sometimes the less we interfere the better. Let's grab the popcorn:) xx Abby

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    1. I'm with you on the popcorn - it is quite stress relieving watching someone else chase their monkeys while you let yours look after themselves :)

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  7. Love this! Funny and encouraging. :) If you felt like it, I would love to have you come link up at the Friday Frivolity blog party I host!

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    1. thanks so much Sarah I will pop on over - I love a good linky :)

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  8. I love that quote too. Ialso love that I popped over from the Blog Booster Party and read two great posts to remind me that 1) I'm not in charge of the world, so I don't have to worry about everything that I can't control, and 2) (another of your posts), got my reminder that I do not need to apologize for everything, and especially things that are not part of my circus. So thanks!

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    1. thanks so much Debbie - I always enjoy reading your posts on the linkys we both join - you are my inspiration for trying to keep my blogging up to speed :)

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  9. I'm a lot like you and have learned to let go. Love what your daughter says...grab the popcorn and watch the show! Thanks. Suzanne

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    1. It sounds a little insensitive but it is quite freeing to watch someone else's circus - it reminds me that mine is pretty smooth!

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  10. What a great saying. I had not heard it before, but I am going to remember it, it says it all so well. Thanks Leanne
    Kathleen
    Fridays Blog Booster Party #29

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    1. It's become my go-to phrase lately Kathleen - it covers a lot of bases!

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  11. This has been my favorite quote for awhile now and I love how you've expanded on it. Someone told me it was a Polish proverb except when I mentioned it to future son in law who was born in Poland he said he'd never heard of it but loved it.
    I say it all the time when people try to shove their agenda on us....mostly the social workers who want to pressure me to adopt my foster/grandsons because they're running at a deficit and don't want to pay for them to be in "foster care" any longer. It makes them so mad!! Which makes it even more fun! I didn't drink when I was pregnant with my children, these boys have FASD because their birth mother did drink, I'm going to need some help with that, and I didn't blow their budget....Not my circus, not my monkeys.

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    1. Oh Jenna, that is beautiful! Good on you for standing your ground - nothing frustrates people more than when they know they are in the wrong but hope you don't realize it! Hang in their with those boys - you sound like their best hope for a bright future x

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  12. Oh I do this I worry about others, but yes you are so right, I need to take on this motto too, it's brilliant #fridayreflections

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    1. I'm happy to share the love Mackenzie - I think the whole picture it puts in my head is enough to give me a smile and remind me to let it go :)

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  13. I saw this same quote floating around pinterest one day, and remind myself of it often. It can be far too easy to get worked up or involved with things that aren't my concerns, and repeating this quote has helped me to focus on the things that are my concerns.

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    1. my sentiments exactly Jessica - it's one of those little quote that sticks in your mind (and I actually find to be a good reminder!)

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  14. I love this quote! It's so true! Way too often, we find ourselves wrapped up in other people's problems when it's not our place.
    I'm glad you're learning to let go! :)

    Thanks for linking up with us at the Best of the Blogosphere! Hope to see you again next week!

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    1. my pleasure Amber - thanks for hosting - I love reading what others link up

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  15. Girl, you have done it again. This post is also in the TOP seven. It will be featured on Friday.
    Kathleen

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing your post with us at the #AnythingGoes Link Party! The new party goes live today at 6 PM ET.

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