Janet Jackson was right!

Sep 26, 2023 | Ryan's Blog

Some things are just so true!!

Sept 26th, 2023 – (If you don’t have time to read this whole email right now, then here’s the drive thru version: when you focus on what you CAN control, you save time, energy and get more FOCUSED on making real progress. Get into the growth mindset and let the magic happen, every day, and even in the wee hours of the night.)

Now, let’s get on with the email du jour.

Do you lie awake at night sometimes? Do your thoughts run wild? Do you rehash decisions you made or rather, didn’t make? Do you tend to wish to turn back the clock and do things over? Do them better or just differently?

Oh, that was happening from 2:20-3:20am-ish last night for me.


Everything seems so much worse at night, when it’s only you, the blackness, and the clock, mocking you with those long minutes.

I hate it.

I bet you’re big-time wondering: Why do I bring this up? This doesn’t seem positive, does it? Au contraire!

I want to impress upon you a thought line that will help both during the day and in that blackness of night.

I’ll share one of my many thought-swirls from last night. (Only one of the many!)

If you’ve been reading my content for some time, you know that I love tennis. I really love it. It’s the most wonderfully frustrating, funny, social and exciting exercise ever invented and I just can’t stay away. I mean even just for the cute outfits! Come on!

But here’s the not-so-funny thought-swirl that kept me going in the blackness of the night: my knees are really acting up lately and therefore (in my mind), I’m one step away from a wheelchair or surgery or general non-functionalness. Even stairs are feisty lately.


There’s nothing like pain and possible limitations to make you go into a desperate thought swirl with no bottom, am I right?

There are things you CAN control, and MANY MORE that you CAN’T. So when you find your mind spinning on something, just ask that question: “do I have any control over this?”

If the answer is no, then go deeper.

“Is there some little portion of it that I can take actions to move it forward or flip the script?”

Basically then, what can I control about my knee pain??

I can listen to my body. I can seek out some physical therapy. I can make doctors appointments. I can consult books or watch YouTube for helpful exercises. I can wear compression sleeves. I can consult others who have suffered similarly about what they did.

But wait, there’s more!! The growth mindset.

Quick aside: do check out Dr. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, it’s amazing. (And yes, that link sends you to the Thriftbooks site! #secondhandfirst)

So, can I simply re-write that worry into something positive?

Using the growth mindset, yes! I can turn the negative dialogue into positivity and gratitude. This superpower is available to anyone!

I have wonderful legs that are strong and have been warriors for 53 years now. They are not giving up on me, nor am I giving up on them!

(Linda Carter will always be the best Wonder Woman!)

Seemingly non sequitur but absolutely related decluttering update: I went to town clearing out my storage room last Saturday (it’s crazy what multiplies in there!) and WOW did if feel AMAZING! From Kelley of Heartening.org, I learned of this amazing (and close-by) neighborhood food and supply pantry that will love receiving the bulk of what I decluttered. (And I’m taking it all there on Thursday! win-win!)

Remember my message last week? When you have a purpose for your decluttering castoffs, it fills your sails like crazy!

And when you have less stuff in your house, pantry, and your life, it is a powerful feeling! My goal is to manage less. To spend less time moving stupid stuff around. To pare down as much as possible because I get sooooooo distracted in about .5 seconds flat. On repeat. It steals my focus and therefore my time and energy. This must change. And, hello!! I have CONTROL over this! So it absolutely will change the more I declutter my home, and notice my own shopping habits.

(Can I change my hubby’s shopping habits? No. Will I face frustration if I try?? Oh, yes. So I’ll focus on my own habits! That is on the list of what I CAN control.)

See how freeing this question can be? Warning: it’s a muscle you must strengthen, because our typical reaction is to complain about things, things we cannot control, therefore wasting energy! But it’s what we have practiced our whole lives. And since we are good at what we practice, how about practicing this new question?

“What CAN I control?”

How much better would you feel if you focused on that? Might you even feel more in CONTROL? At least a little bit??

In the wee hours of the night, too?

Especially then, when it’s the hardest.

Continue the dialogue in our fun, free FB community: the CALM Collaborative!

Ryan 🙂


My name is Ryan…

I love teaching people how to let go of the crazy and live a less stressful life. My book The CALM Method: A Guide to Ditch Last-Minute Living is full of guidance and tips for you, but the real magic is in our community. The Find FOCUS Membership is a great place to get more done alongside your peeps!!!

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