Southern California. The weather and the sunshine. A great place to escape the cold and gray of winter in Ontario.
The last time I was down to La Jolla, my wife had joined me. We stayed at the same hotel — Hotel Parisi. We went to Disneyland in Los Angeles and we also went to Rick Warren’s church in Lake Forest. We went out to the local restaurants and we enjoyed walking and touring the beautiful coastline.
This time I was alone. And it really did not feel right. I found myself missing Lorraine deeply. The experience of hiking through Torrey Pines State Reserve and exploring the coastline of La Jolla’s beaches seemed incomplete.
I also fought stress on this trip. And stress won out.
I had been looking forward to the conference. Partly because of the content and partly because of the location. I was also looking forward to spending a couple of days in La Jolla.
Just before my planned departure, the weather in Toronto took a real nasty turn. Flights were being cancelled. And I took a very pessimistic view of the situation.
I was concerned that I would not get to the airport on time. I was concerned that the flight would be cancelled. I was concerned that if the flight was cancelled, then I would have to cancel the trip completely.
When I finally did get to San Diego, I battled a severe tension headache. It took a couple of days to get over it. And to what end?
I got to the airport early. The flight departed on time. It even arrived in San Diego fifteen minutes early. The conference was great. The time in La Jolla was great.
So why all the worry? What triggers such a reaction to certain events? In my case, it is a result of some perfectionist tendencies. When things do not go according to plan, or even when things look like they may not go according to plan, the stress bites hard.
Wikipedia describes perfectionism this way:
Perfectionists may be workaholics who can’t relax; people who reproach themselves for the smallest errors or wrong words for days afterwards… Perfectionists tend to be exceptionally sensitive to criticism.
I have to learn to lighten up. Perhaps I can become a defectionist instead?