Just a simple mistake, that’s all it was! So let me go back a bit… the day started early and I had planned a day of computer work.
So, a quick shower and a quick errand to run before I got started at the real task of the day. Not a problem, right? Seemed like a good plan (‘plan’ being the operative word here) until I opened the door of the garage and realized I had grabbed my phone, but not my purse, so I had no car keys. And no key to get back in the house either – I was trapped in the garage! Okay Leanne, don’t panic… just stop and think. No family nearby, everyone at work. Solution – a quick call to a locksmith, a quick outlay of cash, and I was back in my house in less than an hour. An hour, wasted! So… let’s rethink the need to run the errand and just get started at the computer… and the phone rings… it’s my granddaughter at work, worried about the rash on both her arms… maybe poison ivy from a road trip yesterday? Okay, Leanne, don’t fret… be the help she needs… make a quick doctor’s appointment, get in the car and meet her at the doctor because that’s what she needs from me.
Finally, keys in hand, prescription in hand, my granddaughter and I decide that lunch time together should be next on the agenda. And finally, by mid-afternoon I was sitting down at my computer again… trying to regroup from what my plans were at 7:30 a.m.
So, was this an “ugh” moment in my life? Perhaps, but in fact, isn’t this the way our days and our life journeys all go? Stop and think a moment – whether you’re a volunteer leader, a caregiver or a volunteer (or a friend who’s simply reading these posts to support me!), what are the changes to your schedule that happened today? Yesterday? Last week?
Maybe instead of living in a world of “ugh” moments, we’d all be wise to accept the tenuous nature of our schedules and adjust a bit more gracefully, and more importantly look for the “ahh” moments of our day. I left my key in my kitchen, but I had my phone, and a locksmith happened to be nearby on another assignment so my lock problem was fixed… is it possible that I had missed an accident by being delayed? My granddaughter had poison ivy, but the doctor had an appointment within the hour, so medication was soon beginning to help her heal, and I got to spend lunch time with a very special young lady… it is very possible that I still could get my computer work done, but those brief moments (in the overall journey of life) with her were so enjoyable… I’m blessed that I was available and got to help.
So, from ‘ugh’ to ‘ahh’ – sounds like I’m making it easy, but I’m not. Attitude adjustments don’t come easy to me – I sometimes (dare I admit often?) have a negative reaction to an interruption. Crises almost always make me panick. But I recognize and hope you do also, that neither of those responses are helpful to maintain a more stable, composed demeanor. So, here are a few suggestions about coping responses… I would love very much to hear yours… enjoy!
When possible, hold your schedule loosely. I know that sometimes that’s absolutely not possible, so don’t ‘shoot the messenger’! There are appropriate times to say “no” in our lives, and there are certainly appropriate times to be in “crisis” mode. But are there days, times, hours when you can be a bit more flexible? I guarantee you’ll be calmer… well, guarantee is a strong word, Leanne – how about I hope you’ll find yourself calmer?!
When an unexpected event happens, take a moment and think instead of just reacting spontaneously. One minute of thought, for me anyway, can eliminate many minutes of frustration. Let me know how that works for you (!). Although I often fail, by taking a moment to think about these interruptions in my recent schedule, I was able to problem solve, have a great chat with my granddaughter and get my work done.
Although statesman Henry Kissinger said, “There can’t be a crisis next week, my schedule is already full.”, I love that business executive Robert Tew said, “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need tomorrow.” So, my last thought for today is… develop strength today… you may very well need it tomorrow.