Updated: Nov 14, 2019
Perspective. Oh, the irony…such a snowy day here in the Good Land, in October no less.
“Sasha can you step into my office for a quick second”
*You glance at the clock, reads 4:43 p.m.*
A quick panic sets in as you are responsible to pick up the kids from daycare at 5:15 and must leave at 5. You discuss Lord knows what as you are preoccupied with getting out of there on time. Much to your dismay, you walk out of her office at 5:11 – already over 10 minutes late. You make a mad dash to gather your belongings and make it to your car….Crap! Forgot the keys. You sprint back into the office. Just where you left them – in the top drawer.
5:16 - You are finally on your way – ETA 5:40 (Darn traffic…)
5:32 – *Phone buzzes (James, your husband: “Reminder that I have a meeting from 5:45 till 6:30PM tonight and won’t be home until a little past 7:00 – Love you!”)
"SH*T!!! I forgot I have to make dinner!!" Your scream fills the void as the frustration has officially set in.
We have all been there. The utter frustration and build up of items so small that totally consume our thoughts and energy. It is tremendously difficult to apply perspective on your situation and if I am being honest – it is far easier to be frustrated than not.
How do you actively prevent these situations? Do you? Or, is there more of a reactive approach – post “episode” or outburst. Like this morning when you saw snow on your vehicle…
A while back I started to peel back the onion…figuring out exactly why I responded in a certain way. This one thing we all have to dig deep and do. In the example above, if you were to say that your outburst stemmed from tardiness-induced stress, this will not suffice. Why does running late cause this tremendous angst and get such a reaction?
Once you find this deeply rooted insecurity about running late, you must take a proactive approach to help prevent these emotions, otherwise they will continue to build up and you won’t even begin to question why you are feeling that way, only why that something happened to you in the first place ("How dare she!" or, "How dare it snow this early!").
I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine…I try to apply one thing to every decision or action that I loathe. It could be a minuscule task at work, or emptying the dishwasher, or leading a client meeting. It truly doesn’t matter. To stay grounded I have a tangible “Perspective Picture” and this picture also lives and travels with me wherever I go in my memory. Let’s take it back and describe this picture. Back in first grade, there was this tremendously talented and quite cute little girl. She was lighthearted, giving, and truly a calming human that was a pleasure to be around. At 6 years old she developed cancer and had to leave school. We all missed her dearly. One day she came to visit, sporting a hat to cover her head. I will never forget that day. The picture was snapped, by my mother, of us two holding hands. At the time, I had no perspective and could not grasp her, nor her family’s situation.
As an adult, I am able to empathize with that situation (or at least I try to). I keep this picture and the memory of her and all the other children out there who were dealt a different hand than I. Every time something surfaces (anger, frustration, confusion, irritation, (I could go on and on but you get my point)) I think of her and all the other children and their families who are fighting. Praying. Hoping. Loving. Embracing. Understanding. Mourning. Grieving. Teaching. How dare I get so upset over some measly snow fall in f*cking October, or you get upset for running late to pick up your beautiful daughter from daycare. It's not fair to me and my emotions, and certainly not fair to others.
Do me a favor? Peel back the onion and take a proactive approach. Embrace life and all that it has to offer - the amazing times and the really sh*tty ones…