We made it to Friday. And that’s my highlight. (Scrooge, much?)
I can’t say that February has been particularly kind so far. Things have been rather chaotic on all fronts to say the least, and because of that I find myself off balance and not feeling quite like myself. Always the one to stop and ask myself, “what is the lesson here?” – I’ve spent the last few days processing the answer. Consciously, I know that anytime something isn’t going the way I’d like it to (or how I think it’s supposed to) it’s because I need to change my perspective or how I choose to react to the situation first and foremost. Given that I’m completely aware of this, I still have a hard time executing it at times. And this is because I get stuck on the “why?” and the injustice of it all, when ultimately the answer is that there are things that are just out of my control. This I know: address what you can and let go of what you can’t. What’s frustrating is that if I know this, why is it so hard to actually do sometimes?
On an especially lousy morning 2 days ago, my week saw an improvement in the simplicity of unexpected kindness. A colleague of mine walked over and asked me to join her for a coffee (let’s overlook the fact that I shouldn’t be drinking coffee right now recovering from a really nasty stomach virus). This is not too unusual – some of the gals and I grab coffee in the morning together a few times a week. What was kind about this particular excursion, was that she not only treated me to coffee, but asked me to sit outside and just talk for a while.
It’s pretty amazing how stepping away from my crappy morning, and indulging in one of my favorite addictions (iced vanilla lattes) over conversation about some of the things that had been bothering me lately and hearing about what’s going on in her life instantly improved my mood. The dialogue was at once helping me release a little pent-up frustration while removing the cloud over my head as I listened to her share her thoughts as well. In talking to her, it seemed like both of our spirits needed to take a deep breath and refocus. I could literally feel my perspective changing: See, things aren’t so bad, you’re sitting outside on a gorgeous day sipping one of your favorite things, enjoying someone’s kindness and company. Smile, everything will be okay!
What I’ve come to learn about myself when I get riled up over something is that it oftentimes helps to just
vent like crazy talk, to have my voice heard, even if I cannot change the situation. There seems to be some satisfaction in that for me. The funny thing is that this is not easy. I consider myself to be a pretty outgoing, opinionated, friendly person, but I’m not your classic open book that readily opens up to many people, and if I do – I do so very carefully.
So, again what’s the lesson here? You cannot change your perspective, if you can’t let go of what you can’t control anyway. (That’s a mouthful!)
It seems I found a way (out of thousands, I’m sure) to get the ball rolling on changing my perspective when things get sticky. Just taking a step back and intentionally doing something to alter my state of mind (i.e. joining a friend for coffee) released my attachment the “why?’ and the injustice of it all that I was re-hashing at the time. It even helped to constructively talk about some of the annoyances that had been bothering me that particular morning. It was through our conversation that I was reminded we all have “sticky” situations.
I’m not all suggesting that you find the next person available and verbally throw-up all over them, hashing and re-hashing things that happened weeks ago – but there really is something to that whole notion of enjoying someone’s company or talking about what’s on your mind if you feel comfortable to do so. Feeding off another person’s energy, advice, sympathetic ear, and kindness took me out of my self-induced funk. I found myself more present than I had been all morning.
The funny thing is that while I expressed my gratitude for the coffee and conversation, she’ll never know how that small act of kindness and simple invitation was the highlight of my week. I can’t say that the rest of that day or this even week went off without a hitch from there, because it didn’t. However, those 45 minutes was a lesson learned in the power of perspective. And I suspect, it will be one that I’ll spend this lifetime perfecting.
I love this simple, yet dynamic question above as I wrap up this post that I came across on Pinterest last night. Will most of what has made this week less than stellar matter in a year? The answer is no. Somehow outside of an iced latte and a good chat with a friend, my perspective just became all the more sharper.
Have a great weekend, guys! xx