The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men
Let me tell you a story. :)
Last month, on a Monday night our family congregated around the table to figure out the plans for the next day. 5 people, 4 cars and everyone needs to be at different places in the afternoon. Oh, and my son promised his friend that he would give him a ride home after school.
Thankfully, our individual plans we staggered enough that we were able to come up with a plan without to much inconvenience to anyone.
And then…..I go to my appointment and as I’m pulling out of the parking space to leave, I realize I have no brakes. I’m able to maneuver into another parking space and I call Tristan to come and get me.
Ok. No big deal. We can still work with this. He’ll drop me off at the office for my appointment there and come back and get me later. No biggie. He even gets the tow truck scheduled to meet his time frame.
And then…..The tow truck is going to be an hour later.
So....new plan. After Emily has gone to her appointment and dropped off Isaiah’s friend, she can come back and pick up Isaiah and me.
I call Emily to arrange to arrange that. When she answers the phone, she is bawling her eyes out. She slammed her finger in the car door and is freaking out. I get her calmed down, ascertain that her finger is OK, tell her how to take care of it, and make sure she is up to driving to get us.
And then…. Emily calls back a few minutes later. Her hand and arm are numb and she is panicking.
So...new plan. (Remember, I'm at the office and I have no car.) I’ll see if Grandma or Grandpa, who live nearby, are home and can come check on her and I’ll call Tristan and tell him to head home just in case.
I get that all lined up and call Emily back. No answer. After multiple tries, she finally answers. (She dropped her phone and was having a hard time picking it up.) Grandpa arrives, and because of his medical background is able to determine that she is shock and there isn’t anything wrong with her finger besides it being badly bruised.
Tristan walks in the door a few minutes later and checks things out. Emily goes home with Grandpa. Tristan leaves to meet the tow truck. I am still stuck at the office and Isaiah still needs to be picked up. Hrmmm....
Enter our oldest, who is on the other side of town but thankfully is done with his commitments and he is able to rescue us.
You can’t make this stuff up. Yes, this actually happened. No, I did not tell it to you to get your sympathy. Though it you want to give it, I won’t stop you. ;p
I told you this story because I have a question for you.
If this had happened to you, how do you think you would have reacted as the day went on and one plan after another fell apart?
Most people would be frustrated, upset, angry, etc. They might be yelling, cursing or in tears by the end of the day. They would be stressed. Worried. Their shoulders tight with tension. Maybe have a headache or feel the need to lose themselves in a drink or two. The evening would be spent rehashing the experience and would be ruined. Why? Because life was out of your control.
Thankfully, this isn’t how we responded.
By the time I called our oldest, I was laughing. Besides being worried when Emily didn’t pick up the phone, I never once got angry or frustrated or had any of the “normal” reactions. Aside from Emily, everyone else was fine too.
Why? We were able to roll with the changes and let ourselves be OK with not being in control.
This experience really sank it deep in my mind, my heart, my energy that the only thing I can actually control is my actions or reactions.
I can plan all I want but as much as I plan, I can’t control all that happens in my life.
I can, however, decide how to act or react.
I can decide to practice being happy without conditions being met or being in control.
I can decide to practice finding the positive in all that happens.
Because that is what feels good to me. You get to decide what your practice is going to be.
Have an amazing day,