What are the tricks you use to help you remember to choose the right attitude? When something doesn’t go as planned how do you help yourself pause in the moment and find the right response?
Last night I’d fallen asleep and was headed towards my first full night of excellent sleep since returning from our trip. Previous nights had resulted with me waking up part way through the night for extended periods of time, but last night was going to be different…
Then at 1:04am my cellphone went off. I tried to ignore it, but then the house phone rang. I got out of bed, checked them both and saw it was the alarm company for our office building in Winona. A quick call back to the security company alerted me to a very concerning issue – the temperature in our office had dropped significantly and we were facing potential issues like frozen pipes and unhappy tenants. It was apparent that I was going to have to get dressed, put gas in the car, drive 30-ish minutes to Winona, figure out and fix the issue, drive back home, and then attempt to catch a couple of hours of sleep. As I hung up the phone I was faced with looking at the situation through one of two lenses.
This one: You’ve got to be kidding me!!! ARGH!! This sucks, I was just about to sleep. Now I’ll never fall back asleep. This was the worst idea ever. Why did I answer the phone? They would’ve called someone else and they could’ve dealt with it. Why tonight? Why not one of the nights I couldn’t sleep? ARGH!!!
Or this one: That’s kind of a bummer. Oh well, I guess it’s time for me to earn some of the money we’ve made on this. No biggie, I’ll figure this out and go back to sleep. Even if I don’t sleep as well tonight I’m sure I’ll sleep better after yoga tomorrow night. I’m sure glad that I got u and called back before they called anyone else. The team’s got a lot going on and they could probably use a good night of sleep. How could I make this more enjoyable? Yup, totally going to eat some chocolate and listen to some podcasts while I sleep. No big deal, this is part of the life I’ve chosen to live. I’m thankful for all of the past nights of sleep I had before vacation was over, I’ve got some extra zzz’s in the tank.
So I’ll make this admission, I didn’t choose perfectly or stay looking through the correct lens the entire time. When I caught myself sighing or getting frustrated I forced myself to laugh and then went back to the right mindset. You know what? It actually wasn’t that bad or the end of the world. No biggie. In a weird way I actually felt a sense of pride when I got home about keeping most of my focus through the correct lens.
There’s always a choice on which lens to look through. I’m a long ways from perfect in choosing it, but times like this help me see that I’m slowly but surely making progress. I’m also thankful for moments like this as they allow me an opportunity to practice and improve.
Off to bed for this guy. Maybe tonight’s the first full night of sleep? No worries either way, life is awesome!