Some days I find myself in a funk. Many times I can determine what placed me there, other times not so much. More often than not, the heaviness and big black cloud overhead is caused by my choices during the current day, or even a series of choices from the week leading up to the yucky day. It takes some real time, effort and skill to grow a beautiful mass of feeling sorry for yourself.
Bad feelings are bred in many ways. It is found in how we talk to others. It is found in what we spend our time on. It is plopped down in the middle of who we embed ourselves in the company of on a routine basis. If we spend our time procrastinating, steeped in idle gossip, or giving into Debbie Downer head talk, then it is no wonder our days go from ok to “meh” in about 3.2 seconds.
I was reminded of this recently when a cable repairman came to my home. I was not in the best of moods but this older man was pleasant enough and kept up a friendly chatter although I was really not in the mood to establish a conversation with him. I just wanted my cable fixed. I had been having the same issues for many months, had been dealing with modem problems, resorted to using the hotspot on my phone just to get my work done at all, and I had finally just bit the bullet and resorted to calling the cable company out to repair it. I had gotten to the point when I sat down at my computer, no matter the time of day, I was already feeling a rising anxiety thinking I may or may not be able to complete the online work I needed to do in the session because I would lose connection halfway through so many times. I had been the same old route over and over…I knew the most common scenario by heart. Start and stop…start and stop…
My repairman was of Hispanic nationality, and had a very thick accent, so I found myself having to listen a bit more intently to understand him when he was explaining what the problem was with my internet. All I knew was I had a deep frustration over the modem clicking on and off eleventy-million times a day. But he was going through the whole gamut of what the problem was, why I was experiencing the issues, how he planned to repair it and what the final result would be.
I was wondering why he was even taking the time to explain all of it to me when he said ” You know…this cable company…they have new rules. They take us through the big hoops. They have us come out again and again. It fixes no problem.” He shook his head and then said “I been doing this cable company 10 years. I know what fix it, they not know how to go in straight line.” I must have looked confused for a moment because then he said ” I tell my wife ‘it make no good sense. They do this (reaching over his head with his right hand to touch his left ear) to fix when they could easy do this (reaching with his left hand to touch his left ear).’ ”
I laughed so hard when he said that. And you know, later after he fixed everything and left I had thought “Yeah, that’s just what I’ve been doing for months. Just creating chaos and hardship for myself.” By not calling right away I had spent months working in frustration and anxiety when I could have had it fixed, as it is now, and running like a champ.
I began to think about how many ways I frustrate myself. I listen to others fuss and complain about people they work for instead of just changing the subject quickly. I entertain idle gossip about another business owner or friend instead of stepping in or stepping up and shutting down the conversation in lieu of something more uplifting. I let paperwork pile up and then sigh when I see the stacks of unfinished business on my desk on a day when I could have been outside in the garden or spending time with my grandchildren. Rather than stopping a gossiping offender, I let others’ conversations go on hoping they will just monitor themselves and quit on their own. I become the dumping ground for them, then they walk away and I feel like a garbage can because I have heard too much, and it raised my level of stress internally, and they didn’t even realize what that conversation had done to both me and our own relationship. Rather than taking an hour daily to work on paperwork, I think I will eventually get to it, and shove it to the side waiting for a block of time that never comes.
It’s time to change that. No more creating chaos by doing or not doing something the simplest way. I am bound and determined to find my path of least resistance that I have waiting for me out there! Most of the time, the path to my inner peace is the the one closest to me and speaks to me, I just need to lend it my ear.