After a stressful, sleep-less month, I've found myself a bit more susceptible to environmental triggers than normal. I'm usually pretty good about keeping complaining to a minimum, observing people from afar, judging them in my head, laughing & moving on. Recently, though, I've been on edge. A ticking time bomb. Everything & everyone has been grating on me... and I've found myself being much more REACTIVE to the world. I don't like myself this way.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I know I'm bratty, so now I'm working on step two: the attitude adjustment. In my practice of being a better human, I'm trying to make the best of every situation, no matter how shitty. Here are five examples.
Traffic // I am fast. When I talk, type, drink, think & drive, I'm fast. And when I have to slow down, my body revolts. Needless to say, I have major road rage. The process of s l o w i n g d o w n has been good for me. When I'm caught in traffic, it's a good reminder to to switch my beta brain from go-go-go to slow-slow-slow. With the inertia of our lives physically stopped in a traffic jam, we are forced to just be. Be present. Be focused. We're not supposed to be checking our phones (but I've seen you sneaking Snapchats selfies, traffic neighbors.) We're stuck with audible entertainment & our own brains. So I use it as distraction free Joe Rogan Podcast time. I've been listening to Gabby Bernstein's book May Cause Miracles on Audible. I've been practicing my country twang when I sing Jolene along with Dolly Parton. (My windows are tinted- don't judge me.) And I've had some days where quiet seems the best solution. And it has been. So instead of getting white-knuckled on the steering wheel, traffic has become my new zen. I don't think it's honest to say I look forward to traffic, but in the surrender, it has become my sacred time.
Mean people // At work, I am the person who handles the problem people. It's not my team's job to talk to our upset clients and since I'm the 'lady in charge,' I often have to be the bad cop- telling people 'no' when all they want is a 'yes.' But when it comes to dealing with these grumps, I have a new game. The game is how quickly I can get them to fall in love with me. Here's how it goes: I let them talk & while they're talking, I'll doodle things like "breathe," "be calm," "have a better day," "please don't be mean." So really, I'm half listening but focusing my energy in the doodle & not in their negativity. Which allows me to be super energetic for my first opportunity to speak, where I fall all over myself to apologize. Helpful hint for life: apologizing does not mean admitting guilt. It just means you're sorry. For what's happened, for they way they're feeling, for their negative outlook on life. So I apologize. A lot. It completely disarms them. I don't even talk about the issue they have. Not yet. I pick out something they mentioned in thier rant, like... "You mentioned you're stressed because you have to travel for work. Where have you been traveling to? Oh, Seattle? I heard its BEAUTIFUL this time of year! So great that you can see the country with the important work that you do." And then all the sudden they're like, 'wait, what?' And before they have time to think, I seal the deal with: "I want to make this better for you. What do you think a good solution would be?" Usually, I hear crickets on the other end of the phone line. But now the conversation is about throwing fish in Pike's Market and not about their problem. So in 3-5 minutes, I've changed the energy & made them fall in love with me, with our company, with Seattle, with anything... just a little bit. And with this game, I don't dread these awful, argumentative phone calls like I used to. I just push some good vibes through the phone line & enjoy my smug sense of accomplishment when they're not as mean the next time we talk.
No internet // So, we're having an issue in our house. It's called we are unable to have internet and cable at the moment. And GOOD LORD it's annoying. Want to download a book to your Kindle? Nope. Wanna watch reality TV? Hah. How about publishing a blog post? Good luck. The only bright spot is that it's totally highlighted my addiction & now I'm slowly weening myself off the drug slowly. Not being a slave to the noise that is social media & the internet has forced me to focus on books. Quiet time. To live without background noise from the TV. It has forced me to reevaluate the options for my evening- where my choices could have included a Real Housewives marathon vs. a long run vs. frozen yogurt date, I've eliminated one of the options leaving it to only 50% chance that I'll be a sloth. When I do need internet, I've ventured out to coffee shops in the area seeking free WiFi & an outlet, so I'm exploring. The other awesome thing is that without the Google's unlimited answers to life's questions, we've been forced to use our brains. I feel like it's a good exercise for your brain to recall/exercise over the complete ensemble cast of The Royal Tennenbaum's, if chem trails are a real thing, or what team Troy Tulowitski turned a triple-play on in 2007 (it was the Braves.) It's been challenging, but refreshing. We're on day 14 with no end in site. I'll let you know how positive I feel about this in another week.
Being busy // Working 12 to 14 to 16 hour days doesn't leave a lot of time for normal life. Like picking up my dry cleaning, doing general laundry, meal prepping, bill paying, sleeping. What's good about being so busy is that it's allowed me to recognize what is really important, to outsource & to automate. I can't deal with scheduling a time to sit down and pay bills, so my online bank account does it for me. I can't make it to the car wash during business hours, so I paid my friend in beer to drive my car there for me. I realized it's not the biggest deal if I don't get my eyebrows waxed for 3 months, because the Cara Delevigne full-brow look is in. Right?
Paying bills // I've really been struggling with staying in an abundant mindset recently. It feels like no matter how hard I work, there is nothing to show for it at the end of each month. Every month is just like the one prior, with money going towards bills, food, drinks, the same experiences each month. So obviously, my first priority needs to be ownership. I've chosen my debts: my car, my rent, my cell phone, Spotify. Step two is recognizing that I am choosing to give funds in exchange for things I really love: my car is bad ass, I pay rent so I can see the ocean from my bed, and oops, I picked the worst cell phone provider ever but it allows me to listen to any song I want thanks to my $10/month Spotify subscription. And I could stop paying all of these things by removing them from my life. But I don't want to. I like these things. What am I complaining for? Step three is adulterated gratitude. I have health insurance. I have the ability to work to pay these bills. I have limbs that support me in the gym so I can squeeze every drop of sweat out of my membership dues. These things, these opportunities, this technology... everything is RAD. When you come from a place of childlike wonder for all these things, they become a lot more special and less like a burden. And on top of everything else, I've made paying bills more fun by paying myself for really specific things. I have bunch of sub-accounts set up in my Capitol One Savings account that are kind of embarrassing- like an account for this watch. And one for this purse. But whatever- when my bills get paid, I not only get myself in the grateful headspace- I throw an extra $10 towards my trip to France & all the sudden "paying bills" becomes trading currency for opportunity. And for a bad ass collection of accessories.
It's all about where your head is at, people! Trying to shift mine in the right direction everyday... What are some other annoying things that are secretly awesome? Tell me!