This morning I slept in. Damn my phone. I really need a new one. (want, need, want, need?)
My once beloved mobile device has decided it’s a super-good idea that when fully charged one ought to turn oneself off. Maybe it’s an attempt to conserve all that lovely energy it just filled up on, maybe it’s the electronic equivalent of a food coma? For myself, as one of the thousands who must to charge the supposedly smart critter every night, this poses quite the first-world conundrum. My short term solution to this problem (I’m sure the alarm used to go even when it was turned off??) is to leave it partially charged but with enough juice to get the old girl through the night, so the alarm will still go, so I don’t sleep in….
Last night I dutifully checked it before turning out the light. Sweet, 50% – plenty to last when it’s just sitting there, patiently counting down the minutes until 5.50am when it gets to perform the important task of gently rousing me from my slumber with the soothing sounds of my ‘Gentle Spring Rain’ alarm tone.
Only it didn’t happen that way today.
Turns out I’d forgotten to turn the wifi and mobile data off and all manner of notifications had occurred overnight and she just couldn’t hold on. *sigh*
I awoke at 6.45am, instantly aware – as you usually are – that it was NOT pre 5.50am and I was not awakening bright eyed and bushy tailed before my alarm had even had a chance to go. “It’s too light, something’s not right here” were my first thoughts and after a quick check of the watch, “No shower for me this morning” was the next as I headbutted my pillow.
Mildly irritated I continued on with my morning. At this point some of you might be wondering why I need so much time in the morning when I start work at 8am. I don’t really DO mornings all that well. I move rather slowly and I loathe rushing around. I can achieve all the necessary components to get out the door in a much shorter timeframe, I just prefer not to.
Midway down my long and bumpy driveway, bang on time for work (yes!), I smell….what is that? Is that… Oh good god no! Spinach smoothie! Why can I smell smoothie!?
I can smell it because it is currently escaping out of the not-quite-closed top of my protein shaker. It’s creeping down the passenger seatbelt click-in thingee, into that tiny awkward space between the seat and the centre console that even my Carnie-like small hands can’t reach, down the side of the seat adjustment track to pool in the rear passenger footwell in a thick, bright green puddle of pureed spinach, banana and protein. That’s just SWELL!
My first reaction was classically knee-jerk. “Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me? NOW?” (because there’s a ‘good’ time for something like that to happen right?). I was no longer mildly irritated.
And off Neil (my mind) went on a tirade of how unjust this was, how typical. My foot went down on the accelerator in a burst of frustrated annoyance. My head felt like my brain had expanded to the limits of my skull and my chest was tight. I figured I’d clean it up at work and kept going. All the while Neil is almost exulting in this self-absorbed woe-is-me diatribe.
I get out onto my windy, uneven country road and am travelling slightly too fast, not dangerously so but faster than usual, when I come up behind a tractor. Not just a car but a tractor. Tractors by their very nature do not travel fast. Neil’s story has some new fodder! “Of course this happens today when I need to get to work and clean up this mess, get out of my goddam way, there’s NEVER traffic on my road, there’s a straight coming up and I’ll pass…..there’s an oncoming car!?! WTF – WHY TODAY!!”
And that’s when I literally laughed out loud.
I realized I was getting all caught up in the drama of my catastrophizing mind. Thanks to the mindfulness tricks and tips I’ve learned and my daily meditation practice, I was able to separate myself from the story Neil insisted was life or death all-important. I was able to observe it like a movie playing out on a screen and disengage from the feeling of it. I remembered I can CHOOSE how I react and feel about any situation that happens to me. I am slowly but surely training my brain to remain calm, giving it space to breathe and reassess and make that choice instead of being swept up into playing the lead actor in that movie.
Prior to starting my journey on this path those events this morning would have likely affected my whole day. Remember that Law of Attraction thing I mentioned in my first post? I could have been pissed off and short-tempered all day and I have no doubt other events would have shown up in my experience to reinforce that mindset. We all have those days when we think “I should have just stayed in bed today” or “It’s just been one thing after another today”. Instead I chose to let it go, and even see the funny side. As my work colleagues greeted me when I finally got to my desk and asked how I am today, I was able to grin and honestly say I’m really good.
I gotta note, as inconvenient as the smoothie incident is, it’s not exactly life-shattering is it? But in our modern world where most of us live in a constant state of low-level stress, these small things can send us flying off the rails, or at the very least cause us additional stress and anxiety. I’m certainly not saying I have this new found super-power all the time in any situation. Not YET anyway. Life happens, and it will continue to happen. I’m just so grateful that I’m learning how to become better at staying on top of the board and surfing the waves instead of getting dumped on my arse with half a lung-full of water and sand in places sand should never be!
Love and burpees everyone