You take the time to plan out all the details. You want to make sure nothing is missed. Then, stuff happens. Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, things don’t go as planned. So, what do you do next?
Get disappointed and give up? Or use your new environment to plan your next step?
I have a Sunday report that I have to send off for work. I have until the afternoon before it needs to be sent, but I don’t want it to impede with my Sunday’s time with my family. I like having that day to just relax and don’t want the task hanging over my head. I set the alarm clock at 5:30 am, take my shower and start writing the report with the intention to get it done before I have to get ready to go to church.
This way, after church I can spend quality time with my family.
One particular Sunday, it didn’t go as planned. I was finishing my shower and closed off the water and then went to walk out. Except, the door didn’t open. We had just changed the shower door a few weeks back. Somehow, the metal screw holding the door got loose on the other side of the door. It was pinning the door shut. I tried everything.
I didn’t want to force the door too hard for fear the glass would shatter. It was early, and I am usually awake for about 2 hours before anyone else wakes up. I tried calling out, but I take my shower downstairs and the bedrooms are all upstairs. Plus, I was listening to some music in the shower.
My first thought was my timeline. On Sundays, every minute counts. I usually finish my report with not a minute to spare before I have to get dressed, ensure my kids are ready and rush off to church. This unplanned event would mess up my morning.
My initial reaction was to freak out a little since I knew I would be stuck in a shower with nowhere to go. My shower is pretty small with no wiggle room.
I realized that there was nothing really I could do. I tried to manipulate the metal screw but the door wouldn’t budge. There were two ways to look at this and only one way would be productive. If I let this ruin my morning, it wouldn’t put me in a good mood for my afternoon with my family. So I tried to relax and waited, while knocking on the shower wall every once in a while.
Finally, my oldest son heard the knocking from his room and came down. I asked him to get his Dad and tell him I was stuck in the shower. My husband had to pick the lock on the bathroom door and then unscrew the metal piece that was keeping me locked in.
In the end, I still wrote the report and got to church on time. It only delayed me by about 30 minutes so I pushed forward some other Sunday morning activities that I normally do.
I know this is a simple example and life can derail us a lot more seriously. But, you always have choices on how you choose to respond. It will not always be easy. Events can be frustrating.
I had a few other frustrating events happen that caught me off guard. I let the disappointment come, then decided to change how I perceived what happened.
What growth opportunity can you take from each unexpected frustration?
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