Reflection: I don’t know about you, but I like to start my day with a hot cup of coffee. Well, truth be known, I like to sip coffee all day long. Decaf – for the most part – so I’m not jangling from a high wire by high noon.
This morning I set the coffee to drip as usual, and went about getting my day started elsewhere in the house. Hearing the beep that signaled the coffee was ready, I returned to the kitchen to pour my first cuppa java. What I discovered was an empty pot and a kitchen counter covered from one end to the other in a slick of steaming brown liquid. Apparently the flow-through flap on the pot lid jammed, and the coffee had nowhere to go but over the top.
Cleaning up a swill-spill was not how I’d planned to start my day – especially before my first cup of coffee. I muttered a few choice words as I mopped up the mess.
I also recognized the situation as one of life’s moments of choice. I could feed my frustration, let the annoyance overflow, seeping into the rest of the day like the coffee itself; or I could take things in stride and let it go.
Action: At the root of our frustrations about life’s unexpected challenges lies a quirky little belief that we’re somehow entitled to a world that runs smoothly all day every day. In fact, speed bumps, detours and breakdowns are a normal part of life. The real challenge is to keep it all in perspective.
Here are five ways to let it go and sidestep a frustration hangover that can set a downer tone for the rest of the day. (I used all of these this morning!)
- Consider yourself lucky that you got your ‘Speed Bump Du Jour’ out of the way so early in the day.
- Remind yourself that if this is all that goes wrong today, you’re one lucky person.
- Register the experience as another life foible story and add it to your ‘Laughs On Me’ collection.
- Contrast what just happened to you with a major real-life challenge currently being faced by someone you know.
- Ease up on the loaded language. An overflowing coffee pot is an inconvenience, not a disaster! So are many other everyday hiccups.
And finally, whatever you do, resist turning the experience into yet another entry in your “See, I told you the world’s out to get me!” journal.
Just let it go! Now, where’s my coffee?
Quote Of The Week: If it’s not fatal, it’s no big deal. – Fran Vincent
Resource Of The Week: Here’s a brief Let It Go article by psychologist Linda Sapadin with a few more suggestions on strategies we can use to let things go.
By the way, I can’t believe in doing a web search on the phrase, Let It Go, how many songs there are out there with this title. Seems it’s a message we need to hear over and over and over again, my friends!
Readers Write: In response to the first Pause message of the year, Less Really Can Mean More, Pause reader KG writes:
I have being working away at reducing my ‘crap’ for a couple of years now. Fishing gear? Not likely to ever use that again! Bags of wool and material scraps – not! And the list goes on.
One thing I recently did is cancel my subscription to the daily newspaper. I listen to radio during the day and faithfully watch the news each night so by the time the paper arrives in the morning, it is flip, flip, done. Other than a couple of interesting OpEds (and not all that frequent) and the obits, the paper contains nothing I don’t already know. Since cancelling, I haven’t missed it at all and am relieved not to have all that paper clutter!