I had a few bonus nighttime moments recently, with the kids tucked in nice and early after a hearty weekend of family celebrations.
I was excited because I was nearing the end of The Girl On The Train and wanted to finish it before leaving on yet another work trip. So I stayed up reading even though I, too, was absolutely pooped after our fun fun weekend. When I finished the book, I wearily made my way upstairs and nestled into bed—the pillow and sheets have never felt better; it was like they were a cool and welcome hug, beckoning me to finally close my eyes and sleep.
Literally thirty seconds after my head hit the pillow, my daughter came out of her room and into ours, struggling to sleep due to a cough and stuffy nose.
So much for the welcoming hug of sleep.
Since I learn this lesson over and over and over and over, I’ve decided the only possible solution is to remove stress from my life, period.
It’s so simple, see. Because here is the most predictable pattern of life, as far as I can tell: The Thing I Planned To Happen + The Things That Happen Unexpectedly That I Didn’t Plan For = The Way Things Actually Go.
And since The Way Things Actually Go often times always looks slightly different than The Things I Planned To Happen, I should just look forward to seeing the way things will actually go rather than stress about the way I planned things to happen.
It’s brilliant, I tell you!
Plane got cancelled and I’m stuck for hours? I certainly did NOT see that coming; that’s so unlike the airlines—what delicious book can I find to make the time pass? The day of housecleaning I finally was able to schedule thwarted by a sick child? Well, let’s put on some TV and snuggle up together. Who cares about that dust anyway, and who am I kidding that those legos would actually even stay put away? Presentation that I prepared for weeks gone amuck? What a fun opportunity to practice my improvisational skills and keep me on my toes!
Stress is just a perspective, it’s occurring to me now. So I can choose to stress when things go differently than planned, or I can simply choose another perspective. And I’m no genius, but I do know this: energy is contagious. So if I work hard at practicing my stress-be-gone approach to life, chances are the people in my direct vicinity will feel that energy too… and maybe they’ll allow themselves to be stress-free, too, even if just for a moment.
What perspective can you choose today?
For breakfast I had leftover tater tots. I mean, they’re pretty much just hash browns, right? Also, a grapefruit.
Author Profile: @erikap