What would it be like to be un-upsettable?
I was pondering this after hearing the claim that the new frontier in personal development is centered on mastering our emotional states, or in other words, learning to consciously choose our emotional responses in different situations.
I can totally see how this could be a handy skill. (Just think of yourself driving on the freeway when someone cuts you off. Okay, now can you see why this would be helpful?)
Another word for this is "unflappable." I love this term, and would love for it to describe me! Unfortunately, I have a long, long way to go in mastering my emotions enough to be considered unflappable. Some examples:
Computer is running slowly: flap, flap!
Freeway "issues": flap, flap!
People not RSVPing: flap, flap!
The state of our school system: flap, flap, flap!
My husband saying hello when I haven't eaten in a while: flap, flap, flappity, flap, flap, flap!
You get my point. This is a GOOD area for me to focus some personal growth efforts.
With this intention firmly in mind today, the universe sent me some interesting challenges, any one of which would have normally sent me over the edge. Fortunately, I was (mostly) prepared to choose a different emotional response.
We forgot Lucas' $20 BPA-free Sigg sippy cup at the playground. I realized it right before reaching our house, and we had to go all the way back to get it, adding another 25 minutes to our drive. My response: There was a slight fluttering at the moment of realization, and then I calmly did a u-turn and picked it up. Yay! One point for me!
My MS Word program kept shutting down and sending off its little error reports every time I tried to write and save my blog post, costing me 20 minutes of precious writing time during Lucas' nap. My response: A bit of flapping, along with some huffing and puffing, too. Then I remembered I was trying to be un-upsettable, so I looked at the sunny skies outside and took some deep breaths. Maybe half a point on this one.
Lucas ate gravel at the park. Hello?! What's that about? It was small gravel, sand-like even, but still! Eew! My response: I told him not to do it again, and he looked me in the eye and took another pinch. One point for staying calm and redirecting him to some crackers instead.
- And finally, for the day's finale … I locked my car keys in my trunk, 45 minutes from home, right before Lucas' dinner time, with no more snacks on hand. My response: Only slight flapping and forehead smacking. Then I called my insurance company to discover that I was covered for the unlocking service. We were on the road within 25 minutes. One point for me for not losing it on that one.
That totals 3 ½ out of 4 possible points in my arbitrary scoring system. Not bad for my first day, and especially for such an eventful one! Every issue still got resolved, and I saved myself a lot of stress by accepting the reality of each situation, and then responding to it calmly.
What sets you to flapping? Or are you already unflappable? Want to share your points?
(This is day 18 of a daily writing experiment in which I explore a particular topic in depth over 21 days, inspired by Colleen Wainwright's 21-Day Salutes. In this case, the topic is breaking through the wall of limitations.)