I have had many years of learning to let go of what I don’t want, and going after what I do want in a clear and passionate way, both at work (as a teacher and trainer in The Son-Rise Program) and in my personal life. I am feeling pretty good at it at this stage of my life – letting go, feeling comfortable and going for what I want. However the other day I was reminded that I am a work in progress.
It’s Saturday morning, Bryn has gone over a friends house to oversee a multi-family tag sale that we are participating in, and I am left to get Jade and Malik fed, ready and out the door to take then to a local stables where they help, all day. Of course my day is all booked and nicely scheduled to get everything done that I want to. I have to drop Jade and Malik off, go to the bank, deliver stuff for the tag sale, play a soccer game in the over 40’s league I am in, pick up the weekly shopping on the way home and finally go to a fund-raising Hoe-Down (country dancing where you “take your partner by the hand…doe-see-doe them over the right shoulder…etc.”) in the evening. I am just throwing the last load of tag sale stuff into the back of the van when both Jade and Malik walk out of the house and close the front door behind them. Malik says to me “Do you have your keys dad?” to which I reply, “I don’t think so but the door should be open”. He then tries the door and it is locked!! At first I reassure myself that I have the keys and calmly look in my pockets and then in the ignition of the van. They are nowhere to be seen, which meant they were in the house behind the locked door!! At this point I start to walk around the house looking at all the ground floor windows and I am telling myself “It’s ok, a window will be open, all’s good.” They were all nicely closed and locked and at this moment I start see the plan of my day, that I had laid out so well, start to fall apart – at this point I start to get frustrated, saying a few choice words, even being annoyed at myself for closing all the windows and making it hard for me to break into my own house (well I wasn’t the clearest thinking person right then!) Fortunately there was a window slightly open on the second floor (we have no nearby neighbors or available ladder) and I had to be willing to risk breaking a leg if I slipped trying to get to it. Being undeterred and “needing” (yes “needing” to get what I want) I climb on a lawn bench, that I propped against the house, up onto a door over hang and after 5 minutes of pushing the screen out of the window I open it and climb in. At this point my frustration turns to relief because I was still going to get what I wanted – my day was going to go as I planned. I come out through the front door holding the van and house keys high above my head like the conquering hero that I thought I was! My plan was still intact and my happiness nicely sorted out. As we drove down the road, I say to the kids “Ok guys we can relax now it worked out” whereby Malik says to me “We are relaxed Dad, its you who were upset!”
He was right, even though it had all worked out in the end, I had decided to get upset when it looked like I would not get what I wanted and yet both Jade and Malik, who were excited about going to the stables, had decide to stay comfortable and easy with the same situation. It was a great reminder that part of life is about learning to let go and relaxing when faced with the possibility of not getting what you want or the times when you clearly do not get what you want (not letting the situation determine whether I am going to be happy or not). To tell the truth what I got upset about was pretty small compared to the situations in my life that I have learned to let go and relax (the situations and event were most definitely not what I wanted). How I decide to feel about any situation that I am faced with is a moment-to-moment decision – I am always deciding, whether I acknowledge that or not.
So I am happy to say I am a ‘work in progress’ and because I am deciding how I want to feel in each and every moment that I am a live, I will be a work in progress for the rest of my life.