As it happens, every high has a low. I'm not sure exactly when it started, but it was sometime this morning, right after I got to work and I saw [Anonymous], and then words came spewing out of his mouth -- okay, I guess I do know when it started.
Initially, my morning was going quite well. I was tired, so I wasn't quite as chipper as I would have liked to have been, but I was still in a good mood. In my sleepy state, I couldn't get moving as fast as I needed to, even though I got up a little earlier than normal. I found my drag following me into and out of the shower, and I almost didn't have time for my morning meditation, but I did get it in.
Then I got to work, exactly on time, and suddenly -- everyone else's failure to accomplish what they were supposed to do the day before came to be my problem, and I had to hurry and put out fires. To boot, the support I had to lean on couldn't be there for me because they had a server go down.
I was ready to grab my monitor and -- well, in the past, I might have slammed it down. Okay, I actually did that once, to my own personal monitor. That was when a 17 inch CRT monitor was a boat anchor -- and highly expensive. Needless to say, that put an end to that device. (I almost forgot about that -- kinda wish I had, actually.)
But today, I didn't REACT. Instead, I put my feet flat on the ground, hands flat on my desk, and took a few deeps breaths. I grounded myself in NOW. And then, I RESPONDED. Keyword: respond. There's a big difference.
There are times when reacting is okay; I get burned on a stove, I jerk back (probably with some cursing). I bumped a bee hive, I run around swatting at the air (and shrieking like a terrified little kid). Etc., etc. Those are move and move quick gut reactions. Those are okay.
But most of the time, I just need to respond. Punching Mr. Anonymous in the mouth, or throwing a monitor at him, would not have been a good idea. Besides, Mr. A. could have me removed from my job. I kind of need my job; not to mention that I like it.
The reality is, I'm not used to just "responding." Again, in the past, I would have reacted, and then realized -- usually with another reaction, then a realization, and yet another reaction, and so on and so forth. You see where that's going.
To my point, this began the downward slope. The dreaded trough that's filled with inner arguments; who's fault it was, why did I have to fix their mistake, and besides, "I don't make enough for this kind of treatment!" But interestingly (for me anyway), I recognized it. I could SEE that it was coming -- so I responded by becoming mindful and grounding myself in the NOW.
My day had gone from "pretty good" (an 8 out of 10), to "what the ****!" (a 3), back to a "let's just get it done, and then it will be over" (a 6 or 7).
Learning to respond instead of react can be a difficult thing to do; and sometimes, it's more obvious than other times. But I noticed that when I do respond to a problem, I find solutions faster. This keeps the low from being as low as it could have been, and consequently, keeps the high at a closer reach, for the next cycle.
Gratitude - Day 12 (Thursday)
The kids. Again, I know -- but I just had a VERY LONG TEXT conversation with the youngest girl. She's a very direct young lady, right to the point. I'm very proud of her. I thought I had lost her years ago, during all of the turmoil. For years she wouldn't even talk to me, or said very little. It is different today. Although we don't talk as often as I would like, when we do talk, it is usually pretty heartfelt. <sigh> I'm very blessed to have such a close relationship with my wife's children. They could have all just walked away from me after her death, but they didn't.