April Showers

I would like to venture off my talks about skin care and massage today and relate an experience I recently had.

How many of you have experienced something like this?

Last Saturday my day started out as usual meeting a friend for coffee. I dragged my heavy coat along because the forecast was rain, and I like to be prepared. Hesitating, I took my coat into Starbucks with me, thinking I might get caught in a downpour on the way out, but fearing I’d leave it behind. (a bad habit of mine) I had a lovely visit with my friend, and we continued to chat happily on our way back to our cars.

Arriving at my office, I noticed a text from my friend saying “I think you left your jacket…” I had just enough time to zip back to the coffee shop and not be late for my first appointment, but I was irked nonetheless. At the coffee shop. I ran in and scooped my jacket off the chair I had occupied, grateful it was still there, but still kicking myself for leaving it behind. Strike one for the day.

I tossed my coat in the trunk and got back in the car, deciding to check my messages before taking off. There was one text – an important appointment I had was canceling, one I had prepared hard for and now couldn’t get back the time. I started the engine and began the drive back to my office, feeling frustrated and disheartened. Strike two.

Still grumbling to myself, I drove into the parking lot of my office, which happens to be in a busy shopping center.

Now, I’m a stickler about parking. The first thing I noticed was one car had taken up two spots- literally parking in the middle of two stalls. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. And have you noticed that, like airplane seats, parking spaces are shrinking in size at an alarming rate? I finally found a spot at the end of the lot (of course the furthest from my office) and squeezed in between two other other cars. As I opened my door, the passenger in the car next to me opened theirs and our doors collided with a “thunk”.

Expletives exploded in my brain. This was strike three for sure. Alighting from our cars, the driver and passenger and I assessed the damage, the driver giving me a cross look. But, luckily we concurred there was no damage to either car, and we strode off in opposite directions.

At this moment it occurred to me that I had a choice. The day was getting off to a rough start. I could greet my coworkers and clients grumpily, or I could decide to start over. I could either be resentful or gratitude. Do I want to stay mad at myself for leaving my coat behind (again!), or be grateful I got it back? Do I want to find a constructive activity since an appointment canceled, or do I want to complain because of all the time wasted? Can I focus on how nice it was to see my friend, and how great it was that neither car had any damage after the little mishap? (which is actually kind of funny once you think about it). One thing I have learned in life is that resentment casts clouds over joy. My attitude shifted. I was no longer having a bad day – but a good day with some bad moments. Besides, it was still early!

Grateful for a more positive attitude, I went on with my day. I can’t say it was all smooth going, but it felt good to remember that I can choose my interpretation of my experiences. I was however, looking forward to the end of the day and going home. Throughout the day, rain clouds formed and resulted in some sprinkles, but I never needed my coat.

Grateful to be home that evening I happily thought about what awaited me. Dinner, and a little TV. My two precious kitties. Opening the door, I stepped inside and immediately felt something squish under my shoe. I tossed my coat on the couch and looked down. My Siamese Blu had coughed up a hair ball. Welcome home.