This ‘rambling’ post was penned a month or two ago when I was still living in Sydney. However, the content is still relevant, even that pertaining to the dog (yep there’s a dog in it). Just sub the dog for one cat with severe anxiety issues who likes to meow and scratch at my window in the dead of the night. Repeatedly. It seems I’m being stalked by animals with slightly whacked personalities….
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Not always a welcome comment, but true nonetheless One of the biggest sources of stress for me has been things out of my control. Events or circumstances that I can’t do anything about. After years of angst I have finally (or at least for the most part) learned that there is absolutely no point wasting time wishing you could change something that you clearly can’t. Tonight is a very good example of that. It’s some godforsaken hour and our neighbors yappy dog has decided to begin its very long and arduous opera recital. For the hundredth time in the past month.
The dog may have had the luxury of napping all day, however the rest of the neighborhood isn’t party to that. Why, some people have to get up before 6am and would very much like to get a decent nights sleep before then. Some people also like sleeping and would prefer to do that than listen to incessant barking. But as much as I would like to trudge outside, bleary eyed and rocking a bird’s nest ‘do, to throttle the damn dog, it’s not going to happen. One can dream.
It’s fine to spend a few minutes considering how you’ll storm over to your neighbors, bang on the front door and have a few choice words with them. Spending any longer than that isn’t worth your while. It only leads to further pent up frustration. It’s time to move on.
The best place to start? Try to flip the situation on its head – turn it into a more positive one. Supermarket out of your favourite cereal? Take the chance to try a new one. Car stuck in traffic? Enjoy the opportunity to belt out the words to your favourite song. Again. Can’t sleep? Treat yourself to a hot chocolate and allow yourself to read another chapter of that book you just can’t put down. Sure, there will be times when no matter how you look at it, the situation sucks. You missed the bus, it’s pouring with rain and you forgot your umbrella. Console yourself with the knowledge that a few years down the track it’ll make a good story and you’ll laugh yourself silly over it. No point spending unnecessary minutes with your knickers in a twist.
Right at the moment you’re probably thinking “well she’s being all high and mighty saying all this, but does she follow her own advice?” What do you think? Of course not. There are occasions when I still spit the dummy over things outside of my control that go ‘wrong’. However, I’m trying to reduce the frequency of such occurances. To actively try and find a silver lining in the issue. Like tonight. Instead of lying there, scowling at the ceiling, I’m writing this post. Yes, the dog is driving me bonkers but I’m not going to give it the satisfaction of turning my evening sour. It doesn’t deserve it. Boy that sounded bitchy. I’m using the awake time to do something productive (though the quality of what I’m writing is very questionable at this hour) knowing that sleep will be that little bit sweeter when it finally comes. Hopefully I’m also saving myself from a few premature grey hairs in the process. I found one when I was ten and I swear it was due to fretting that my Hogwarts letter wouldn’t come. It didn’t. But I survived. And mum pulled out the hair.
Sometimes we need to trust the powers that be – whoever they are – no matter how unfair the situation may feel. Don’t become downtrodden about the unfortunate turn of events – consider them as a challenge and take them in your stride as best you can.