Last weekend when my mom went on vacation I was put on dog duty.
This is my adorable dog, Kona:
Kona is great.
Until 7:30 AM. Every. Single. Morning.
The minute I open my eyes, Kona immediately jumps off of the bed and starts flailing around the room.
Suddenly, he has to pee. His 8 pound body fills with anxiety as he dashes to the front door and starts thrashing his toys around furiously.
If I so much as take a minute to, oh I don't know... WAKE UP, Kona will seize the opportunity to pee on something, ANYTHING, in the house.
That dog can be a fluffy little pain in the ass, if I do say so myself (though I do love him tremendously).
But there's nothing I can do about it!
He's a DOG, for Christ's sake, not a computer scientist (though this next picture of him may prove me wrong).
The point is, I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER MY DOG.
And... as it turns out, I also don't have any control over traffic lights, jack ass drivers, computer glitches, paper cuts, the fact that I forgot to take a shower this morning, my massive student loans, or the general annoyance that is the passing of time.
This realization forced me to make a revitalizing decision:
If I can't change it, I might as well embrace it.
For the rest of the day, when annoying things happened (which they inevitably did), I asked myself the following question:
"How can I reframe this experience and turn it into a positive one?"
Here's how it went down:
- When the dog needed to go outside at 7:30 AM. Instead of yelling at him to hurry up, I seized the opportunity to take him for a walk around the block. Was I in my pajamas? Yes. Did I have a more pleasant morning because of it? Of course.
- When I got the very last parking spot on the top of the structure. Instead of yelling in a fit of road rage, I thanked my lucky stars that I got a spot in the first place and saw it as an opportunity to get some exercise going up the stairs on my way back.
- When I spilled my tea all over the floor. Instead of cursing, I giggled. Worse things happen, as you are well aware.
- When a giant jack ass started tailgating me, laying on his horn, and flipping me off for no apparent reason (other than for going the speed limit in a neighborhood). At first, I flipped him off, too (I'm only human, and he was a HUGE jerkface). But as soon as I realized what I was doing, I let go of my road rage (difficult). Then, when he illegally passed me and ran a red light in front of a middle school while the students were walking home, I calmly called 911 and reported him. I didn't take it personally. I didn't let it ruin my day.
I'm not a saint. The news, for example, INFURIATES me. (I limit my intake. Don't worry.)
Nor am I saying that you can turn every bad situation into a Pollyanna moment. Hello - today is April 19, 2013 and I am glued to the couch watching CNN coverage of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers. There is nothing good about that. It's sickening.
Fortunately, tragedies are rare (even if it doesn't seem like that at the moment). Ninety-nine point nine nine percent of your life's events don't go anywhere NEAR the tragedy of terrorism, war, or famine.
Paper cuts suck, I know. But hey - it's going to be O.K..