Reflection & Action: Many of my mornings begin with a walk along the beautiful South Saskatchewan River valley, just two blocks from home. My route winds past a giant boulder on the bank. It’s the perfect perch for a moment’s rest and meditation.
I recently headed out on my morning stroll, anticipating a peaceful journey. As I turned the corner, headed to the river, I discovered that some aspiring street artist had decided our fence was the perfect canvas. We’d been tagged and I was furious! Now I needed that walk more than ever.
I arrived at the river – still smoldering over the graffiti – only to make a second discovery. ‘My’ rock had also been hit by a crew of performance artists. Broken beer bottles were their media of choice. So much for the peace of the morning. Now I was really ticked off! The nerve! The disrespect!
Only after two days of intermittent fuming did it occur to me that I could choose another response. I didn’t have to remain a victim – stuck in blame and fury. I could do something to move things forward. I grabbed the sandpaper, dustpan and broom. In less than an hour I’d cleaned up both messes and made something right in the world. My two days of needless smoldering had wasted far more than one hour’s energy.
We always have options in every arena of our lives. We can serve up Misery Stew, wallowing in anger, frustration and despair over the careless actions of others; or we can channel that energy into creative solutions and get on with our lives. The choice is yours and mine.
Quotes Of The Week: “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Malachy McCourt
“The guy’s behaving like a jerk. How much power are you going to give him over your life?” – Tristan Katz
“Life is a lot simpler than we make it.” – Cheryl Dougan
Pause Readers Write: Pause Reader Kathleen FD writes: My family experienced a major change with the sudden death of my younger brother. This led to a great deal of soul searching about what family means to me and how I could use this tragedy towards a positive experience. What I needed for myself and my family was more time outside of work. I approached my supervisor with a written proposal to take a cut in pay for a day off every week. This was a major request for an industry that does not embrace many of today’s ‘balancing work & family’ initiatives.
With the support of a very forward thinking supervisor, fellow staff and the owners, I have been living this arrangement for the past three years. I don’t even think of the money anymore. It has been replaced with time spent in my daughter’s grade one class, getting back to my sewing machine, and, yes, even stealing a few moments just to relax and read! Sometimes we just have to ask and be prepared to act.
This post was written by Pat Katz on August 14, 2013