Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stressed? Rushed? Trouble on the way! (aka Kayak Story #2)

OK, so I'm still driving around with 3 kayaks on the car, and I have to go in to Princeton for a lunch.  Yikes, I also had client calls, had to put a suit on (first time in weeks) and things got a little out of control. Have I mentioned I'm also slightly crazed when it comes to being late? Hate it. So I made it to Princeton just in time to meet my lunch date.

Parking in Princeton ain't easy. I've never been the person driving around waiting for a spot to open; I'm the one making sure I have enough cash for the parking garage. Are you starting to see what's coming? Yup. Turned in to my usual parking garage, realized I had the boats and got out of the car to make sure I made under the indicator for clearance. It sure looked like I did, and I was going to be late, and it was a business lunch- so I took a deep breath and drove on in.

Should have taken my time to find a spot. Turns out that either my eye was wrong or the pipes lining the ceiling were hangin' low that day. New visual- woman in suit in car with 3 kayaks, wedged in place in the aisle of the lot. Couldn't go either way and I could hear the crunch. Very bad. Whole new level of stress. Tears. Felt like an idiot. New kayaks, too, mine's a bright yellow 14' Kestrel, gorgeous boat. Crunch. Boats have to come off the rack to free the car.

I got the boats off the car myself, been working out to be sure I can do that- and Donald and Steve, the garage guys, stored them near the machine room for me, and they told me to go to lunch. I was only 5 minutes late. (but not quite fresh, it was a hot day) Another visual before we move on- woman in suit running towards car turning to enter the aisle- yelling "NO"- because the kayaks were right in its path. Imagine it, the kayaks are red, blue and yellow, they are smack in the middle of the parking lot aisle. The woman seems crazed. You have to laugh! So glad I don't have the video.

Next time I'll let you know what happened to the boats, the car, and the stressed-out Barbara. The point of this story is that if you're stressed, if you get on the track of "so much to do, never get it done", something bad will come your way. We coaches call it the "Law of Attraction." You attract into your life what you project. How many times have you had a day that started badly and things just got worse?

If you find yourself feeling completely stressed out, take a moment and recalibrate. Put your worries in perspective. How important will they be in an hour, in a day, in a week? What's the real damage? Get somewhere you can relax for 5 minutes, take a break. Tell yourself that you're fine and things will work out, as they always do. Most importantly- get out of your worry and into the present. You can't change the past, you can't predict the future, do the best you can do in the moment and move on.

Be mindful and choose to respond to your situation appropriately. Reacting wastes time and energy, and we usually don't have enough of either. If you're having a bad day- stop and turn it around. Change your mind and have the best day possible from that moment on! (What happened after lunch? The next and final kayak story will clear that up)

Life is short. Struggle is optional. Enjoy.  OH- here's the end of the kayak story...