Thursday, April 10, 2014

Glasses and Mugs

"As you think, so shall you become."

Unfortunately, I'm not as quick as Bruce Lee, the author of that quote.  This morning, I'd used up the very last of the coffee grounds to make my cup of coffee, and had barely managed to take a few sips before spilling the entire thing on the kitchen counter.  

I had options at that point.

In my frustration, I could have cursed (after all, studies have shown that cursing under pressure or when in pain can actually have a hypoalgesic effect!) and allowed myself to become angry...  I could have let it become the first domino to tip over in what could be an increasingly frustrating day...  I could have focused on the fact that the kitchen had just been cleaned, and now I had coffee everywhere.  

I surprised myself, actually.  As a dad, maybe it's all that practice with diapers that were more like IED's (Improvised Explosive Diarrhea Devices?), but I calmly grabbed the roll of Bounty off the counter before it got soaked too, and started mopping up all 12oz or so of what I should have been drinking instead.

I would have been justified to have allowed myself to get angry and stomp around a little bit, right?  To indulge in feeling frustrated?  But that wouldn't have gotten me anywhere.  You see, as I was looking at the big wad of paper towels I had just used to soak up all that coffee from the just-cleaned kitchen counter, something occurred to me that I simply wouldn't have had the clarity of mind to have thought of at all, if I had been preoccupied with my anger instead.  I can picture it now, only because I've been there before:  if I'd been indulging in my frustration by getting angry about the spilt coffee, griping to myself about having to clean it up, I would have already thrown the paper towels in the trash (extra points for throwing them in there as hard as I could).  But instead, I was calm.  I was all there, I was present in the moment, and that allowed me the mental space to do something kind of clever.

I smiled... and just wrung out all the paper towels into the coffee cup.

I'm not saying you have to wear rose-colored glasses.  I'm saying you get to choose which glasses you wear.

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