Life suddenly got a lot simpler since we got back from vacation. New experiences have a magical way of delivering new perspectives, even when I think new perspectives aren’t needed.
Spending 11 days with a hormonal 17-year-old gave me new eyes for my own drama. Several times during our vacation, he went to sleep hating me and woke up loving me, or vice versa. The last morning of the trip, he woke up hating me (it had started the night before) and continued hating me until we got on the airplane. He sat in the row behind me. We did not have a single interaction during the 2½ hour flight. When we got off the plane, he was my best friend. In that moment, I realized that none of his behavior had anything to do with me.
That doesn’t mean I stopped feeling it. I’ve almost recovered from the emotional whiplash.
What it does mean is that his attitudes have less bearing on my sanity, sense of self worth, attitudes toward the day, et al. I am not impervious; there are times it is still annoying. I just don’t let it wreck my day.
What I am most grateful for is that it has given me another perspective on drama, my own drama to be exact.
I have long been aware that some people thrive on drama. I was raised by one of them. My mother never had two happy days to rub together in her life. None of her four daughters can remember her ever being happy for more than a few hours at a time. She made a career of being miserable, and she wasn’t happy unless she was unhappy. It’s a strange dichotomy, but you may know someone or two like that who give you the ability to relate.
She trained me well. I was miserable almost every day until I was in my 30’s. Then I met Sue. Sue introduced me to the idea of a Blessings Book that I could record the good things of my day in, so I could look back on it in my down moments. Bless Sue; she helped me come up with three good things that day, because I couldn’t even think of one.
Years passed and I gained more tools and developed more good-seeking skills. I was quite happy with my achievement of Master Certified Life & Leadership Coach and felt proud of the fact that others came to me to make their lives happier, less chaotic, and more positive.
I didn’t realize I was still creating chaos at home.
That doesn’t quite fit in with my job title on first blush. Yet, it does. Part of being a good coach is always learning. My chaos levels are dramatically lower, and I haven’t achieved perfection.
Apparently, there’s nothing like a short, sometimes endless, vacation with a chaotic teenager to let me know where my grow points are.
I looked into that teenage mirror and realized that I have my own molehills I turn into mountains, slights that I turn into pains, and misunderstandings that I fail to resolve.
Silver linings are worth seeking. In going deeper, I discovered a deeper appreciation for the peaceful relationship The Sweetheart and I have forged. How blessed am I? I do work that I am passionate about, from a southern home on the water, design and produce gourmet (often organic) meals for someone who deeply appreciates them, make love with someone who epitomizes what ‘making love’ truly means, sleep deeply, and get up and do it again the next day. What do I really have to be uptight about? How much more do I have to be thankful about?
Endless gratitude for a shift in perspective, that’s what I have. That shift is creating a cascade of peace in my life, and that creates another cascade of gratitude.
What cascade of shift would you like to create, or are you creating, in your life? I’d love to read your answers (and questions!) in the comments!