Choosing how to respond


 Today I had an experience that exemplifies how to choose best respond to unpredictable life’s unpredictable circumstances.

 

While playing with my children at the beach, I noticed that I no longer had my car keys. I could not use my phone to call my wife since my phone was locked in my car. My kids had just come out of the water and they were cold. There was a phone coming and rain was just minutes away.

 

In the past, this situation would have freaked me out. I would have become extremely frustrated and my blood pressure would have risen. Most likely, I would have started using expletives at an increasingly frequent level.

 

Today, I was calm.

 

I knew that there were just tasks to be completed. First I unpacked all of our stuff to look for the key. Then I backtracked everywhere that we had been at the beach that day. Once I felt that I had just about exhausted all my options. I asked a fellow beach goer to barrow their cell phone. I called my wife to see if she could come pick us up. My wife’s phone went straight to voicemail, so the option of being “rescued” appeared off the table. While the kids played on a play structure, I went back to an area of the play area that we had been playing before the key was lost and I started kicking the sand around looking for the key. Luckily, I found the key.

 

My point in all of this is not weather I got my key back. The point is that if I responded with anger about this situation, I could have “ruined” the day for my kids and myself. By remaining calm, we continued on with the day without incident. 

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2 Comments to “Choosing how to respond”

  1. As we grow old, we realize that little frustrations do not bother us as much as before… We have bigger and more important things (like the day with your boys) to worry about!

  2. Great story and what patience you have! Thanks for sharing.

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