Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.
~~ Lao Tzu
So Thursday night, after I went to bed, apparently there was a hell of a storm. I slept right though it. There were winds up to seventy miles an hour and people lost their power all over the city.
I woke up, left the house and halfway noticed that my garden look a little mushed and then didn’t think about it until I got onto the major street that I take to work. Trees were down everywhere. Huge trees. One covered three lanes.
People were late for work. The Quick Trip I stop at every morning for my coffee and iced tea had no power and therefore I had no caffeine when I got to work.
And it is here that I was stunned once again my people’s negativity. Was I ever that bad? The thing is, I was….
D: I am so upset! I wasn’t able to get my breakfast or my newspaper. And breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Me: Well, buy something out of the Company Kitchen refrigerator (CK is a sort of store in our kitchen were all kinds of sandwiches and drinks and stuff are available and you pay for the stuff on this little kiosk thingie).
D: I ain’t got one of those Company Kitchen cards….
Me: It takes all credit cards and debit cards.
D: Oh…. I didn’t know that. (moseys over to the glass fronted refrigerator) Boy, they ain’t got much, do they.
Me: Not always. But look, they’ve got biscuits and grave—it’s pretty good, I’ve had it—and they have that egg mcmuffin looking thing there—egg and cheese and bacon. There’s a couple bagels there….
D: (huge dramatic sign and shoulder slumped) That isn’t what I usually eat…. I don’t think I want none of that. (sits down and sighs more) And what am I gonna read at lunch? I ain’t got no newspaper.
Me: Well, Quick Trip is right down at the corner—I’m sure the power will be back up in six hours. Run down on your lunch break and get one.
D: But then I won’t have as much time to read it….
Me: You’ll have some time and you’ll have your breaks.
D: Well there first break is before lunch so I won’t get to read it THEN.
I started to say, “But you will have two other afternoon breaks to read it…and then I just realized I was wasting my breath.
“D” had decided that the Universe sucked blue whales and that was all there was to it, he’d made up his mind. I wanted to say, “But D, don’t you see you have the power to turn this around? Yes it sucks that you didn’t get your sandwich or your newspaper. But there is nothing you can do about that. You have the power to decide that you can live with this little change for one day.” But I didn’t say that. Because, again, it was clear that as far as D was concerned, the Universe sucked blue whales and that was all there was to it, he’d made up his mind.
I realized something else. D was probably going to let this ruin his entire day. He probably went home and called friends and relatives and told them how bad his day was because he didn’t “have no” breakfast or newspaper.
I was that way once upon a time. It was while I was with my ex. I could blame my attitude on him but that would be unfair. For some reason they I can’t understand, I was extremely negative in my 30s. But when I broke up with him I did find out one thing. I found out that I didn’t want to live negatively anymore. I got some therapy. I studied books on having a positive attitude. I studied Buddhism and went on silent retreats. And I learned that I have the POWER in how I am going to live. I have the POWER to decide how I am feeling and how I am going to react to the things that happen to me.
Yes I can be a bit bummed that I didn’t my coffee. But it’s stupid to DWELL in that. I decided since there was nothing I could do about it, I would make the best of my day.
I did mention it to a work-mate, and he surprised me by saying that he could get me some coffee out of the big main office. He took me there and I got me some coffee. It was Maxwell House, the Pabst Blue Ribbon of coffees. It wasn’t the God-in-a-cup-coffee I get at Oddly Correct. But again, why dwell on the negative?
I had some coffee!
And to really show something shocking…it was the Evil Team Lead that got it for me!
I am grateful that I woke up and had power. I am grateful that I had the power to control myself and my day. And I am grateful that I had coffee. Not bad at all.