“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Awake! Annoyed! A change!

When I was in the 7th grade we were in the middle of a lesson of some sort, I don't remember. It was in the afternoon and it wasn't religion class, that I remember. My snarky side wants to say we were learning how to dispel the myth of Evolution using the Laws of Thermodynamics as evidence*, or we were learning all about how the electric guitar leads to teenage pregnancy and devil worship. The truth is we were probably in the middle of History or Math or Something.
The Prinicpal came into the classroom and told the teacher he was trying to find a bible verse in the book of Proverbs that dealt with gentle responses curbing harsh reactions. The teacher said whoever found the verse would give the class some kind of points that could be used for treats and such like going to recess 5 minutes early or something. I was the one who found the verse; Proverbs 15:1 - a gentle answer turns away wrath. That verse has stuck with me ever since and I think about it whenever conflict arises.

I hate waking up early. I quite like when I am up early, I just hate the waking up part.
One of the worst ways to take me up in the morning is to annoy me awake. It makes me all cross and sets a really bad tone for the day.

About 6:15 this morning the smoke detector went off. I thought it was a truck backing up. I woke up in a haze being all cross at the stupid truck. Then my little ones started yelling at me to "make it stop." I went into their room and it was the alarm in their room that was freaking out. There was no smoke. Nobody was cooking. There was no fire. Nobody was BBQing outside (who BBQs breakfast at 6:15am on a Thursday?) And no, I didn't get the sound mixed up with the noise for carbon monoxide. I have two irrational fears on which I go overboard in preventing mishaps; one of them is carbon monoxide. We have a separate CM detector and it wasn't chirping at all. (The other fear is SIDS but I guess I don't have to worry about that one anymore because my kids aren't babies anymore and my baby producing days are over).

Anyhow, aside from being annoyed awake and my kids yelling at me, all turned out fine, at least with the smoke detector. For the rest of the morning though, whilst getting ready, every question I asked came out of my mouth as an attack, every answer I received sounded like an accusation. There was no winning this morning.

On my way to the muni stop I decided I didn't want my day to take the grumpy path. I changed the song on my ipod to something a bit more upbeat and peppy. I found that Selected Selecter Selections by The Selecters fit the bill nicely. I went to the little bakery across the street from my train stop, got a cocktail bun and some bad coffee, got on my train and concentrated on making my morning better.

It got better. I got to listen to some upbeat music. I got to catch glimpses of a good looking guy on the other side of the train, then quick put my nose in the book I wasn't reading when we made eye contact.. The train ran smoothly and none of the other passengers were annoying. I got to work, sat outside in the courtyard for a few minutes and prepared myself for the day.

By the time I got to my office, I was no longer annoyed. I was happy to start my work day. Then a friend sent me an email and made my day even better. I was telling him about my new job and that I had an office. He reminded me to step outside every once in a while because I have "too much charm to waste locked in a room." Made my day.

I guess the moral of my rambling is that a gentle word does turn away wrath. The conscious decision to make my day better worked. A gentle approach does work to turn things around.

*side note - I never understood trying to disprove Evolution. I've never understood trying to prove Creation.  One concept is based on Fact. The other is based on Faith. I see no conflict.

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