[To listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here: http://bit.ly/2AgMyyf]
"We regret that the pool is closed," said the sign and I hit the roof!
It was day 8 of the pool being unavailable and I like to swim at least three times a week – more if I can fit it in. I understand that there are sometimes circumstances beyond control which can mean that the pool is unavailable for my use, but – honestly – day 8 of the chlorine levels being too high?
All the poor receptionist could do was stand there, apologising and clinging to the desk for support, while the waves of my anger washed over her.
And – yes – I did make sure she knew it wasn't personal and that my attack was not aimed at her. She quite understood and mine was not the first enraged reaction she had dealt with this morning. I would imagine it was not the last.
Having got it out of my system I went to use the shower facilities and reflected that at least I had gained an extra hour of morning and extra time is always a gift.
But this lead me to examine how we deal with frustration and upset.
We all get frustrated at times. It has been suggested there are only three causes of upset: disappointed expectations, frustrated intentions and undelivered communication. You can see that this morning contained all three – as the person I really wanted to yell at was not the receptionist.
The start of dealing with any upset is to realise what's going on; to analyse it. I expected the pool to be open (especially after eight days) and it wasn't, so I was disappointed; I intended to swim and was frustrated in that ambition. I wanted to yell at the manager or the pool engineer and had to settle for the receptionist – poor girl – so I have an undelivered communication.
Of course, that analysis does involve taking a step back and drawing in a deep breath, but that's always beneficial. Apart from anything else, it allows you to choose your words for maximum annihilating effect!
Analysing the upset also helps us see it in proportion. Was my day really ruined by my being unable to swim? What were the consequences? Well, my fitness levels and blood pressure will not improve today, but they won't noticeably be affected by a week or so of not swimming. I won't be able to meditate and write while I swim up and down (you didn't know that most writing occurs "off the page", did you?), but I can meditate at home and I can write at home too. The only thing which cannot be completely replaced is that wonderful sensation of having stretched one's body and relaxed one's mind. Maybe if I did yoga or running I could duplicate it – but I don't do either of those: I swim.
So, yes – I'm still a little annoyed, but I've put it perspective. And – I had that extra hour of time.
I spent it writing this blog.
A Moodscope member.
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