One of the reasons I love travel so much is that I learn a lot about myself and how I can better navigate my everyday life. Today I learned a lesson in patience. Delays at the station as well as en route had us arriving in Chicago 5 hours later than we planned. I was angry, frustrated and weary with the entire process. But mostly I was anxious that because of the delays we were going to miss out on something the kids were looking forward to. We only have a few days and lots of things we want to see so these few hours might have to mean giving something up which just stinks.
For a while I was just angry; endlessly lamenting at the horrid conditions of Amtrak and their customer service. But then I realized that being angry was not solving anything- in fact it was probably making it worse. So, deciding that I didn’t want to be part of the reason my kids might be disappointed I just let it go. I pulled out my planning folder and decided to see if I could move a few things around so we didn’t have to miss anything. Thankfully, a minor schedule tweak and a quick phone call to change a dinner reservation put us right back on track. Of course I immediately felt better once the problem was solved but there was more to it than that. I felt better because I decided to feel better.
It was a conscious choice for me not to be angry and this allowed me to be more open and flexible about managing the problem at hand. I think there is definitely something to be learned there and applied to everyday life. And while I’m not typically angry at home I do recognize that when I have something scheduled with a specific time constraint my stress level rises and my temper flares. Today, I decided that the clock would not rule my moods and I simply let it go. Consciously taking a step back and choosing to problem solve instead of rant not only worked better, it made me feel better.