Flipping the Switch

In Family, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on February 9, 2010 at 9:08 am

After a great weekend, I was looking forward to the week ahead.  When the alarm clock went off on Monday, I woke up feeling a little under the weather.  It was dark, cold and rainy…not exactly the ideal mood-setting backdrop.  But there were things that needed to get done, and there was no time for excuses or self-pity.

By the time that I reached my first destination (a retail store) the rain had stopped.  Even if it were still raining, I would have still found it difficult to understand why a woman decided to block traffic in both directions while waiting for someone to pull out of a spot very close to the store.  It’s not like we were in a mall parking lot around the holidays when parking spaces are scarce.  The parking lot was virtually empty, and she could have parked about five spaces further very easily.  Eventually, she saw that people were getting annoyed, and reluctantly allowed us to pass.  I thought to myself… “It’s no surprise that there is an obesity problem in this country when people would rather inconvenience others than walk a few extra feet.”

When I returned home, I was having technology issues.  As much as I love how far technology has come, I often think that a return to simpler times wouldn’t be so bad.  Aside from the expense of keeping pace with the latest technology, it has become so entwined in our lives that it makes it difficult to be productive when things malfunction.  However, I did my best to “plug away” in spite of the technological difficulties that I was experiencing.

My frustrating day had me on edge as I left to go and pick my son up at school.  As I approached him while he was waiting outside with his class, my first words were not “hello” or “how was your day?”…I lead with “where is your jacket?” When he told me that it was stuffed into his backpack, I got annoyed and lectured him.  I kept pressing trying to find out why (in 40-degree weather) he was the only kid in his class not wearing a jacket.  Instead of stating my case and dropping it, I kept pushing for a response that I was never going to get.  In retrospect, this was most likely because I was not having a great day.

Something had to give.  I realized that I needed to take a step back and evaluate my day as a whole.  There were things on my mind that I needed to sort through.  So I decided to get out and go for my daily walk.  It was cold and dreary; the skies were a depressing shade of gray.  But after listening to a few good songs on my headphones, my mood started to change.  Suddenly, the crisp, cool air started to feel refreshing as it cleared my head.  I didn’t even mind the fact that I felt the cold biting at my fingertips.

By the time that I walked back in the door, I had “flipped the switch” to a much more positive mindset and better mood.  I pulled my son aside and apologized for overreacting about his jacket, gave him a hug, and told him that I loved him.  As he hugged back, he apologized for not wearing his jacket.  Before long, my daughter’s antics had us all laughing and having fun.  When I finished up the work that I needed to get done, I ended the day by losing to my son at Madden 2010 on Wii (despite my best effort to win).

As I progress on my journey in pursuit of health, wealth and “happyness,” I am learning how to stop bad days from spiraling down and bringing my family with me.  It isn’t always easy, but yesterday proved that I have the power to “flip the switch” and turn the day around.

  1. Adam, What a great reminder to all of us that we need to “flip the switch” when we have days like that. You are a great role model for your children, admitting when you are wrong. Great life lessons for them to see you so humble. I too have to apologize to my daughter at times when I’m in that “mood” and taking it out on her. Nothing beats the forgiving hugs from our children 🙂
    Have a great week my friend!

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