Pause for Thought
January 24, 2014
I realised last night that that there is always something to be gained from any situation.
I found myself heading for home an hour later than usual… only to discover that my usual 3 minute drive to the motorway junction was completely messed up by a road closure en route. I got into my little car at 16:55… and found myself at the M-way junction at 17:58… yes! 63 minutes to get half-a-mile.
This time last year I would have been completely enraged… but I am learning to appreciate even the smallest of “positives” and being stuck in a queue of stationary cars did have its bright side.
I had chance to wind down after a busy day in the office; I had chance to mull over some thoughts and ideas; I had the opportunity for a little “quiet time” and I had a cold bottle of water, a “light” cereal bar, and a whole stack of CDS to play.
I spent the first fifteen minutes listening to the news on Radio 4… it meant that I was fully appraised of the day's events and could avoid it on TV when I got home. Then I got out my CD wallet, selected my homemade compilation “70s Singalong”… turned up the volume to 14 and prepared myself for a long delay.
I have to admit that other people on the road scared me a little bit… particularly the European Lorry Drivers at the wheel of HUGE articulated trucks who were mounting the kerb, squeezing through near-impossible gaps and generally making me feel very vulnerable indeed. But I munched on my cereal bar; my water was still cool (if not quite cold) and the tunes from the CD were very “singable”. It wasn't horrendous and there was absolutely nothing else I could do. I could have opted to rant and rave and get enraged about the fact that my day was delayed by a whole hour… but actually…
The reason I was leaving my “work town” so late was because I had spent 45 minutes exercising. It's the one aspect of changing my size, shape and habits that I struggle with. I have to really force myself to get on with it and I know myself well enough to realise that if I do get through my front door then I am reluctant to head out again for the purpose of physical activity… So getting changed at the office and heading straight out to class is the best strategy for me.
I also have to admit that I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't have been quite so upbeat in a queue of cars with my engine switched off if the feel-good endorphins generated by exercise hadn't been coursing through my veins. But they were and I was in a “good place”.
Who would have thought that I would be so positive about exercise? Who would have thought that being in standstill traffic for an hour could be “not terrible”. I had my mobile phone so managed to ring those who needed to be called to put family contingency plans in place and to reschedule my evening. The world didn't stop turning and no animals were harmed… so although it was inconvenient… it wasn't really an ordeal.
So my thought for today is… if you do find there are rocks in your road…. Take a good look at them. It may well be a dirty great boulder that will hinder you… or it may be an obstacle that looks worse than it actually is. Try to take a measured view. Food, exercise, life…. It's baffling and utterly infuriating…. But sometimes the “baffle” and the fury is something that we add into the situation. It isn't part of the what's going on… it's part of how we process what's going on.
There are no easy answers on the journey… there is no “right or wrong”… just personal interpretation; personal responsibility for the decisions we make; and individual reaction to situations we are presented with.
But sometimes… the best thing you can do is “pause for thought”. Allow yourself the opportunity for just stopping and thinking… REALLY THINKING for a minute or two… they can be the best two minutes you will have all day.
Whatever you are doing; wherever you may be; and wherever the path takes you… Have a Great Day… Remember this is all about… and entirely down to YOU.