Worry Leads to Frustration

In certain moments in life, you have to come to terms with the fact that worry can lead to frustration. How you prepare ahead of time for how to handle these events can be the difference between having a great day or letting the world topple you to the ground.

This morning I woke up late for my 12pm league bowling. We decided early in the year to bowl a match ahead due to 1) storms that cause cancellations during the winter and 2) our regular Thursday league doesn’t bowl on 3 holidays during November and December. The guys in our league basically do not want to bowl until the end of May, so this was the best course of action to get the league done in a reasonable time.

I made it to the city I bowl in 20 minutes ahead of the start of practice- however a marathon was taking place in the city- rendering all of the bridges I needed to get over off limits. It took me 40 minutes to navigate around the city. I could have lost my cool at the slower bumper to bumper traffic- the roadblocks in my way- or the fact that I didn’t get to the lanes but 1 minute before practice ended. I decided in the moment to just listen to some of my favorite metal CD’s and realize that I can’t control the marathon, I can’t control the fact that traffic and my path will cause me to be late- I just need to make the best of a tough situation.

As a result, I put it out of my mind each time I went up to the approach to make the next shot. My team needed me to bowl well against the first place team in the league. I started with 3 strikes in a row and relaxed as the league day went on. We went 4-4 and I stayed consistent, throwing 235-236-228 for a 699 series.

During the final game my wife called me. She was upset about our youngest daughter’s latest temper tantrum. She fumed when I told her I had five more frames to bowl before leaving- and that there was a snow storm going on. I could have lost focus once again at the task at hand, letting the worry of trouble at home take away from my current task at hand. When I gained a moment I spoke to my daughter on the phone, sternly told her she needed to figure out what she wanted to do right then to stay in control, and proceeded to end the day with 5 strikes in a row.

In the evening time my wife admitted she felt a loss of control- and when I’m not around, she panics- which can lead to worry, frustration and a fearful outlook that the children are running the show, not us as parents. I told her that she needs to be confident with her abilities- and remember what the therapists we have talk about, our children are survivors and if you need to take a breather to regather your composure, do so.

It’s hard when we panic to stay in the moment, but we must. Realize that you control your own thoughts- so if someone else is upsetting you, it’s perfectly acceptable to deflect or throw a curve ball to change things up. Sing your favorite song in a loud, Chipmunk voice. Talk about the pink bunnies you see flying in the sky. Skip around the house if you must. Silliness can change any frown upside down. I could yell and scream and be in the same bad mood as everyone else- but what would that promote?

Because when it really came down to what my youngest wanted, it was a feeling of belonging. When faced with the prospect of being all alone with basic clothes and no place to go, she didn’t want that. When she wanted to know what she could do to show us she wanted to be a contributing member of the family, I told her to follow my wife’s requests to the tee- no arguing, no fussing, no trouble. I’m proud to say she did as promised- and we make it to another day.

Take your thoughts in another direction- don’t let worry consume you. In most cases after the fact, you’ll realize you took something very small and blew up in your mind to catastrophic proportions.

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