It was 6:19am Monday morning when I realized, “I forgot the orange bag!” I’d been up about two hours at this point, felt good about getting some running into my morning exercise routine, was in the car with the kids five minutes earlier than usual. Then things went sideways.
The “orange bag” is what we put the kids’ clothes in when we go to day care each morning. Sending the clothes to daycare means the kids get dressed there. This approach is easier for everyone. It creates a smoother, early morning departure and that helps a lot. The timing in the morning is pretty tight. If things go according to plan, I make it to work a little before my start time. No stress.
Unless we forget something. Like I did yesterday.
I didn’t realize it until I pulled up in front of the daycare lady’s house. I moved quickly, taking the kids into the house with a brief greeting, and then jumped back in the car to race home to get the orange bag. I was ten minutes behind schedule as I accelerated down the freeway to the office. And then the second realization hit me: Acceptance.
I just needed to accept the situation as it was, take a few deep breaths, consider the worst case, and try to improve it. I drove quite a bit faster than normal, but I made it on time. And along the way, a few other topics where “acceptance” would help came to mind.
Like a short, testy conversation I had at home over the weekend about my lack of organization of items stored in the attic and in the garage. Acceptance. I need to do better. I have the ability to do better. The answer? Prioritize getting more organized. Acceptance.
Like at the office, when I get frustrated that I can’t control the work flow and shifting priorities. Acceptance. Be ready to adjust, anticipate, and stay organized with tasks and open issues. It was challenging initially, but over time I’ve improved. Don’t forget that. Acceptance.
I’m reminded of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and her seminal work, “On Death & Dying”. The five stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, ACCEPTANCE. Over the years the five stages have been found to apply not just to death and grief, but many experiences of loss. Once you accept, you can move on.
I’m reminded of Dale Carnegie too, and one of his many tidbits of advice on overcoming worry. This process in particular is from Willis H. Carrier: ” 1. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can’t solve my problem? 2. Prepare yourself mentally to ACCEPT the worst–if necessary. 3. Then calmly try to improve upon the worst–which you have already mentally agreed to ACCEPT.”
Now it’s time to teach my kids. Acceptance. It’s the best way to move forward practically, productively, and positively. The best way to reduce worry and be happier. The best way to live your life.
And the silver lining to that little SNAFU the other day?
It ended up that the daycare needed milk for the kids (that we supply), so it was good I went back home anyway, since the daycare lady hadn’t sent a milk request/reminder as she typically does the night before. All’s well that ends well. You just have to accept the outcome and move forward.