Monday, February 22, 2010

keep on the sunny side!

every morning when you wake up you don't know what to expect for the day ahead of you. you may have everything planned and scheduled and prepared ahead of time. you might go over that days events the night before when you are falling asleep. even though you studied you can't always be prepared for that days pop quiz.

the unpredictability of life is what makes it so fascinating and yet so difficult. we have so many choices and oftentimes don't even acknowledge that we in fact have control of the outcome of each and every day. we choose which doors are opened and closed before us.

my favorite example of this is a story of a day of mine two summers ago...

i had planned to meet with a friend of a friend to do a photo shoot for an idea he had. we'd been intending to work together for quite some time and never got around to it. that very hot and sunny afternoon i rode my bike the ten and a half miles to the photographers house. when i got there i was tired but exhilarated and ready to be creative. unfortunately, he had not tried out some of the more intricate aspects of this particular idea. we spent an hour setting up and then another hour failing at attaching the ends of plastic tubes to my skin. if you compound the scent of the adhesive, the hot sun on the long ride and my now empty stomach, you'd get one horrible migraine. we decided to end for the day and i was going to go home instead of to meditation like i had planned. my migraine was escalating by the minute.

i left his apartment and walked out into the sunny street to find my bike had an eight inch pinch flat. this means that the person who helped me with my tire last, a former bike delivery guy, had failed horribly at putting my tube in and the rim of the wheel pinched my tube rendering it unfixable with my patch kit. in knew that the closest bike shop did not carry tubes that fit my tiny bike. i was very upset all of a sudden but was determined to get home and fix it and rest my head. i walked my bike to the train station and found that the trains were not running due to someone deciding to jump on the tracks a few stations south of where i was.

i started crying. i didn't know what else to do. i sent a text to my friend who was hosting the meditation and another to the friend of the photographer. i reformulated my plan on how to get home which would require an hour and a half on a bus and then 2o minutes on a train. i managed to catch the necessary bus a few minutes later while i pulled myself together.

when i was seated on the bus, my bike safely riding in front, i received a text from the friend of the photographer. she simply said that i could choose how the rest of my day would go if i decided to see the positive. this was very empowering. i started counting the blessings of the situation i found myself in and they just kept adding up:

the bus was air conditioned! people were giving up their seats on the over crowded bus to elderly people and parents holding babies! i could see out the window! i didn't get motion sickness! the bus ride was quicker than i thought! my medicine was working and taking the edge of the migraine! people were smiling and being nice left and right! there was a little boy on the train platform who liked my pink bike and the horn and played with me! there was a mom with a toddler in a sling on the train and we played with the horn, making the ride go by so much faster! my neighbors were friendly! my roommates weren't home!

the day just kept getting better! by the time i went to sleep i was a completely different person than the one who started crying when it seemed as if the whole world were conspiring against me. it was all because someone told me that i could mould my day into my own creation. i had a choice as to how i would see the world for the rest of the day! i had the power the whole time but someone had to tell me to grab hold of it.

this story has stuck with me and i have used it as an example of positive thinking many times. i am telling this story now for my own benefit. i need to find my rose colored glasses and keep them on as i find myself facing many challenges and an even rougher few months ahead of me.

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