My life is so good that I really have no call to complain or worry about anything. That doesn't always stop me, though. Last night I got some bad news and discovered that the yurt we're planning on raising definitely won't get there in time. It's not going to be crated up for a few days, and even if I flew there and rented an extraordinarily expensive U-Haul truck, the schedule doesn't work out.
This made me feel generally bad. I was frustrated and tired of dealing with the construction of this yurt at the island, because the whole multi-month process has been an exercise in wheel-spinning.
I was crewing a hot air balloon at a festival, so I had to wake up early the next morning. Sleep wouldn't come easily, as every time I began to drift off, I'd try to think of some other way to get the yurt going, or just think about things I could have done earlier to make it happen.
I stopped meditating daily, but I made myself do it again as I lay in bed. Deep breath. Focus on exhaling. Maybe I could leave here now and fly and get a truck... no, just breathe.
Calmed down and slightly more objective, I made myself pick apart how I was feeling. Why was I stressed? Is there any point to feeling this way?
The first thing I noticed is that actually having the yurt constructed wasn't the issue at all. It doesn't really matter to me whether it's up now or next year. What was frustrating me was the amount of work I was sinking in to this, and feeling like I wasn't in control.
Okay, those are specific aspects that I can tackle. The first was easy to become okay with. My friends and I have an island, all of the work on it has been a good learning experience, and will eventually lead to it being a great place to work and relax.
And then there's not feeling like I'm in control. I don't deal well with that in general. My typical MO is to choose a goal and blast towards it, hell or highwater. There's almost always something that can be done.
All of a sudden, just thinking about this made me grateful that we were having problems with the yurt. To be successful in life, I will need to be able to handle not being in control sometimes. No one is always in control of everything. What a great opportunity to improve! Stakes are low, and I'm aware that this is the issue I'm dealing with. What better workshop exists?
My stress dissipated, and I went to bed happy.
Life throws all of us curveballs. Sometimes that results in stress or vague negative emotions. If we don't dig down and figure out what they are and what's causing them, they're not likely to leave us. How can you solve a problem you can't see?
We all have ways that we deal with stress. If your way of dealing with it isn't particularly constructive, consider this as an alternative. Take a few deep breaths, relax, and then dig down and unearth the underpinning problems. Some of them evaporate on discovery, but even those that remain offer a chance to resolve them once they're articulated.
Photo is a giant shovel in the Bellagio indoor gardens, which is one of my favorite places in Las Vegas.