As my readers know, I’m not the best at consistently blogging. I’m trying to change that; however, I say that a lot. 😊
Today I want to share with you my thoughts on consciously changing one’s attitude. Multiple times today I encountered amazing situations (many of them involved people). I walked away from them thinking how awesome those people were and how I wished customer service representatives could always be kind, friendly, and helpful. But then … I also thought that my energy is an important variable in our interaction. I can choose to be chill, to be non-judgmental, to be friendly, to be less stressed. So, the question of the moment is … Is it me or is it them?
I had a doctor’s appointment today. When I woke up, I had a migraine and felt sick to my stomach. I considered rescheduling this difficult-to-get appointment, I felt that bad. However, I decided not to and wondered simultaneously if I was feeling physical manifestations of my nervousness around the doctor’s appointment.
I decided to take a headache pill, rest a little extra in bed, make sure I had breakfast and a cup of coffee, and catch a Lyft to the appointment. This was my plan of action—my plan to take care of myself and ensure I arrived to my 10:30 appointment. And I felt better after this plan. I chose to go, despite potentially getting bad news at the appointment. I didn’t back out and delay the appointment; and most importantly, I came up with a way to take care of myself as I prepared for the day.
On my way to the doctor, I had a great convo with my Lyft driver and the other passenger in the car. We talked about working at a bank. We talked about working as an Uber/Lyft driver. We talked about some upcoming changes to driving for Lyft. We talked about English. Our driver had been in California for only six months and his English was fabulous. He nervously shared with us that speaking English was hard and that it makes him nervous to talk to his passengers because his English wasn’t good.
This conversation fascinated me because last week in a separate conversation with friends, I learned that many blind people cancel ride share when the driver’s name isn’t American sounding enough. This is redonculous to me. If I did this, I’d never go anywhere. On the flip side, I had no idea what ethnicity my driver was and I didn’t care. But I was curious. His name gave me no clues … to the extent that names reveal ethnicity. When I slid into the backseat, he was playing salsa music so I thought maybe he was Latino, but his name was certainly not Latino sounding to me. I judged him to be non-Latino. After our conversation, I learned he was very much Latino and I scolded myself for even judging. Which of course made me start thinking about judging things as good or bad, decisions based on American or non-American sounding names, etc, etc. Before I stepped out of my Lyft vehicle, I decided that I needed to remember to quit being so judgey. There are so many forms that judgement takes, and not judging opens up so many cool opportunities. I mean, what if I were one of those blind people who did cancel ride share trips based on non-American sounding names? I would have missed a fun ride with some fun people on a Friday morning. More importantly, I wouldn’t have had the chance to tell my driver that his English was very good, and that even though he was nervous to speak, he should keep it up. I think his passengers gave him a good confidence boost. At least, I like to think we did.
I get to my appointment five minutes late. I stood in line for another five minutes and started to get antsy. Then, I reminded myself that I should breathe. I wasn’t in a hurry. I didn’t have anywhere to go after the appointment. I knew that the appointments were scheduled every 40 minutes, so I just needed to chill. And when I made that decision, my fidgetiness went away.
When I sat down to wait, I started to get agitated. I was at the ear doctor, and along with dentists, ear doctors make me super nervous. I started to get all worked up inside and started to sweat. I started to get flushed. I told myself to breathe again and had a little chat … with none other then … Me. I told Me, it is what it is. I had no control over the outcome and had to just … be … That little pep talk helped. I sat back, took my braille display out, and started to play on Facebook until my name was called. And you know what? The appointment went well and the outcome was the best possible outcome for my current situation.
Analyzing the situation afterwards, I reminded myself of the importance of living in the present. I had no control over the future. There was nothing I could do to change the outcome. I had to just be. And when I decided that, I essentially gave myself permission to relax. There was freedom in that.
I called Audible today to return 2 books. I always feel guilty returning books. I don’t know why, but I do. The customer care person was so cool! She noted that I had lots of books. She asked if I had a favorite, and I told her I read too much to have a true favorite. However, I told her my recent favorite was Little Women. I told her I never, ever, ever read that book before and finally got around to it a few weeks ago. I was quite impressed by the book and was sad when it ended. Sad because it ended. She laughed and shared her favorite book. I believe she said it was called City Girl. She told me about it and went ahead and added it to my wish list … for just in case. I thought that was just so kind.
When I got off the phone with her, I thought to myself that life would be much grander if all customer service people were like the audible lady. But then I got to thinking, we are apart of that equation and play just as important of a role and very much are influencing the outcome.
So … those are my long rambling thoughts. Is it us? Is it them? What would it be like if every day, each and every one of us checked ourselves? Scolded ourselves? Had chats with ourselves? Breathed a little? Laughed a little?
I could have had a miserable day. I could have woken up and chosen to be a lump in my bed … I almost did. If I hadn’t taken care of myself in the morning, I could have gone to my doctor’s appointment hangry. I’m sitting on my couch thinking of the very different day I could have had. I’m quite grateful I chose the day I chose.
How about you? I’d love to hear of a time you consciously shifted your energy. What were the results?
Signing off for now,
Bay Area Blind Mom