Monday, October 3, 2011

Frustration

So far my posts have pretty much focused on the reasons I am so satisfied with my life. By now you may be thinking either there is something wrong with me, that my rose-colored glasses are really effective, or that I am doing some really good drugs. Needless to say, everything does not go according to my plans. In fact, I suspect I have as many oops as the next person. But, I like to think I have come a little way in learning to handle the challenges that pop up.

This came to mind when I caught myself going back over the events of the day - a day spent putting up a gutter to catch rainwater coming off of a deck. When we bought the house rainwater drained down the outside of a column supporting the deck. Being the Pacific North West, columns with water draining down them begin to grow various colors of mosses, fungi, and other things best left to the imagination. After putting in 5 or 6 hours I was not finished with the task, and had run into several little surprises that made the job more challenging. And I was tired.

And I caught myself - actually, rather surprised myself when I realized what I was doing. Yes, I was frustrated that the project was not done. But, rather than dwell on my frustration, my mind was going back over the day and enumerating the things that went right - how the cute little stainless rivets went in so perfectly, how the color of the paint matched the exterior of the house, how well the deck cleaned up when I took the time to scrub it... Subconsciously I was salving my frustration, and shifting my mood from frustration to satisfaction.

Subconsciously, except I caught myself.

I really wonder where I learned this technique - perhaps having to write status reports on projects that were part of my day job. While it was always important to list the challenges, it was also important to point out the successes - and it was vastly preferred if the successes at least gave the impression they outweighed the problems.

Lying to myself - in a way - but, as discussed in an earlier post, sometimes lying to oneself is not just ok, but even desirable.

Satisfaction - from doing things.

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