Ok. Here we go. I’ve just had a ‘altercation’ with my 13-year-old daughter Holly. She’d probably call it – her mother losing her s*&t! I’ve been pretty tired of late (that’s my excuse anyway). All for great reasons; I have been travelling a lot for a job that I enjoy, being a taxi and admin service for two teenagers that I love and spending time with my favourite people. But, I have not been getting enough sleep. Poor me, get the violins.
So, this morning my tolerance levels were really low. I got into the car to drive Holly to her hip hop class. Apparently, when she gets into the car I am supposed to remove all items from the passenger seat so she can easily get in. Seriously??!! So, I breathe and make light about ‘her royal highness’ being blessed with two beautiful hands that helps her lift and hold things. I thought it was funny. She obviously didn’t and then proceeded to tell me that her Dad (my ex-husband) always makes sure there is nothing on the seat when she comes into the car. What the…?! Is she pulling the Dad card?
So, then I shorten my response; “Holly, get in the car”. What happens next? We have – The Stand Off! She’s not getting in and I’m not moving the item from the front seat. So, what does any caring, compassionate, non-petty Mum do? Yep. I reverse out of the driveway and drive off, leaving Holly standing in the drive way.
Knock yourself out. Judge me. I was so revved up by this stage. It had been a week of breathing and self-managing with those 13 year hormones raging, back chatting and tantrums. I’d been pretty impressive navigating all of these… until now.
As I drove around the block (doing my block) I calmed down and had a chat to myself. I was again reminded of another principle from The Slight Edge, by Jess Olson; Every decision I make will push me forward in life or back. Towards success or failure.
Making decisions one way or the other can be easy to do, or easy not to do.
It would be easy to return home, it would be easy to say nothing, it would be easy to drive Holly to hip hop, it would be easy to go and do my own thing. Yet, it would be easy not to as well.
However, this was not just about me. My decisions have a ripple effect on those around me. In this case it was Holly. But if I do not deal with my frustration, others could also be effected. I could get grumpy with the lady who I buy coffee from that day. How do I know what she’s going through and how my attitude affects her sense of self? I could be short with my 15-year-old Jackson and push him away. I could ignore a phone call from a friend because I’m too annoyed to answer, when he needs me. Or, none of that could happen.
The point is that the decisions that I make, which affect how I act, and what I say, have a ripple effect. It starts with me and who knows where it ends.
All we can take responsibility for is ourselves. Do you?
Oh! And the item on the passenger seat that I needed to remove was a letter. Yep. All this for a letter. Insert eye roll.