Sunday, August 29, 2010

Frustration and flexibility

I realized this morning that I've been letting external circumstances dictate my inner comfort. On Thursday, I changed my phone services in order to stop paying for a second phone line now that I no longer use my fax. I had a pleasant man come out and do the necessary changes and once he left, my Internet service no longer worked. Between Thursday afternoon and yesterday morning I was on the phone about a dozen times with the phone company and my Internet service provider, who kept telling me contradictory things and I got more and more frustrated.

Mostly I was anxious because my routines for email were disrupted. I have a preference for the reliable and the predictable, especially in my home environment (I'm a bit looser on holidays). I also felt frustrated that I couldn't solve any of this on my own. I could make phone calls, and eventually get the phone company and the ISP to talk to each other, but I couldn't solve the problem.

It isn't a catastrophe. My neighbor Ben has wifi and he was generous enough to offer me his password for the next few days so that I can get web mail. Although some things take longer, I can communicate with anyone I need to and I can use a flash drive to move between desktop and laptop and I can get info on the web. It's all okay. But it doesn't feel okay.

I don't like it that such minor disruptions unnerve me, that I have such a need for things to go along as I think they should, that my acceptance of change and break-down are intellectual. Maybe it comes from living in a country where most things work most of the time, unlike a large part of the world where very little is reliable and disruption is a way of life.

It helps to recognize my frustration for what it is, to practice acceptance and flexibility. But curiously, the thing that made the biggest difference was taking out a couple of hours from my work day yesterday to participate in my friend Mary Garvey's journal jam. Mary invites friends over to collage and write and paint in their journals. She has a ton of supplies, big tables. It was truly therapeutic for me to cut and paste and arrange and contemplate from a whole different part of myself. I don't always remember that. But somehow I knew to get to her place and play. When I got back, the fact that I won't have a solution until Tuesday just didn't seem all that big a deal.

No comments: