I drove my son to his after school activity the other day, but it only dawned on me when I arrived, that I didn’t know how he was going to get home.
I am fortunate to be in a carpool with a friend of mine and we alternate each week with the return ride.
Typically, we touch base during the day to remind each other whose turn it is that week, but it slipped my mind to be in touch with her and I assume it also slipped hers.
So, there I was sitting, sitting in the parking lot of this class, not knowing if I should go home or stay for the 1.5 hours in order to take home.
My friend wasn’t answering her phone, and I began to get annoyed.
I did a quick replay of last week in my mind and remembered that indeed I did the carpool last week, so this week was her turn.
Why wasn’t she in touch with me earlier in the day?
Is she going to pick up?
Am I going to have to waste my time sitting here, wondering what to do, for the next 1.5 hours?
After about 10 minutes of unsuccessful phone call attempts, she called back.
“My son isn’t in the class today,” she said.
“Oh,” I responded, not being able to think of any smarter way to respond.
“I can still pick up if you want,” she replied.
She sounded sincere (or at least half sincere), but it didn’t make any sense to me. I was already there. Why should she have to leave her house, if I was there anyway?
Plus, it was obvious she didn’t really think or care about me, as she somehow totally forgot to get in touch with me during the day to tell me this little important fact.
Why are people so inconsiderate?
Why am I the only considerate person on this earth?
Why me? Always me!
But, I caught myself. Annoyed. Irritated. Pissed off. Stuck.
Yet, knowing that staying stuck in any situation, never helps me nor does it help others, I took a stop. I turned off the car, closed my eyes, and took a breath.
I told myself the many emotions I was feeling and allowed myself to feel them. I permitted myself to relax into those feelings and check in with my body.
I uncovered my many thoughts: about how my friend is inconsiderate, and irresponsible, and selfish. But, after checking in with the accuracy of those beliefs, I realized none of them were true. This friend happens to be very selfless and one of the most considerate people I know.
So, I came up with a list of considerations:
- I considered this carpool thing slipped her mind, as it did mine.
- I considered she did offer to pick up – I was the one who told her to stay home.
- I considered this was an aberration.
- I considered if I really can’t deal with my friend and her lack of responsibility (which isn’t true anyway), I could get out of the carpool.
- I considered my friend didn’t realize how much this was affecting me.
- I considered, paraphrasing the words of Tony Robbins, “Getting STUCK doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.”
- And therefore, I considered why this situation happened to me.
I took on a lot of those considerations including that I don’t want to ruin a friendship over it. It happened. It’s in the past. Time to move on.
I also took some time to consider why this situation happened for me. Perhaps to help me cultivate a bit more patience and understanding for others? Quite possible. Or, perhaps it was so I could stay and watch my son at his class – something I typically don’t do and probably something he would enjoy. Also quite possible.
Before I got out of the car, I reminded myself it’s OK that I got stuck and offered a prayer of thanks that I got stuck quite quickly before my emotions got the better of me.
What about YOU? Did you get stuck today? Did you place the fault on others, rather than turning inwards and taking a good look at yourself? Did you get unSTUCK?
Feel free to share with me. I’d love to hear from you.