I have found that one of my greatest struggles in life is anger. I get irritable for seemingly no reason–or at best for petty molehills. This has been a battle I’ve engaged in for the past two or three years.
This morning I was taking my daughter to preschool and was waiting in the driveway to put her in her carseat. I was on the verge of seeing red. She wanted to say “good bye” to her sisters (for the third time!) and I wanted to scream (for the fifth time!). I decided that instead of yelling, I would try a little exercise to cultivate tenderness and not outrage. Since being late was my biggest worry at that point, I thought I would try a little experiment. Instead of yelling “hurry up” (after all I don’t want to hurry through life only to find I am on my death bed before I had truly lived), I wanted to see how much time was lost by her saying farewell (for the third time!). 1 one-thousand. 2 one-thousand. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. . . 15. And you know what, she got in the car!
Well. Not exactly. She stopped right at the door of the car. 1 one-thousand. She looked up at the roof across the street. 2 one-thousand. And she pointed. 3 one-thousand. “Look, Daddy. Three birds on that roof. One flew away. Now there are two!” 7 one-thousand. “She flew away to go find her husband.” [Insert, “ahhhh, how sweet’s” now]
We lost a total of 27 seconds. That’s it. No tears. No anger. No frustrating ride to preschool. A pleasant time talking about what she was going to do at school today. A pleasant ride.