When I was in high school basketball was everything. I ate, drank, and breathed for basketball season. My senior year my coach asked if I had interest in playing on the collegiate level. This was what I dreamed of. He told me he would start putting out feelers and let me know. I had a nearby junior college invite me for a tour of the campus. We went through the whole recruitment process and talked about everything from housing to Thanksgiving tournaments. The coach called me and told me how great of a fit I’d be. I was excited. I felt confident that the position was mine. A few weeks after the visit I went to check the mail and found a letter from the college. I opened it up and it was a card that said they had chosen someone else to fill the position. I was beyond disappointed. I felt like my dream had been ripped out from under me.
“You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong to fate, it belongs to you.” Josh Shipp
We have disappointments every day. They aren’t always big disappointments, say like applying for and not getting a new job. Usually the disappointments are in the small elements of life. I oftentimes have an idea of how I’d like the day to go. What I’d like to get done and how I’d like to spend time with my kids. I almost never have my day go according to plan. I get disappointed with myself when I am so frustrated with my son that I have to walk away so that I don’t hurt him! I get disappointed in myself when my husband comes home yet again to the same mess on the kitchen table that has been there for three days.
I oftentimes make my life harder while I think I am making it easier. My kids don’t eat particularly well, so if it means they will eat, I let them take bread into the living room. They never eat all of it and then crumbs end up on the floor and in the couch cushions. I spend more time cleaning it up then if I just put them at the table. I can’t really be frustrated with the kids, because I am the one that created that situation. However, I am still frustrated that I am continually cleaning one mess or another. I can use my frustration and disappointments and allow them to feed into my negative narrative about how I am failing yet again, or I can use it as a springboard for progress
If I am frustrated with my reaction to the kids, I can look at how we got to the point in the day that was a breaking point. Were there things that I could have done better? Were there ways I could have directed my son to go that would have minimized the conflict? We are always in control of our responses, but sometimes we forget that we are a part of creating our environment. Choose to be an active participant in your environment, and not a victim of circumstances. If you feel frustrated in your day to day dynamics, then change something about your day to day routine. We all know the saying, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. Apply this to your life today. Find one element to change and take control of your environment one decision at a time.