Our family of eight, my husband, me and six children are on a plane headed for a two week trip to Europe. Over the past several months I’ve been relishing my newfound sense of calm. I’ve had a couple of customer service-type situations come up over the past few weeks that would normally have driven me to lose my temper and become irritated as my blood pressure would rise. However, with this new calm, I handled these situations with amazing grace – especially for me. I was even feeling a little bit righteous about myself. As we’ve prepared for this trip, I’ve used my calm attitude to schedule what needed to be done, to start the kids packing early and to get my volunteer work in shape to leave, all with the intention of having our send-off be smooth and easy. Yesterday morning I sat down at my computer to do our on-line check-in and discovered that our travel agent, who had confirmed our seat types two months ago, had messed up so that instead of having the upgraded seats we’d requested, we were in the last two rows of the plane. I called the travel agent, thoroughly intending to handle the matter calmly, but, somewhere between dialing the phone and listening to her lame excuses, I lost it. My voice rose and my blood pressure went up. When I got off the phone, I was appalled that I’d lost my temper. It’s not that I didn’t have a right to get angry – this was a major mess-up, but I realized that I simply did not like the way I felt. The situation left me agitated all day and throughout last night. I only fully calmed down this morning when the airline ticketing agent fixed the last of the seat problems and we knew we were on our way as originally planned.
We truly do continue to learn throughout our lives and, just because we’re adults, the learning process is not infallible. I hope to learn many new things over the course of the rest of my life and today I know that one lesson I still need to work on is how to remain calm when things don’t go as planned. I may have moved up to the head of the class, but I’m certainly not ready for graduation.