Things got a little hectic during my New York trip last week. Too much to do, poor air quality, my inability to score at the lottery for “The Book of Mormon” tickets, heat and humidity, dueling deadlines and general exhaustion laid me low on Thursday evening.
(How many times do you get to use word “Mormon” and “lottery” in the same sentence? Not enough, if you ask me.)
I melted down, as it were. Then I remembered Marilyn vos Savant’s explanation of why self-administered foot rubs don’t feel nearly as well as a professional massage. External stimulation is always more pronounced because our bodies have adapted to reduce the impact of stimuli we ourselves produce.
Yes, all those factors were difficult. But they weren’t insurmountable. They couldn’t be changed, but my reaction to them could.
She’s not the smartest woman in the world for nothin’. Her words helped me look dispassionately at the situation and decide it wasn’t anyone’s “fault.” The confluence of circumstances was mostly the result of choices I had made.
My next choice: to keep feeling horrible and go to bed hysterical, or to try and do what I could right then to fix the situation.
Same problems, different day?
So I got hold of myself and sat up until 1:15 a.m. to finish much of the work. I slept until 9 a.m. and then took Friday off to have a long, business-related lunch, drop in at the American Folk Art Museum (where I also lucked into a free jazz concert), and walk around gawking like a tourist.
During that time I also thought about the situation enough to turn it into my current Get Rich Slowly piece, “The power of personal responsibility.”
Understand: This is not a blame-the-victim, “if you’re having problems it’s your own fault” article. Instead, the focus is:
- How many of your current money hassles were caused/exacerbated by something you did/didn’t do, and
- What can you do to keep this from continuing to happen?
Sometimes shit just happens. Sometimes it’s the same shit on a different day – and we continue to expect different results.
I’d be interested in your reactions to the piece once you’ve read it.
P.S. I never did get that “Mormon” ticket. Sigh. But on the bright side, I found two more people who might need a house-sitter.