So this was one of those weeks.
I don’t mean one of those weeks. The ones where things fall apart all around you and make you wonder why you bother getting out of bed in the morning.
It was just one of those weeks. A week when things were going along reasonably well, when I was managing to be fairly productive for what felt like the first time in a long time, and when a few pieces started falling into place for some things I’ve been working toward. Not one of those stellar shout-it-from-the-highest-hilltop kind of weeks, but decent enough.
Unfortunately, true to Mr. Murphy’s prediction, there’s always someone who wants to piss in your cornflakes.
(For you non-hillbillies out there, that’s one of our quaint little Appalachian sayings for someone trying to ruin your day. We have quite a way with words here in the hills.)
And so at the end of what was otherwise a reasonably good week, I found myself having to deal with something I really didn’t want to deal with. Not a crisis or any kind of emergency, just one of those pain-in-the-ass situations that distracts you from the other things, the productive things, the enjoyable things.
It happens. We all know it.
The question is, what do we do with it?
We basically have a couple of choices in that kind of situation. We can let the distraction disrupt all of the good things that are going on. We can worry about it, fret over it, complain about it, and focus all of our time and energy on it. We can devote entirely more attention to it than it deserves.
Or, we can see it for what it is, deal with it, and then dispense with it.
In the past, I’ve chosen the first option way too often. This week, I decided to go with the second.
Sometimes there is no amount of focus or energy that we can pour into a situation to make it any better. There is no amount of worrying or hand-wringing that is going to bring about a resolution of any kind.
At the same time, as much as we’d like to, we can’t simply ignore those things either. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’s like the roof leak you don’t get around to fixing. It may just be a little drip for awhile but eventually your ceiling will cave in.
But we can just deal with things. Assess them for what they are, do what we can, and then let it go.
We can choose struggle and conflict, or we can choose shalom.
That doesn’t necessarily make the thing go away, whatever the thing is…in fact, it may come back at some point with even fiercer urgency. But more often than not there’s nothing you can do about that in the moment.
So I had to throw away a bowl of cornflakes. It was disappointing, but I didn’t let it ruin an otherwise pretty okay week. I’ll just wash up the dishes and start over again. Maybe I’ll add some strawberries to make it a bit sweeter.
That, after all, is the path to awesomeness.