Relax, It’s Just Life!
I pull into the local grocery store after a long day of work. I’m stressed and my mind is deep in my own thoughts. I’m frustrated about the day’s activities. Nothing seems to go my way today and I feel the weight and disappointment of an unproductive day.
Alia, my wife, called and asked me to pick up some items on the way home from work. I begrudgingly accept her request while quietly complaining to myself as to why I must complete this meaningless task when I could be doing so many other things right now.
I slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a car in the parking lot. A lady in a blue sedan pulled into a parking place that I was attempting to park in as well. I pull into the space next to her and slam my door as I exit. I approach the woman as she gets out of her car. “I had just as much right to that parking place as you, lady!” I bark in anger.
“Relax, dude.” The lady smiles and shrugs her shoulders. “It’s just life!”
I feel the anger leave my body and I suddenly feel foolish. I say nothing as the woman walks away from me and towards the store. I take my time getting the items my wife requested and think about that woman. How could I allow my anger to take over like that and yell at a stranger for taking my parking spot? I feel the blood rush to my face and embarrassment dominates my mood. I take a deep breath and allow the stress to leave my body. I vow to never let my emotions ruin my day. A vow I’ve broken several times since that moment, unfortunately.
“Relax, it’s just life.” That’s good advice for a world in constant motion and mounting stress. Road rage, social media rants, negative political TV advertisements, mass shootings, and overly sensitive egos rule our days, why?
RELAX. It’s easier said than done, I know. I struggle to relax. I’ve got a family of five souls that depends on me to provide. I have dreams and desires that are unfulfilled. I have an exhaustive list of expectations that I’ve put on myself and others. How can I possibly relax?
Last week, my wife, Alia, called me and asked if I could swing by and pick her up at the dealership. Our van needed repairs and I asked Alia to take it in and drop it off. The dealership notified her that it would take a couple of hours to fix. Alia didn’t want to sit and wait at the dealership so she called me and asked if I could come and pick her up.
“They have a courtesy car, don’t they?” I asked.
“I don’t know, but I’d rather you come and get me.” Alia responded.
“They can loan you a car, right?” I responded with another alternative question.
“I don’t know, I would just be more comfortable if you picked me up.” Alia said.
“I’m busy, Alia, I’ve got a lot of things I need to take care of, can you just wait it out?”
“Sure.” Alia responded with disappointment in her voice.
I hung up the phone and got back to work, but my heart was unsettled. My wife could easily find a way home, but she wanted me to take care of her. I was so wound tight around my own day that I didn’t think about her and her motives behind asking me for help. Of course she could find a way home, but she would rather spend time with me. I slumped back in my chair and took a deep breath. I looked at the paperwork on my desk. That stuff could wait.
I changed my clothes and jumped in the car and drove to the dealership. Alia was surprised, but pleased when I walked in the waiting room.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
“Coming to be with you. You up for some Starbucks?” I smile.
“Sure!” She smiled back and grabed her coat.
Alia and I spent a pleasant afternoon talking and spending time together over a cup of coffee while our van was being fixed. I decided to take that lady’s advice from several years ago and “relax”. I created a memory with my wife and still returned to get my work done.
I chose to relax at that moment and allowed my work to wait instead of my wife. What area of your life do you need to allow yourself to “relax”?