Window of Frustration

Despite the training plan for a five mile trail run, somewhere along the way I took the wrong fork in the path and ended up on the eight mile trail. For about a mile my frustration level so high that I planned the “wreckage” of the rest of my day. The extra three miles will add 25 minutes to my run. This will delay my return home and I won’t have time to separate the laundry into the whites and the darks. I could punt and combine the loads or use the speed cycle which doesn’t get the clothes that clean but then I’ll have time to finish ironing because I need a shirt for going out tonight…..ugg. My mind was spinning. After awfulizing* for a mile or so about how my day was ruined, I saw a sign indicating the trail-head was a mere two miles away. Ha! Crisis averted. Please resume normal operations.

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Whereas my panic on that particular day ended in less than ten minutes, the restlessness and searching for some people never stops. I have friends who have changed careers and spouses, switched time zones and continents, and fallen into considerable debt while chasing elusive dreams. The pursuit of happiness is a winding and nebulous path. Many ended up emotionally, financially, and spiritually bankrupt. Their well-thought out plans were thwarted by the world. They are devastated and gutted by the experience and live with a bitter wound that weighs heavily on them.

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As I wrote in an earlier post, faith is trusting God not only in the finish or end but in the journey or process. My five mile run turned into an eight miler by mistake but it led to a more scenic and less crowded path. The things in life that we see as curses are often wrapped with a thousand blessings and if given the chance, we would not change the original incident. It is impossible to say whether something is God’s plan, but accepting life on life’s terms partially releases us from control and frees us from worrying about the future. My goal each day is to shorten that ten minute window of frustration and strive to see the blessings immediately. The deepening of gratitude will undoubtedly result in contentment with wherever I am in life.

*This is an informal word that is used in psychology circles. It refers to an irrational and dramatic pattern of thought where one overestimates the potential negative consequences and severity of events, situations, or threats. I used to do this all the time!

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