WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS, MAKE LEMONADE
Jul 30, 2020
This evening, I find myself sitting in a cafe in front of Lucerne‘s concert hall, sipping a glass of wine and looking out onto the lake. It is 8 pm, still warm and it is a lovely, beautiful evening.
To be able to enjoy this is a true achievement for me, something of which I am proud of, because I won a battle against myself. Let me explain.
Earlier this afternoon I had left the office in Zurich in a hurry to catch the train. I suffered through an hour long tram and train journey in the heat - not all trains in Switzerland are air conditioned - and I got off at my usual station where I park my car. Tired, sweaty, exhausted. In expectation of a busy evening, having to finish a recording for my online course, a couple of phone calls and sending out an urgent webinar invititation.
In front of my car, I search for the car keys in my purse. Front pocket, inside compartment, hidden compartment. Nothing. I search through my shopping bag, full of soggy strawberries. Nothing (except soggy strawberries). Search through my purse again, empty all contents on the tarmac in the heat. Nothing. Then it dawns on me. This morning it was cooler, and I wore a jacket. Car keys in my left pocket. Great. Oh - thinking of it - house keys in my right pocket. Oh no. Jacket left in office. Office closed by now, all people gone. Can‘t ride back on the train and tram another hour to retrieve my car and house keys, because the office keys are part of my key chain - in the office. Can't go home to my partner either because he is on holiday.
In cases like this, I turn to plan B. Plan B is to call my friend who has a spare house key. Only, this friend wrote me a message two hours ago that she is on her way out of town for a couple of days. Plan C: our cleaning lady has a key. Whatsapp to cleaning lady. No answer. Another Whatsapp, this time to my daughter-in-law who also has a key but lives out of town (Plan D). In the meantime, I am sitting in the bus to Lucerne, hoping to get an answer by a key-holding person by the time I get to the station. To be on the safe side, I follow up with a Whatsapp to my out-of-town-friend’s daughter who lives in Lucerne and who might have the key to her mother’s place where my spare key is supposed to hang on the key rack (Plan E).
No answer from anybody by the time I arrive in Lucerne. Time for a lovely glass of wine at the beautiful lake in my beloved city of choice.
Why am I writing this in all detail?
Because a couple of years back, I would not have been sitting here, tired but comparatively relaxed, in the same situation. I would have been frantic, angry, cursing, hating myself and probably already booked myself into a hotel out of sheer exhaustion and frustration. I would have blamed myself for everything bad in the world, the way I looked, the way I failed. I would have carried the weight of the world on my shoulders.
So what has shifted in these past six, seven years, so that I can shrug off the misfortune, take a break and use the time to write a blog post on my experience instead?
In these past years, a couple of things happened. I got out of my hamster wheel by leaving my stressful 100 % job, at first to take a part time job and focus on resolving a health issue, later, when my health improved, to start setting up my own coaching and training business - with another part time job in my old company complementing my work.
Also, I coached myself with regard to my life values. Amongst which is movement, autonomy and calmness, but definitely not getting agitated about something that will be a mere anecdote in the weeks and months to come, and which will be forgotten before the end of the year.
Friends noted the change in me before I did, commenting that I was much more relaxed, much more balanced than before.
I decided to put that balance to the test this evening and it feels good. I am excited to see which of my backup plans will come to fruition this evening. If plans B to E won‘t work, I will come up with a plan F. In the meantime, I will have written a new blog post and newsletter - at least!