This morning while writing my blog, I got up to refill my coffee cup and heard a little crunch under my feet as I sat back down. Where did that sound come from? Well, you guessed it… I stepped on my glasses! As I bent down to pick up the pieces I thought, “This really isn’t in my budget right now. Last month I needed new tires and brakes on my car.”
And then it happened…. the moment when you decide whether to have a “5-Minute Pity Party” or let something ruin your whole day (or possibly your whole week!) Let me explain about this “party”.
Years ago, my oldest daughter was in middle school. One day she got off the bus, came into my office, and proceeded to tell me how unfair Mrs. So-and-So was and the project she assigned made no sense and on and on. As I sat there listening and watching my daughter complain, I realized there would be many things in her life that would not go the way she planned or would seem unfair. How could I help prepare her?
I looked at my daughter and said, “Ok, you have 5 minutes to tell me how unfair this is.” Then I looked at my watch and said, “Go!” She started out strong, listing details and sharing her views. After a couple minutes she stopped and I said, “Keep going, you still have 3 more minutes of complaining!” This made her laugh and changed the whole mood!
After this time of releasing and complaining, we were able to discuss her options. We role-played how she could talk to her teacher in a respectful way. I wanted my two daughters to understand that things would happen in their lives that they didn’t necessarily like or want to happen. But, they had a choice to make- would they choose pity or productive thoughts and actions.
As she walked off, I realized I often needed to have my own pity party. Instead of calling 3 friends or telling the checkout clerk, I needed to learn to work through my challenges and disappointments. Thus began the “Five-Minute Pity Party” at our house.
Let me be clear, there are definitely times in life to mourn and grieve; I don’t want you to just put on the happy face and go on. There are certainly trials and events that need to be processed for a much longer period of time than five minutes. I’m referring to those little things that come up daily and are often more annoying than difficult. Now when these happen, I stop and spend a few minutes writing or telling God how unfair this is! I get it out….which leaves room for options and/or solutions. And sometimes the solution is to do nothing- I’m ok with that too, after I have my “5-Minute Pity Party”.
So, the next time you do something like step on your glasses, are frustrated with someone or something, or dealt a hand that seems unfair, I invite you to the “Five-Minute Pity Party”! And by the way, it’s amazing what a little duct tape can do for broken glasses!
How do you handle daily challenges and things that seem unfair? Let us know in the comment section below.