Ok, let me back up real quick and tell the story.
I have *always* struggled to get up with my alarm and not hit snooze. And sometimes I am a really heavy sleeper, where I will hit the snooze 10 times in a row every 9 minutes and won’t even know I’m doing it! It’s crazy…
Anyway, last night I told Scott “Even if we don’t workout first thing because we need sleep and it’s been a rough/stressful week, I am going to get up when you do around 6:15, to run to the grocery store (across the street) grab a couple things because I used the last of the mayo and you need that for your lunch.”
Well, 6:15 came and went, I snoozed my alarm and for some reason it didn’t continue to go off, Scott needed to leave by about 7:05/7:10, he woke me up at 6:55 and sweetly & softly said “Hey babe, I know you wanted to stop at the store real quick before work…”
I looked at my phone and realizing it was 6:55 and now I had about 10 minutes to throw myself together, get to the store, and help put Scott’s lunch together (because I want to help and I said I would!)...I immediately got panicked and angry and started psuedo-yelling at him:
“Why didn’t you wake me up sooner?!?!? Letting me sleep wasn’t nice...it’s put me into a frenzy now!!! I *wanted to get up!!!! Now I don’t have enough time!!! That wasn’t helpful...now I’m scrambling!!! Why did you do that?!?!?!”
As a rushed to throw some clothes on, grab my wallet and run over to the store real quick, my more rational brain started kicking in and I started realizing some more things:
All of these things are true. They are things he actually SAID to me (but I couldn’t hear him over my irrationally angry thoughts) and things I just realized are true.
As soon as I got back from the store I started apologizing. I was still a bit flustered, and they started as “clenched teeth” apologies, but the fact of the matter is, no matter WHAT anyone says or does to me, I GET TO CHOOSE how to react.
This morning, I chose anger.
But there was another option. I could have chosen to brush it off but still gotten out of bed quickly. Rather than blaming him for me needing to rush, I still could have popped out of bed and said “Haha! Whoops! Snoozed my alarm again, better go!” or I could have still been frustrated but focused the frustration in the right place, towards myself, because I was the one who snoozed the alarm and could have said “Oh shoot. Overslept. Dammit! Ok, thanks for waking me up, babe. Getting up.”
I could have made a bunch of different, and better, choices.
The important thing is, I apologized quickly, owned my part, and then even called Scott on the way to work to apologize again when we were less rushed and had a little more time to talk.
It’s ok to get frustrated. And even though “life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” - that doesn’t mean we all don’t get triggered sometimes by other people’s actions. It’s just important to stop for a second and think “Where is my frustration coming from?? Is it really something YOU did or didn’t do that is causing this problem or stress? Or ultimately, does it boil down to something I could have controlled that would have prevented this from playing out this way?”
It’s a difficult and humbling practice...but I can tell you the answer…
YOU are in control of YOU. YOU get to decide how you react, how you interpret others’ actions, and what you do to set yourself up for success and feeling good or for disappointment and frustration. It’s a big, fat, tough pill to swallow to take that much ownership over your life, but it’s also liberating! When you realize YOU are capable of changing your feelings, actions, or the outcome of a situation, you feel more POWERFUL and calm than anything else...I promise you!
So yeah, today, first thing in the morning, I yelled at my husband. But it’s ok. I’m human, I apologized, he forgave me, and it was a big lesson in truly realizing what NOT to do and how to prevent situations like this in the future.
We are all a work in progress. We are all learning and growing. As long as you are constantly committing to be a better you and learning from your mistakes, you really can’t go wrong.
Anything you need to say “sorry” to your significant other for this week? Breathe. Realize where you can take ownership. Apologize sincerely. And most importantly, let yourself off the hook for being human! :-)