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    Gisele is a Certified Executive Coach working with leaders seeking to enhance their leadership presence. See her profile.

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    Work, life and things in between – Day 13: O the glorious mornings!

    Monday. O the glorious mornings of not setting the alarm clock, drinking coffee and reading the morning papers until even the obituaries have been read from top to bottom.  I will never tire of that. There is a sense of “je ne sais quoi” which totally feels like vacation.  Day in and day out!

    Today I need to take the car in for inspection before I can renew the insurance. I feel good to have an item on my agenda. So, I leisurely drive to the location at a time when traffic has died and all commuters are locked in their downtown towers.

    I pull into the entrance where the sign shows that there is an eight minute wait. “We apologize for the inconvenience” the sign says.  You are kidding, right? 8 minutes is a joy.  I am used to fighting crowds at lunch hour or early evenings for these things where 8 minutes were more like 8 hours.  So I drive into the garage, drop the car, walk to the waiting room, buy myself a cup of coffee, sit down and pull out my book.

    No sooner have I retrieved the marker from my book that the mechanics is calling me on the speaker. The inspection is done.  I can go now.

    What? So soon? But I thought this would book most of my morning? What will I do now?

    With time to spare, I decide to stop at the car wash to vacuum the inside of my car.  Normally, my car was my daughter’s to use.  Since I worked from home, or from the States, I very seldom used it.  While I was away, she and her boyfriend borrowed it to go camping and, of course, returned it in its “camping mode”.

    Normally I would have her clean it, but she is gone.  Plan B would be to take it to the cleaners but I decided to make a genuine effort at changing my habits.  Instead of buying everything,  I want to see to what extent I can provide for myself.  So I take 5 bucks,  ask for change, start pumping the vacuum cleaner with coins and start cleaning up the car.

    No sooner have I started that the hose breaks and the nozzle comes loose.  I spend the remaining of my dollar trying to adjust it. I ask the Attendant if he can fix the hose but evidently he can’t.  I ask to be refunded and he won’t.

    An immediate mood shift occurs here and I can feel myself slipping into an ugly mood.

    I catch myself however.

    This is just a car wash and this is just a dollar.  I can do this!

    One thing I have come to realize in the last year is how short my temper “fuse” had become.  I had completely run out of patience for any of life’s little hurdles  such as traffic, store hours, line ups, spilled coffee etc.

    I came to admit this when as a pedestrian crossing the street on MY green light, a car drove by me, from ITS red light.  The driver yelled at me for being on the street.  I reacted with the certainty of righteousness and an overdose of built up stress level. No ambiguity where that came from. I literally hit his car with my fist and shouted back at him with words I would not want my children to hear!

    Wow! I had now become this crazy person who could potentially pick a street fight.  To know me is to know that this is totally out of character. I also realized that, had the driver come out of his car, I had nowhere to go!  This was frightening.  At least, given my life today, good news was I would not have had to explain the broken nose to my boss or my kids..!

    So, I am now teaching myself some lessons. I spent the next 20 minutes on my hands and knees, pulling on the hose, going around doors, scraping the floor, picking long red hair (hers), gum wrappers (his), old receipts (mine) and assorted flies and bugs.  I was hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable and felt silly to resist taking $30 and have someone else do it.

    Why bother?

    Well, there is a part of me that thinks that this break in my life is a step back to better launch myself again.  Then, there is this other part that thinks I will be happier with a totally different life and that maybe this different life is a lot simpler and a lot leaner.

    In that case, I would need to learn to be patient and do these things. After all, it only requires time.

    I need to add patience to my “to do” list and you need to read on to day 14!


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