Four days into this week. Trusty car has broken down again with a strange aliment (Which I found out later was the cable/pulley snapping from the steering column.) I personally believe that it is the service departments fault when they fixed my suspension the previous Friday; yet they say "no, this was an anomaly". Certainly NOT very reassuring.
Yet I smiled. OK OK. No I did not smile but I TRIED! I remained calm though it all and thought of smiling. Here is where my kindness test really kicked in.
- This second breakdown happened on a Monday night as I was attempting to bring my twelve year old to basketball practice at 6:15 pm.
- I immediately called the Volvo dealerships and told them I couldn't steer my car. They asked me to call AAA and have it towed. (I calm down a bit and even crack a smile. OK good. I have AAA.
- AAA representative tells me I DO NOT have AAA but can get it reinstated for $110.00 (lose the smile)
- Call the father of my children to let him know I have no car in which he calls the dealership and tells them to get me a rental and that I cannot be without a car. (I would also like to point out, I had done the very same thing with no results.) (Three steps back for woman kind).
I stayed in kindness. I smiled whenever I sensed my world crumbling around me through this mini crisis. I began to fill my head with gratitude lists.
- I was not driving when the cable snapped
- I have a rental car
- I am still able to purchase the groceries and cook at the soup kitchen where I volunteer
- I have friends that supported me and was there for me; drove my kids to school; listened to me vent.
Through my smiling and gratitude list - strange thing started to happen - I felt better. My situations hadn't changed one bit, but you know what? I really did feel better.
When my kids came out of school - I smiled at them even though I did not feel like it. When I dropped my son off at the Malden Catholic basketball game, I smiled before he left the car. When I went to my daughters Malden High School basketball game, I smiled at her from across the way. I smiled and waved to people I knew. I was exhausted mentally and physically and quite frankly it hurt to smile but doggone it, I persevered and SMILED.
And you know what? I was no longer PRETENDING to feel better - I actually was better.
For kicks, I googled smiling and I liked this page the best on About.com http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongbeauty/tp/smiling.htm In particular #2 and #6:
2. Smiling Changes Our Mood
Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There's a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.
6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure
When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?
Courtesy of www.about.com
What does this have to do with kindness? Being in a foul mood is only going to make you and everyone around you more foul. The situation is what it is. Some of it completely out of your control. So, make the decision to change what YOU can change and let the rest take care of itself.
Big Smile to YOU!!!