Following the teachings of Master Oogway*
I went to my first professional seminar yesterday. I didn't know what to expect, I didn't really know where it was, I didn't know if I'd get a seat on the train, I didn't know anyone there (or worse, I might bump into someone I used to know but didn't want to meet). I planned for the worst - that it would be boring and that everyone there would be exceptionally strange and I'd probably get lost on the bus. Further insult was that I had to get up with the dawn chorus instead of rolling out of bed at 8am to stumble into work around 9am. I set my alarm for 6.45am, people. That's before 7am! I left the house at 7.30 and caught a train at 8. Oh, what a wonderful train. I felt like a failure for not driving (why did I feel that way, why does the motorway taunt me so? compounded by the free parking permit) but when I saw that mostly empty carriage and pulled out my knitting, I felt like a champion. Trains are underrated and in this case, it was exceptionally convenient for me to get a train. I knitted for about an hour on the christening gown, didn't get lost on the bus, was pleased to see that the other delegates were a normal cross-section of society. The food was great - I was expecting a paper plate and a few sandwiches but it was a proper steak pie sit down hot meal. With a chocolate mint mousse for afterwards. The lecturer was very good and made a potentially sleep inducing subject mildly interesting at times. I was pretty tired by the end of the day but very smug about how it all went. I really shouldn't fret so much in future. It could equally have been disastrous but fretting about it? Will that solve any problems in advance? I think not.
Something happened this week that pushed my buttons and I started churning up about trying to make someone else behave how I wanted them to. And then I just realised, Master Oogway has the solution. Forget about the illusion of control. This person will do what they want regardless of how I react so there's little point in expending my energy on it. I should just relax and enjoy spending the voucher.
I'm trying to apply Master Oogway's teachings more to my life. I'll let you know how it goes.
*He's the tortoise in Kung Fu Panda, but obviously you knew that already ;)