I can talk myself into a calm sense of being as long as everything is going well.
But I’ve never been too good at catching the curve ball.
For instance this morning while doing the breakfast dishes I discovered that the kitchen sink was clogged. Super easy, I think. I can handle this. No big deal. Just google “garbage disposal clogs” and earn a girl scout badge. After taking apart and draining the disposal it seemed as though I had solved my little kitchen drain dilemma. Two hours later I discover the problem is a little larger than I’d thought.
As I’ve got a load of laundry going I hear an unfamiliar gushing sound and I walk into the kitchen to find water spewing about, all over the tile, eeking towards the carpet. And I live on the 7th floor.
This fact sends my mind into a tailspin of worse case scenarios such as: water leaking through to the next floor, soaking the floorboards upon which my double stack 500lb washer and dryer sit, thus sending the washer and dryer plummeting through the floor to the apartment below, possibly injuring my downstairs neighbors, ruining my apartment, my bank account and my travel plans.
And this is an irrational, panic-ridden thought. But this is how my mind works. One little thing goes awry and I see my demise via washer-dryer water damage catastrophe.
Luckily I managed to turn off the water, soak up the mess and arrange for a plumber to visit. Normal response to a normal (albeit annoying) problem.
Tragedy averted. And even though the thought of something getting in the way of my travels put me into an immediate panic – I realized that I cannot control everything – and taking this fact of life into consideration I need to work on my grace under pressure.
Living abroad for three months is going to be challenging. No matter how prepared I think I am, the unexpected snafus will occur and I want to approach the unexpected with a level head – not a “the world is out to get me” attitude. Going back to a post I made a few days ago, I believe that it all comes down to staying present.
Even when the worst case scenario is playing out right in front of your eyes, the only thing you can control is your response in that moment.
Take it in stride and move on.