I am a naturally very lucky person. For the most part, the stars seem to shine on me with the things that get handed to me on a silver platter and with the opportunities that I am presented with- with some things I’ll work very hard to get to where I want to be, but the point is that I was given the opportunity to have the chance to work hard for it, and for that I am eternally grateful.
The problem with being lucky is that every so often, the “stars” seem to realize that this is not entirely fair. So they like to throw a wrench in my plans. Just for kicks.
That’s what happened today. It was shaping up to be a busy and crazy weekend anyways, but then, yesterday, my computer went odd. Malfunctioned? I’m not entirely sure. At any rate, the desktop went funny and I thought that I might have lost all my work (thank goodness for Google Documents that most stuff is saved on the Internet!). I also was unable to open up the Internet, which was frustrating to say the least.
Even so, I have the computer at work and my sister has a computer at home that I could use in a pinch, so I wasn’t too concerned. However, last night I went to see the new James Bond movie (side note: it was awesome. I love James Bond), and it wasn’t until I was nearly back home that I realized my wallet was no longer on me. We drove back to the theater, pounded on the doors until they unlocked them for us, and searched for it. It wasn’t there, so I left a description of it and we drove back to my place. About a block from my apartment I realized I no longer had my keys on me, either, and must have left them at the theater when I was writing down the description of my wallet (apparently I need to screw my head on a little tighter). Luckily my sister was at home and able to let me in.
I spent much of today going back and forth trying to find my wallet and keys, only to come to the conclusion that either my wallet fell out of my pocket and someone found and kept it, or someone outright pick pocketed me. So I had to cancel my credit card and then get some new keys cut. Of course, losing my Internet, wallet, and keys wasn’t quite enough bad luck for one day (either that, or when one thing goes wrong, suddenly all the other little things that go wrong seem much more noticeable…), so on my walk back from getting the keys cut my nose began bleeding. And then when I tried to report my missing wallet to the police center, I learned that that particular center is now shut down.
It was about a half hour into my walk that I began to really calm down and became interested in analyzing the various stages of stress that I had gone through. Any stressful situation is an interesting psychological analysis, and the best time to do such an analysis is when you are experiencing it right then. So I looked at how I had reacted throughout this whole business.
1. Loss of Internet: feel anxious and slightly annoyed, but aware that this is a problem that can be sorted out (thank goodness for people in my life with computer skills!)
2. Loss of wallet: outwardly lighthearted with friends, inwardly freaking out.
3. Loss of keys: outwardly lighthearted, inwardly cursing myself. As soon as I get home, begin to cry before going to bed. This morning, I wake up and make a blueberry lemon loaf, clean the kitchen, and clean the bathroom to distract myself from the current problem and to stop thinking about my dream in which I find that my wallet was in my purse all along (I hate waking up from dreams like that).
4. Go to the movie theater to ask if the wallet has been found, only to find that it hasn’t, and somehow no one saw my keys either: I leave another description of the wallet and am much more outwardly frazzled and close to tears. Return home, slam my hand against a door, exercise my lungs a bit, and throw myself angrily on my bed (I found my bed to be more forgiving than the door). Eat chocolate chip cookie dough and discover that my Internet is magically back, the desktop is back to normal and none of my work has been lost. Hurrah! (Eat more cookie dough in celebration).
5. Go back to movie theater to check inside the theater to see if wallet got wedged between seats: it hasn’t been, and when I get someone to check the office again they still can’t find anything, and assure me that they have my description so I don’t need to leave it a third time. Am not having very good control over my emotions publicly anymore.
6. Get keys cut: I feel so good that something went right that I am able to calm myself down a bit, and reflect that the worst that has happened is that I lost my birthday present (a gift card for a bookstore) and the $60 cash (aka 5 hours of work- damn that’s annoying when you look at it that way!) that was in my wallet. The credit card, debit card, and all the other cards can be replaced without me losing out too much (if my wallet was stolen, they thankfully didn’t use my credit card before I canceled it); getting another student card, drivers license, and health card will be a hassle but its doable.
7. Nose starts bleeding: think to myself, come on, seriously? and am more amused than anything else at this point.
8. Get to police station and see that it’s closed: almost start to cry again. Instead come home, eat some cookie dough, and sit down to write.
Ultimately, from this I’ve learned that a) doors really are solid and don’t like it when you hit them; b) indulging in cookie dough is a good thing every once in a while. I hadn’t had it in a long time and if I was going to have it at some point, today was definitely the day for it. It didn’t make my teeth feel great, but it sure tasted good and I enjoyed every bite of it. And I’m sure I’ll continue enjoying it as the evening continues, though I expect my stomach will be almost as irritated with me as my teeth currently are; c) walking is absolutely the best thing that I can do when I start to get stressed; d) sometimes I need a good stressful event to make me a little more productive (ie. cleaning and baking).
If someone told me while I was in one of the earlier stages of this course of events that I should analyze my emotions and thoughts as the situation unfolded, I’d probably… “politely express my distaste for their advice”. Even so, I’ve found that this analyzation really did calm me down, and I really would recommend you try doing it the next time you find yourself stressed out and dealing with plain bad luck. It’s a useful thing to do because it gives you something to focus on that isn’t exactly the problem itself, and it also helps you to deal with the problem by understanding your own emotions. I believe that there is a place for those instant feel-goods (cookie dough), as long as they are then followed by the more longer lasting feel-goods (walking and writing).
I think what really bothered me was the lack of control I had over the situation. While the keys were my own fault for losing, I don’t honestly know how I could have lost my wallet. And suddenly having absolutely no access to any money is rather alarming. I borrowed some money so that I could get the keys cut and to just have some cash on hand until I get another debit card, but I really dislike knowing that I need to rely on someone else for their help. In the case of someone giving something just because, I don’t mind that at all. It’s when I really do need help and need to rely on someone else to provide for me that I feel uncomfortable; accepting generosity and gifts is one thing but needing help is another. I’m no longer in control of the situation, and I dislike that.
And that, I believe, is what led me to analyze my emotions. Because only through understanding them was I able to regain control over them. To regain control over the only thing that I really could have control over at that point.
I clearly have some control issues, but I am not exactly sure if it is precisely a negative thing or not, and I am also rather at a loss with how I should try to solve these issues if they are in fact negative. I would love to hear any advice you have at all on the subject!
Also, what do you all think about analyzing your emotions? Does it help you to deal with stress? Come to that, how do you deal with stress?
PS If you made it this far, thank you for reading.