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At least I have my legs…a story about mindset

Have you ever had one of those days that starts out with one thing after another going sideways and you haven’t even had breakfast? Well I had one of those starts to my day recently. I was surely feeling quite annoyed and sorry for myself all at the same time. Yet the day had a very big insight for me – one that truly effected my mindset.

The day was a Friday, the last day of a week of teaching for Adler at the University of Western Ontario. The course was the second week of the Adler program, Coaching in the Context of Work. From the moment I awoke that morning I was in high gear to have a great day with a very fun  group and I knew I would be heading home later that day.

As I am heading out the door of my hotel room, I noticed that the rain that had been forecast for the day had turned to snow and I mean snow, 15 to 20 cm of the thick wet stuff. OK< so I’m driving to the school today instead of walking, no big deal, all is well. Or so I thought!

Then in the next hour, what unfolded felt like one test after another.

I get to my car in the hotel parking garage, loaded my luggage, got behind the wheel, pushed the starter button and nothing. The battery was dead. So I called for service and along with all the other weather challenged people out there, was put on hold. The cell signal in the underground garage was not strong so of course I lost the signal a number of times and keep getting shunted to last in the queue of those on hold. I decide to head back into the hotel.

Nice try Sue; you need a card key to re-enter the hotel from the garage and I had already checked out!

I checked out the garage and finally found a staff person who opened the door to let me back into the hotel. I walked up to the main floor because, of course, there were elevator problems. Finally made the front desk and asked them to call me a cab. By the look on their faces I knew this was not going to be my best choice as people were lined up knee deep to get taxis to the airport and elsewhere and the cabs were having a difficult time even getting to the hotel.

I told them about my dead battery and my predicament about getting to the classroom on time. One staff member offered her jumper cables and another offered to call Dan, the Mr. Fix-it Guy at the hotel. Things were looking up! Dan and I got to the car and of course my vehicle was facing the wrong way in and the cables wouldn’t reach. What next!

However, Dan offered to drive me to the university; I was so elated I could have hugged him. How’s that for service? So off we went. I gave Dan my car keys so he could direct the tow service to my car in the hotel garage.

I arrived at the classroom with 10 minutes to spare. One student had already gone off the road on her way in, yikes! She was all right but would not be joining us for the day.

The group was very gracious about allowing me a couple of minutes to get some breakfast after I relayed the details of my morning to this point and of course my description of how cranky I get when I haven’t eaten.

So, it’s now been an hour seen the ordeal began and the real lesson or “learning” was still to come.

I was crossing the street to Tim Horton’s to get something to eat when I came across a man in a motorized wheelchair, stuck in a snow bank at the edge of the sidewalk unable to get through the wet snow. I stopped to give him a hand and  was joined by 2 other good Samaritans. After some pushing and pulling we were able to get him dislodged and on his way.

Surprising, one of the men who helped get the wheelchair unstuck and was going in the same direction as me said, “I have to get going, I can’t waste another moment here – at least I have my legs.”
Wow, I caught my breathe and was about to say something rude and sarcastic but in the moment said instead, ‘here’s the good news, you stopped and helped us get the gentleman unstuck.” He mumbled something and continued on his way.

So as I continued through the snow to get in line for breakfast, I realized that a dead car battery meant nothing in comparison. So I celebrated the fact that at “least I’ve got my legs”.

The lesson being that I could have continued throughout the day feeling sorry for myself as I did at the start of the day yet my encounter with the wheelchair bound gentleman changed my entire perspective.

Ever had an opportunity to get nudged into a change of perspective?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

One Response to “At least I have my legs…a story about mindset”

  1. Great post.
    Having my perspective shift is a blessing on most occasions.
    Susan

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