Irony

Isn’t it rather ironic how moods and attitudes can change in a blink? Why is that?

Well, to be honest it is because we have the power to affect how we feel. I guess Mom was right when I would come home in tears because somebody pushed me or something by saying that “You are the boss of you and only you can make you feel sad.” In a way, I guess that is a watered down version of how my life is now. Something happens and I can deal with it in a few ways: I can either get mad, upset,  do something about it, or not let it bother me. Each has its own implications–getting mad will both make you upset and won’t help the situation (it could make someone else upset), getting upset will just make it harder to make a rash decision, doing something about it will help to correct the problem (if you do it right), and leaving it alone means the problem may or may not go away (but either way you do not have permission to complain about the outcome).

So what sparked my enthusiasm for the topic was my views towards the university, specifically UR Self-Service. So, you may ask – what could possibly be wrong with the university? Haven’t they always been very very helpful and overly accomodating? (Can you hear the sarcasm?) Well, it turns out that they actually are! I registered for my classes this morning but to my dismay, PSYC 210 was FULL – to be exact there was already an extra body in the class that shouldn’t have even been there. Now, I tried everything the fake the computer into letting me take the course, but with no success. So I was angry and sad. Very sad. My schedule is such that I cannot possibly take any classes other than what I have because my uncle decided (a year ago) to get married in the middle of finals… in the Dominican Republic and my family is going. This means that all my finals had to be “crammed” into the small space before April 25, when we leave. The classes I wanted to take all had to have an early final, which was not easy! But I figured it out (fewf!). I was horrified when my 210 class was full.

So what did I do? I went to my education counsellor. She gave me a form. I filled it out. She sent me to the Department of Psychology. They looked at my form (giving me hope!) then said, “Go to the secretary at Campion” (my class is on Campion). So I went to see her.  She sent me to the Registrar, but on my way (literally 15 feet) I was intercepted with a “go to your prof’s office – it will for sure happen that way!” by a nice girl who was innocently doing homework. So I went back to the secretary to get my prof’s office number. I went to her office. She was away for a few hours. I went home. I went back to her office. She smiled, signed the box, and sent me to the Registrar (again!). I got there and she clicked a couple of times and said “You’re in.” That was easy – not really but in the end it wasn’t too bad. In the mean time, I had travelled the campus in a full circle and climbed 28 flights of stairs. But that is just what it took to get my university to work for me. In the long run, it was just a little excercise!

So, to explain my point – I origonally got very frustrated with the U of R for their lack of helping-out in my situation. Then I got upset and bogged down by the sixty billion offices I visited (but each with a smile on my face)  but when I had a chance to calm down and finally got my problem solved, I was really happy. Now, why couldn’t I have sucked it up and just been happy the whole time? Because I let little things control my emotions and ultimately my stress level. Really, to be utterly happy, I just need to not sweat the small stuff. It is that simple, yet so hard to do.

So I beg to ask why we let things control our emotions? Why should one small glitch in my otherwise great life be so upsetting? I understand it is partly human nature, but why should I let stress run my life? I read a study the other day where something like 50% of women age 20-25 let stress run (and drastically affect their health) their lives. It is crazy. So, what can I do to save my self from this contageous stress disease? Well, deep breaths and looking at the big picture. Was anyone hurt? No. Did anyone die? No. Did I potentially cause myself great harm? No. Would it have lost someone their job? No. Did I cause anyone any hurt feelings?  No. Was a baby crying because of it? Not even close. So why, even after all of this, do I let stress run my life? Well, I don’t know for sure, but I do know that I need to always take a moment, step back, and analyse the situation. For example, the MythBusters did an episode about escaping from a car when you drive off a bridge into water. The people who react and panic to get out drown, but if you are patient, you conserve your energy, hold your breath and then wait until the car fills up (to get equal pressure on either side of the door) to escape, you end up alive, with air to spare. This needs to be my new life. Patience is a virtue (as Mom allllllwaaaaayyyysss says).

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