The other day, I got very angry. We got a ticket on one of our cars for expired registration. I knew it was for April but thought we till the end of the month. Oh no. It expired on the 15th! When did this start?
The ticket is an absurd $65 dollars for being a few days late. I felt robbed and it made me angry. Not just of the money or ticket. I was angry because I have a very full life, like many working parents, and I try to make it by on some assumptions so that I can get things done in life with some ease. One assumption I thought I could make was to take care of vehicle registrations at the end of the month.
I decided to take some time to think about what really made me angry. It came down to one word:
I can often feel powerless and it makes me feel helpless, which in turn makes me angry. I feel powerless because there are people, such as government officials, company executives and others that do things that have control over me, yet I have no say. (Kids probably think this all the time)
Vote and boycott is many people's answer. I feel voting does not work. I could vote for every alternative and the fact is, government bureaucracies will change things without our consent and we are powerless. Look at the MTA fare hikes in NY.
The only thing I can do in life is change and work on the things I can control:
- Such as, read my mail and don't assume.
- Look for alternatives at every corner. (I changed cable companies in the nick of time but I was lucky there was an alternative.)
- Prioritize important deadlines
- Act instead of react
- Pick my battles
I really like that last one. My husband and children are a good examples. There are things I will go to battle for but, I make sure it's THAT important.
I think about Primoff of Scarsdale, who put her children on the street, not 20 minutes from my home, who is also a partner at the same firm where husband works. In her moment, she felt powerless and reacted to her sense of powerlessness. Is she a bad mother? I have no idea. Did she do something dumb? You bet. Does she regret it? Oh yeah. My only hope is that it turns into some thing funny for the girls, later in life, like:
12 year old, now 30: "Remember that time Mom got so mad at us that she left us on the street in White Plains? LOL"
10 yr old, now 28: "OMG, Mom, you were so mad! I can't believe I went with that person to go get ice cream! What was I thinking? LOL and the media went berserk!"
Mom: "I'm sorry I was an idiot. Now that you have kids, do better!"
We can only hope. I'm sure there are many lessons in power from that one.
A few last thoughts and I'll share my Entrepreneur and Professional Moms Assoc. video.
Think about your power over others and use it wisely - justly. Consider the power others have over you. Most importantly, think about the perception of power of others over you. Work to control your reactions.
Wish you all the best,