Article date: Nov 30, 2020
The other day I was working away in my home office when suddenly there was a knock on my door. This was surprising because I live in a building where no one ever knocks on your door unless they’re expected and you’ve already let them in. I was so startled that I basically jumped out of my skin and may or may not have emitted the tiniest of shrieks.
I should mention that my anxiety these days is definitely elevated due to the ongoing pandemic and quite possibly in this case because of the two Americanos I had for breakfast.
I crept to the front door like a cat burglar in my own home and furtively peeked through the peephole right into the eyes of a masked woman.
“Can I help you?” I yelled through the door.
“Hi there, I’m selling chocolate bars for a good cause…would you like to buy one?”
It was in this moment I had to resist the urge to bark,
“NO! I would not like a chocolate bar. First of all, who let you into the building? Secondly, what makes you think it’s a good idea to go door-to-door selling wares during a pandemic in a hot zone? The kids here aren’t even allowed to go out for Hallowe’en and you wanna sell me candy? And how dare you solicit carbs during Covid, I’m already struggling enough not to continually eat my feelings – you temptress!!!”
Admittedly, my inner voice tends to err on the side of the over dramatic. However, rather than allow that voice to move from inner to outer I instead took a deep breath and huskily replied in my best Kathleen Turner voice,
“I’m sorry, I don’t open the door to strangers but good luck and have a great day.”
Lately, I have seen a lot of rhetoric about us being kind and taking care of one another during these challenging “unprecedented” times. The urge to react as opposed to respond is one that I often struggle with. As a result I have been trying to be more mindful of this and incorporate the notion of kindness as much as I possibly can into my actions. So in order to keep this top of mind, I have added the phrase, “I am kind and careful in my every interaction” to my list of daily affirmations.
Now whenever I receive a text that makes me want to scream and hurl my phone across the room, I take a beat, think about what I really want from that particular relationship and repeat my affirmation before I respond. Sometimes I have to say it more than once.
Although I am not always one hundred percent successful as a result I have managed to reduce the amount of self-created drama in my life. It even helped me find a way to make the guy at the Canadian Revenue Agency laugh about the “boring lady’s” pre-recorded voice on their voice menu system when what I really wanted to do, which was to rage out about the inconvenience of my account having been potentially compromised.
It’s not always easy to be kind but it is always rewarding in the end. As the monotone CRA lady ‘s voice says, “please make your selection now…”