Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘reframing

Delaying Complaining

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If nothing else has become obvious in my ten years of blogging, my quick tendency to complain about the simplest of ailments that befall me must stand out as a typical trait. Whether it’s my degenerating discs or the next poison ivy outbreak, I usually fall far short of stoically sucking up the pain and suffering privately.

Misery loves company. Don’t I know it.

I will be honest that this was exactly my first inclination when one of my recently turned sixty-year-old teeth fractured under an unexpected bite of a chicken wing bone. Sadly, this calamity contributed to spoiling our second visit to that quaint diner on the way up to the lake last Wednesday.

As I moped with Cyndie for the remainder of the drive up to Wildwood, wondering how and where I might seek treatment for this busted molar, there was a general sense that my long holiday weekend had been totally spoiled. Luckily, we had enough time in the car for me to have a change of attitude.

For the first time that I can remember, I decided I would squelch my urge to share news of my woes, in order to avoid engendering focus on my problem and tarnishing the rest of the joyous holiday festivities. It helped a little that my dentist returned my call Wednesday and remotely diagnosed that my description of the broken tooth cleared me of any need for emergency treatment.

I spent the weekend trying to remember to take small bites and only chew on the other side of my mouth, and successfully kept my problem from everyone except Cyndie, Elysa, and Julian. In the end, I think doing so worked out as well for me as for my intention of not distracting others with my problem. By not talking about it, I automatically tended to dwell on it less.

There was one interesting complication that developed when I called my dentist’s office. Not only were they closed for Thursday and Friday of the holiday weekend, but also for the following week in order to allow their entire staff a long summer vacation.

What good timing I have.

Fortunately, their away message offered a direct contact number for the dentist. She said her family has chosen to have a stay-cation and she will be in town this week.

She has offered to take a look at my tooth late this afternoon to see if she can offer some relief, sooner than later.

Thank goodness. I definitely have no complaints to offer about that.

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New Routine

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After spending the 3-day weekend as guests at a place we’ve never been before, getting home to the familiarity of the daily chores associated with caring for our animals can be a comfort. This thought led me to consider how I perceive the old routine, especially from the fresh perspective of the fabulous weekend we just enjoyed with the Walker family.

DSCN5133eTraveling anywhere involves living with a limited selection of your clothes and devices, and getting oriented to a bed and bathroom other than your own. Back home again, places and things return to a level where you don’t have to think. Every thing just “is.”

When I went out to turn the compost piles and fix a flat tire on the wheelbarrow, it had a feeling of our old routine. Even though I saw that as a good thing, it occurred to me that “old routine” or “returning to the old grind” of the work week after a holiday weekend is more often framed as a negative.

I turned that around in a blink of mental gymnastics, choosing instead to consider our activities as routine, but new. We have done these things before, but never on September 6th in 2016.

Every day is a new day, even if we are doing something similar to what we’ve already done before.

This week is a time when school starts for a lot of people. We put the vacations of summer behind us and roll into another year’s routine.

Enjoy the familiar, but frame it as a brand new version.

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Written by johnwhays

September 6, 2016 at 6:00 am