I’m travelling across the US, and right now I’m between Albequerque, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas, in a tiny motel with no amenities. The only internet access is at the Dairy Queen beside it, and it’s too slow to be very useful. I’m trying for the second time to have a successful online meeting, but because of the lack of services, am not successful.
This wasn’t the plan. The plan was to go from motel to motel as I traveled from West to East, checking first to see if they had internet access, and do the work I needed to do every evening. Up to this point, that’s what happened. Today it isn’t. I’m from a big city where all the access I need is at my fingertips almost everywhere. I’m not used to this!
Finding myself whining and growing frustrated – and not liking where this was going – I take a moment. When I get frustrated, everything bothers me: not enough ice in my iced tea, no decent vegetarian options in the middle of nowhere in prime cattle country (surprise?), no hot water, no lighting exactly where I want it … I can go on.
I do this for a while, until I get a reflection from the table beside me. At that table, there’s another whiner. And that wakes me up.
That’s when I decide to switch attitude – to tap that power inside me that’s always there. Reminding myself that I chose to drive across country. I chose to risk not finding anything vegetarian in a meat-eating rural space. I knew that access would be limited. I knew there would be inconveniences. So how can I make this time work for me and not against me?
You know, it hasn’t been all bad. Thank the powers-that-be for Starbucks! None here, but there were Starbucks along the way and I was able to get some work done as a result, and have a good coffee or 2.
The iced tea might not have been cold enough, but it was surprisingly good. No TV? How about a walk in the cool desert evening – something I wouldn’t have had time for otherwise.
As I begin to re-focus, my frustration fades and is replaced by calm delight.
Pemma – On Discontent