Adaptability is the willingness and capacity to change and improve. Anyone who is always setting and achieving goals has this in their DNA. I love the look for ways to make my character and life better and then move toward it.
The problem I have with adaptability is when it’s forced on me by circumstances beyond my control. When the change isn’t something I chose, but something imposed on me, I get a little cranky. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
Just this morning, I had such a mood shift. Although I had planned to go to bed early last night, get up on time, and move through the scheduled events smoothly, it all went wrong when I made a bad choice to stay up too late watching The Five. That sent me on a certain course for failure.
I woke up at 5:45 to get Monica off to early morning seminary. Sam drove her and I was planning to sleep until 7:00, but first checked the weather. It was three degrees below zero and, as bundled up as she was, I thought it was too cold for Monica to walk to her performing arts school for classes. I phoned her to tell her I’d drive over to transport her. Then I rescheduled the alarm for 7:45.
Upon returning from the unscheduled trip, I was even more behind but so exhausted I laid down on my freshly made bed to check the news — and promptly fell asleep…until 9:00.
I lept up and tried to get the boys going, but they were slow to get back in the swing of things after having spent a couple of weeks off for Christmas and vacationing at Disneyland. It took (much) longer than usual to get through the morning routine. And, in truth, it didn’t get done at all.
Sam called and asked if I could locate and purchase the material needed to print out iron-on shirt transfers for the Lego robot team our he is directing. No problem. I decided to drop by Joann on the way home after picking up Monica. But I still wanted to squeeze in my workout and a shower before heading out on the road.
My prized Christmas gift was Just Dance 4 and it’s my current favorite workout (replacing Just Dance 3 which I filched from Monica after her birthday last July). But when I ran to the rec room with just enough time to get my exercise set in, I couldn’t get the the name to change to mine. And no way, no how, was I going to get a high score on someone else’s avatar.
After fiddling the entire workout and shower time away going back and forth in the console settings —and getting more and more irritated — I ran out the door and hopped in the car. I had two packages to deliver (one at FedEx and the other at UPS) and was late getting to the school.
With Monica finally in tow we scooted to the craft store where, of course, I ran into a friend. (This always and almost exclusively happens when I go anywhere in workout clothing with bed head.) I grabbed the transfers (the one bright spot in the day that it was 50% off) and ran back to the car.
Getting home, did a 45 minutes workout (after my kids showed me how to work the darn thing). Then I checked my email while searching for the alum that was missing for Samson’s experiment. I tried to finish up the Use Common Sense post, only to realize that we were almost late for an orthodontic appointment.
I took a speed shower, threw on some clothes, and went to the refrigerator to grab a piece of pork loin leftover from last night’s dinner — only to find someone else had had that bright idea earlier and there was none left. Given my latest attempt to lose weight, I found nothing in the refrigerator that I could actually eat. I grabbed a hard boiled egg and an apple that I could eat on the drive.
After ortho, I made veggie omelets and salad — because there was nothing else available having not gone grocery shopping since the vacation. I turned off the stove and drove Monica to Scera for her audition. Then came home and ate cold eggs.
The part I’ve (mostly) left out is how days of accomplishing nothing can affect my mood. I’m not really angry or mean (at least not today), I’m just irritated and impatient and annoyed. There is so much to do and almost none of it got checked off my list today.
But there is a better way.
I have been a singer for years and about ten years ago found a love for public speaking. It’s like singing in many ways, but you generally have a longer duration. You have time to get a feel for the audience, to adjust and maneuver. By paying close attention to the audience’s faces, reactions, questions, you get the opportunity to modify on the fly to make the presentation better.
No audience is ever the same. And I love that. It’s challenging and rewarding. In the instance of public speaking, I see the chance to adapt as an exciting possibility.
Rather than getting bugged and anxious when my normal life gets thrown a curve, seeing it as the chance for a different adventure than the one planned — but equally as good, or even better — could turn these troubling days into productive, exciting, happy ones.
And even if the day turns out to be a dud, having a more flexible attitude will, at very least, make the atmosphere around me much better.
This is a part of the challenge I am going to have to focus intently on.
- Be willing to change.
- Be open to new ideas and unplanned activities.
After thorough planning, I will also plan options and think through some possible alternatives. Whether I use them or not, at least it can help me remember that there is more than one path through a successful day.
Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!