Yesterday, I had to spend 5 hours at the courthouse to get my tags renewed, and my name (finally) changed on my license.
It was a day full of stresses; many that I could have avoided:
– There is online renewal in Alabama, but due to my name change and insurance changes, I was unable to renew online.
– October, as I keep mentioning (ad nauseam, I know), has turned out to be one of the busiest months in a long time. I’ve never had more meetings, deadlines, due dates, papers to sign, things to write, photos to take, projects to organize, client work etc.
– The mood in our home has been off… the kids (and adults) are anxious, for various reasons, and the change of seasons (from summer to fall) always has a big impact on their sleep patterns and moods.
– We have been so busy that it was too easy to back-burner/forget/ignore to take care of it (see 5 hour wait above), until we got pulled over this weekend for the tags being expired (thankfully, we were sent on our way with a warning to get it taken care of ASAP. Thank you, Mr. Officer!) So I had to face the fact that I had to do it, regardless of what was on my plate.
– My laptop is usually fully charged, but, of course, this morning it wasn’t. I plugged my laptop in to charge in the early morning, only to realize, as I was getting ready to leave, that I had used a charger that wasn’t plugged into an outlet.
And it was this last thing that made yesterday not only an annoyance, but a huge frustration and bigger inconvenience. Five hours that I could have been working, even while waiting in line… gone…
(still kicking myself for that one)
I got to the courthouse and it was stuffy. The (folding) chairs were all Right.Up.Next.To.Each.Other. Those two combined, and it goes without saying that the air gets a peculiar odor.
People were grumpy.
The woman next to me was a REALLY! LOUD! TALKER! and she talked/nagged/complained the entire time I was there.
The man on the other side of me was really kind, but kept making a throat noise that I could never figure out.
I think I got hit on, in a smarmy way, by a guy who had his son with him.
And my phone was losing its charge faster than it ever has.
Oh – and it’s worth repeating, I couldn’t do any of the work I needed to be doing, and could have been doing, if I’d charged my computer.
(never mind that I needed to be doing this too…)
I couldn’t even have the pleasure of live-tweeting it, because of my phone sucking up the battery.
I was frustrated and anxious, and stuck. So I pulled out my notepad and pen, and started making a to-do list, to keep my mind busy.
My list was quickly completed, and the line was still long, so I decided to start zendoodling (with a ballpoint pin… I didn’t even think to bring my art bag!)
The LOUD TALKING WOMAN stopped her loud talking, and complimented me on my doodling (and then proceeded to talk loudly about how she wished she could draw).
The nice man with the throat troubles told me it relaxed him to watch my drawing.
And the mood changed.
I felt relaxed. And, with the exception of (and in spite of) the LOUD TALKER, people around me felt it too.
I found my peace in that moment.
In the end, I left the courthouse with my car tag stickers, one of the worst license photos EVER (despite how cute my hair looked IRL) and my phone battery at a 1% charge.
But I made it through the day, feeling stronger, and with my sanity intact.
Zentangle/Zendoodle is greatly calming to me, and others have found it to be so as well. It’s why I incorporated one of my drawings into the graphic for this series. I’m also continually amazed by the questions and conversations that spark with others when I start my drawings. The beauty of it is that it is a process that is simple for anyone to learn. (*See my post here, for more information, and some recommended resources.)
What ways have you found to find your calm/peace in stressful situations?
This is the 29th post in a 31 Day Series: 31 Days to Peace: Finding inner peace for anxiety and panic attacks. Start from the beginning here.