I was not happy. That's really an understatement.
Yesterday after I left my women's Bible study group, I had some errands to run and lots of work piled up and waiting for me at home. My last stop was at the grocery store. I got home about 1:30, starving for lunch (it's later than I generally eat). But as I put my groceries away, I noticed that the on-the-vine tomatoes I had such a taste for and did pay for were not in any of the bags I unpacked. In fact, they probably were still sitting in a bag hanging from one of the hooks containing multiple shopping bags in the store check-out line. Grrrr. I was not a happy camper. I growled and stomped around a little just to get my frustration out.
Then I called the store. Yup, the tomatoes were still there. "I want them today so I'll be right over to get them," I told the guest service department clerk (after a 5-10 minute wait on the phone, of course).
I kept thinking I didn't have time for this nonsense. But I wanted the tomatoes. I felt my anger and frustration, got it out with a few choice words and complaining. And then I told myself, "OK, let it go, Sonia. In a month, it won't matter. In fact, in a week, it won't matter." And as my sister asks when she wants to gain perspective: "Do you have cancer? No. Well, then, it's not so serious."
We need to be attentive to our emotions and feelings. Acknowledge them. Get them out of our bodies. Then let them go. And taking a longer view helps us gain perspective. My life wasn't going to change drastically if I didn't have those tomatoes. I wanted them that day—not the next. But that extra trip, irritating as it was to me at the time, wasn't going to be life-changing either. I needed a change in view. When to-do lists get too long, it's easy to lose perspective, isn't it?
What do you do to keep perspective and take a longer view?