Monday, September 23, 2019

In which I fail to live up to ideals

This afternoon I finished the project I was working on and had nothing else on my to-do list. So I went down to the shop and saw the 1st engineer and asked him if he had anything for me to do. He snapped that I could go do something productive. And so I walked back out of the shop and proceeded to get butthurt like a big whiny bitch and accomplished very little the rest of the day.

Much could be said about the 1st's management style and grumpyness. Indeed, much was said to the 3rd who was cleaning generator heads and idly pretending to care.

But none of that is relevant. I am not in control of the 1st engineer's mood. I am in control of my own mood, and today I surrendered that control to external circumstances, and failed to retake that control when I noticed myself becoming negative.

This is a failure, and a failure with consequenses, because every time I grow upset at the world around me I am practicing being upset at the world around me, and in the future being upset will come quicker and more strongly for having been exercised.

What should I have done? I should have monitored my mental state more closely, by maintaining mindfulness at all times. This is something I have fallen out of the habit of doing.

Upon noticing the deviance of my mental state, I should have practiced re-centering myself. Most likely I would in this circumstance have de-legitimized the offending statement, by telling myself that it in no way affects me, it doesn't say anything about me, and it is wholly unrelated to myself. It should be like when I walk by strangers on the street holding a conversation, my mind doesn't even process what is being said because it isn't related to me at all. Similarly, the 1st being grouchy speaks to the internal state of the 1st engineer, something I have little interest in and no responsibility or control over. It says nothing at all about me, and thus should be discarded from my thoughts.

Having discarded the pollutant, I should re-center myself. I could remind myself of how fortunate my life is and tune my mindfulness to the beauty and joy of the world.

These are the typical steps of maintaining positivity. First, be aware of a declining mood. Second, identify and resolve the source of the declining mood. Third, take active steps to re-center. The activities needed can vary according to situation, but this is something I have done in the past, but failed to do today.

Hopefully, by writing this I will be kept mindful of the need to do better.

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