Growing up, my mom used to tell me that quote and I’d roll my eyes.
Now, I realize how true it is.
Earlier this week, I was supposed to meet a blind date for coffee. This was a blind date I was excited about. His profile pictures looked great, his online messaging banter was witty and fun, and he used just the right amount of smile emojis without overdoing it.
Alas, when I sent him an online message confirming where to meet, I got no response. I had just raced home from Walgreens after buying Instant Dry pink nail polish so I could wear my open toe wedge sandals. I turned my attention toward painting my toes, and tried not to worry about my date’s lack of response. An hour went by and still no answer.
My mind started to race. Had he met someone else (in the past 2 hours?) Had I said the wrong thing? Did he decide he didn’t like me? I’ll never know the answer.
As a slew of thoughts raced through my mind, I decided to get out of the house and take my main man, Namo, for a walk in the park. I took off my wedges (at least my freshly painted toes looked good), slipped into flip flops, put a baseball cap over my straightened date-ready hair, and headed out the door. I was not going to let this ruin my mood for too long.
Truth is, twinges of loneliness started to creep in as I stood alone in the house staring at the phone, waiting for a response. I needed to get out and be among people. Any people.
In the past, I would have raced for the refrigerator and downed whatever high-carb, high-sugar numbing food I could get my hands on to numb the sharp feelings of rejection, sadness, and disappointment. Now, I have well-practiced coping tools but still…I was hurt and a bit miffed.
Namo and I took a slow stroll through the park and after a few minutes, we plopped down in the grass and watched people walk by. I was acutely aware of every couple holding hands although I’d never noticed it before. Kind of like buying a red car, and then seeing red cars everywhere.
Thank goodness for Namo. He sat by my side and I gently stroked the top of his head as I thought about his unconditional love. I don’t know where I’d be without animals in my life.
I’m glad we went for a walk and I didn’t let the thoughts of rejection consume me. I figured I had it handled.
Later that night I made myself dinner and zoned out while watching Scandal. After dinner, I sat on the couch with a belvita Soft Baked breakfast bar in my hand, and realized it’s not what I was hungry for.
I was hungry for someone to cuddle with, someone to cook with, and someone to laugh with. The breakfast bar in my hand wasn’t going to give me any of that. After unwrapping it, I took a deep breath, and threw it away.
As a recovered bulimic, I haven’t binged in years and it caught me by surprise that those subtle tendencies were rearing their head again. Then I remembered what my mom said, “Life is about how you react to what happens to you.” She is so right.
I’ve learned we don’t have control over other people but we DO have control over our thoughts, which lead to our behaviors.
By consciously choosing how to react, my loserville feelings passed and I reconnected to the truth of who I am. A woman who is courageously putting herself out there to meet a kind, reliable, loving man who doesn’t care if my toenails are painted or not.
Life is unpredictable AND we can choose how to react when things don’t happen the way we want them to.
I’d love to hear from you…how do you react to situations when they don’t turn out as you’d hoped? Post in the comments below!
Choosing my reaction,