The Next Best Thing
My day had completely fallen apart.
I had grand plans for my day that involved getting a few chores done around the house before taking the family out for a hike and dinner in a tourist town we like to frequent. I was making a list and getting ready to attack those chores when my wife called up to me.
“The dryer won’t turn on.”
When my wife went to put some clothes in the dryer before we left, she realized the dryer seemed to have no power to it. I did the basic quick check–no breakers were flipped and there was no obvious reason why the dryer had no power to it. Trying to keep my cool, I began searching for help online, watching a few videos that explained “simple” fixes.
Of course, these “simple” fixes involved taking panels off the dyer and other things that I was not comfortable doing. My wife called several technicians, all of whom either didn’t answer or were too busy for a service call. She finally went up to one store, who told her they only worked on units they sold, but recommended a different technician.
She called this tech, who, again, was too busy to come out. But he offered some advice, which, when followed, resulted in a working dryer.
The advice? Check the knobs. Sure enough, one was broken, and it was causing the dryer to stay in an “off” position.
I was blown away. A dryer, less than one year old, became unusable over a broken piece of plastic, easily replaceable.
This brought the tension down somewhat, and I was able to finally chuckle about the whole thing. But I was also frustrated–the day was shot. It was too late to take a hike, I still had chores to do, and I was tense and moody.
So I did the next best thing I could do for myself–I finished the chores, got the dog and my son, and went for a long walk on a trail in the city. It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was good enough.
When plans go awry, our temptation is to give up, stew, and dwell on those negative emotions. (At least, that’s my temptation). Instead, we should take a few moments, refocus, do what we need to do, and then ask ourselves, ‘What is the next best thing I can do for myself?”
Then do it.
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