It was 10:30 at night and we were getting ready to go to bed. We had some folks visiting from Brazil who were going to spend the night in our one-bedroom apartment and we still had to shower and make sure they were comfortable. That’s when the deafening fire alarm went off. We knew what that meant: a few hours of standing outside on the street, while the fire department would try to find out what set it off this time. We knew it wasn’t fire and all we really wanted to do was to be in bed. So inconvenient. But off we went!
As we stood on the sidewalk, we started to meet our neighbors for the first time. We talked about our different professions—composer, engineer, doctor, personal trainer; American, Brazilian, Danish—people from several walks of life and cultural backgrounds. It turns out that our unknown neighbors had much more in common with us than we ever imagined and a beautiful friendship flourished from an inconvenient evening.
That simple situation makes me think of how we seldom want to deal with the fire alarms of life, be it a simple nuisance or be it COVID-19. We question our problems, get irritated at our obstacles, frustrated at our afflictions, hopeless at our pain. However, each fire alarm is a potential for growth!
The bigger the problem, the greater the potential for learning. In those times, we can also learn to be happy in any circumstance. That's a real skill!
The way we choose to see the inconveniences of the day will certainly influence our quality of life and our overall happiness. Today, let’s choose to look at each situation in a new way, learn from the pain, find the positive, own our mistakes. This is a daily practice that over time will yield more laughs, more patience, more wisdom!
Your fuller, happier life starts today!
Fire Alarm Friendships: Helena Eiken & Tenna Beldring (photography in this post by Tenna)