Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Guiding Star Check In: Frustration

How ya doing, all of you with your fancy Guiding Star plans? Let me tell you how I've been doing.

Six weeks in, I was feeling the air slowly seeping out of my so-called Life with its so-called plan. I could also feel a dangerously high level of frustration mounting. That's no good for me. When I get frustrated, I listen to those crusty old voices in my head, I let bad habits replace good ones, and it's all downhill from there.  So on Wednesday evening, when it felt like my beautiful existence was about to fall apart, I told myself I was tired, which was true. I told myself a good night's rest was the best move I could make, and I went to bed.

It worked. I woke up feeling good, but...within hours, the frustration had returned. Every task was taking forever, extra tasks were appearing, my singing felt like it was disintegrating not improving, flights were delayed, plans were up in the air, the people I wanted to hear from weren't responding. You know what I mean?

These are the moments when I feel like a fraud. When everything I tell you on this blog feels like fake news. When I'm scared silly that the dog is going to come over, pull the curtain away and expose me to the world as the loser that I am.

So, one more time, I took my own advice.  I took a breath and figured out which task really needed to be done and then I did it. I started with a brief walk to the post office. Walking and saying hello to other people almost always makes me feel better, as it did today. I'm not alone.

I kept working on my voice. I set a timer for 15 minutes and focused on nothing but vocal exercises - the tough ones, the ones I don't like to do, but the ones that I know make a difference. That was not easy.

I breathed deeply and realized there was absolutely nothing I could do about a flight being delayed. However, I recognized that I could call the restaurant where I had dinner reservations (with the friend on the flight) and notify them of the situation. So I did that.

I walked to the other room and did a couple of Warrior Poses. I realized there was also nothing I could do about people responding to messages. I let go of that.

I had lunch.

I taught a voice lesson.

The flight was still delayed, so I decided to return to my singing. Guess what? The problems of the previous days and that morning had been solved. My evil plan of consistent practice had worked!

We all get frustrated, we all fall down. The difference is figuring out how to turn the frustration into motivation; how to get back up.  As Philadelphia's new hero, Nick Foles, said:

"I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that's just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that's just been the message. Simple. If something's going on in your life and you're struggling? Embrace it. Because you're growing."

Yes, I have used that quote recently on this blog. How can I not?

Embrace it and grow.


  1. OMG - I am so happy to read this. I am glad to know that you have these down days too. And I benefit from learning how you cope with the frustration. I, too, hit a rough patch this week, for something completely trivial (putting together a fancy pop-up card). I could NOT get the darn thing to go together. So frustrating. All those women on those YouTube instructional videos cannot be smarter than me. I walked away from it. Watched some bad TV. Left it until the next day when I could approach it with fresh eyes. It went much better. You are NOT a fraud. We all learn from your honest accounts of disappointments and frustrations. And we grow with you! Cynthia

    1. Hey, I'm glad my frustration fixed your frustration!