There is a Zen Buddhist story that goes something like this: Two traveling monks were in a town when they came upon a woman who was waiting to get down from her sedan chair, which was being carried by two servants. The street had puddles everywhere and the woman, in full diva mode, was pissed that the people who were carrying her sedan chair were not helping her avoid the puddles so she could get down. They pointed out that their hands were not only supporting the sedan chair but they also were holding her packages from the latest shopping spree. Clearly, they could not help her across any puddles without getting her latest haute kimono wet.
The younger monk saw what was happening and just kept walking by the scene. The older monk also witnessed the tantrum and chose to put the woman on his back and carried her across the puddles, setting her down where it was dry. The woman didn’t say a word to the monk who just carried her. The monks continued on their journey.
The young monk started seething and pouting as they walked, but said nothing. He eventually said to the older monk (I am paraphrasing here), “What the hell, dude? That chick was obviously a brat and you carried her. She didn’t even thank you for carrying her across the puddles!” The older monk replied, “I put her down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?”
So that story gets me to this story: We have to find a new daycare for our son, B. Yes, I am a stay-at-home mom whose kid goes to daycare. We like it for his socialization and for mine. Anyway, we need to leave the only daycare he’s known because I am thoroughly convinced the new center director sees my child only as a dollar sign. This change is going to cause distress to B because he will be leaving teachers that he loves. This change is going to cause me distress because now I have to find a new daycare. And this change is causing my friends distress because I keep bitching to them about it. The complaining about the situation is causing more damage to my happiness than the change itself.
It is sadly typical of me to complain about the people who are not making my life easier. Am I that woman in the sedan, bitching about the puddles and pointing out the lack of help, or am I a woman who gets out of her comfort zone, gets her shoes a little wet, and saves herself? And when I am given help, am I grateful for it?
I have decided to stop carrying this and other minor inconveniences in my life. Things change. I am choosing not to be one of those people in the world who decides that life owes more to them. Here are my choices: Let negative feelings fester in me or put those emotions down and move on. I am going to try to put it down and move on.