Missing the Big Event

November 16, 2015

Martha Germann
Founder, Mindful Games Institute LLC


The text message read:

I need to go into the doctor at 9 AM for the cut on my finger, I should be there by 10:30 AM

I cringe. I was sorry that Kelly’s cut finger was bad enough to see the doctor, but that also meant that the ability for me to get to the big event was in question. There were two meetings at work this morning and Kelly was going to take the 10:30 AM meeting so that I could leave and make it to the Angelika Theater in plenty of time for the video screening. It was about a 40 minute drive IF there was no traffic.

I was really looking forward to this event.

Being the drummer for the band “Merry and the Mood Swings” has given me exciting experiences from day one that I would never have imagined I’d be a part of, from playing on a stage as cool as the Granada Theater in Dallas, recording a CD, to being featured on the long running show “The Texas Country Reporter.” This year brought the added fun experience of shooting a music video of the band’s original song “Witch Joanie”.

The whole process of taping the video was enjoyable. Contributing ideas to the storyboard, creating a mask as a prop and the day of shooting with Jon Preston and Dan Hazen were all new things that had me feeling like a rock star.

We were delighted when Jon told us the news that the video was accepted into the 2015 Dallas VideoFest and we would get passes to the screening.

As 10:30 started to get closer, it is the client who walks in and not Kelly. I begin the meeting and it lasts until 11:10. That may still be enough time to get down to the theater and get seated before the video starts. I get to my car and realize I don’t have my keys, delay. Get my keys and in my car and realize I don’t have my phone. Another delay as I go back into the office and look all over but can’t find my phone. I decide to not worry about it. I was running out of time. By 11:30 I am headed down the Highway. For a Saturday morning, the traffic on I-35 is slow. I keep glancing at the clock. I have no way of contacting my band mates to see what was happening, if they had made it, if things were on schedule or delayed. When I see 11:50 AM and determine that I am still about 30 minutes away, not counting the time it would take to park, I know there was no way I was going to make it for a 3 minute video. I turn around.

I missed the event.

I felt the disappointment but I had a choice.

Now, it would have been easy for me to find blame for my disappointment and frustration on missing out. There was Kelly, whose situation being beyond her control could have had me feeling bad about being miffed with her “choice” of days to get hurt. My anger could as easily be directed at myself for having to go back inside several times for things I had forgotten. Many would agree with me that the construction on the highway was a mess and was causing everyone grief. I would have felt regret for missing out on this once in a lifetime experience. (I have never seen myself up on a big movie screen before). This could be just one more item to add to my list of proof that things just don’t seem to go my way and I would not only explain this to my band mates but others that I talked to that day. Not only would my weekend be ruined but I would relive the experience every time someone mentioned the video or the event.

In the past, before I created my mindful game to thrive and not just survive, I would probably have felt exactly how I described without being aware that there even was another choice.

When you are practiced in thriving you are aware that you always have a choice. Sure, I was disappointed, but I had no other negative feelings that day.

Increasing my skills to thrive allowed me to be calm at every step of the day, to look for options when Kelly didn’t make it and when I couldn’t find my phone.  I clearly made my decision to turn back with no regrets. I was free to choose how I wanted to interpret the situation. I saw that, yes, I could have seen it as things just not going my way but instead chose to believe that it was more to my benefit to not be there even if I was not aware of how.

Both interpretations are valid, one just let me enjoy the rest of my weekend and be excited about the event with my band mates who did make it.

I love having the freedom to choose.