Saturday was a scorcher, the dashboard on my car read 112 degrees as I drove my mom, my daughter Skylar, and my son Jayden home from their swim meet. We were all hot, tired and hungry, but that didn’t stop the kids from relentlessly begging me to stop by a firework stand to get some fireworks. I responded with conviction, “No way kids. I just want to get home, shower, get something to eat, and take a nap.”
I was visualizing it the whole way home. I just wanted to cool off and relax. I parked my car under the big shade tree and we all unloaded the car. Our arms were overloaded, carrying in the folding chairs, swim bags, ice chests and stuff. As I approached the front door I remembered, I didn’t have my house keys!
“Please don’t let the front door be locked!” I thought. Well, it was. We were locked out. My blood was boiling and my patience was gone. I set everything down and started going around the house, checking every window and the back door, hoping something was left open so that we could get in. Nothing! We were locked out, in the heat, and I was beyond frustrated.
I began going down the list in my mind of ways we could get in, but everyone one of my ideas had a roadblock. My neighbor Rachel has a key, but they were out of town for the weekend. The garage door opener needed new batteries, so it was in the house on the counter. I asked my mom if she had her key, but no, she had given it back. I called Stephen, no answer, strait to voicemail. I called my mother in law, father in law, sister in law. Nobody had a key.
By this time my mom and the kids had melted on the grass under the shade tree. I had refrained from complaining up to this point, hoping I’d find a way in, but being that all my ideas had failed, the flood gates were open. My vocal and expressive abilities were in full force. The complaining had begun. Not even a few sentences into my rant, Jayden, asked me, “Mom, what can YOU do?”
Wow, that question, stopped me dead in my complaining tracks. My heart just melted, at the sound of my little guy asking me an empowering. I could continue complaining or I could choose to explore creative ideas in answering his question. Without more than a second of hesitation, I chuckled and said, “Bubba, thank you!” We then started brain storming ideas of what we could do. We had some fun with it and came up with practical ideas like going out to eat and even some silly ones, like taking an ax to the front door.
We ended up deciding to go to my sister and brother in law’s house a few blocks away and we were able to get in later that evening, but that really isn’t the point of this story. The point of this story is the power of a question, the power of an empowering question like, “What can you do?”
When we are in a pickle, big or small, if we really lean into and explore the possibilities to the question, “What can I do?” we will find solutions. Even if we don’t like the options at hand, we will at least find choice. There is something uplifting about recognizing that we do have a choice.
So, take a minute now. What’s on your mind? What problem are you wrestling with? Where do you feel stuck and locked out? Take a minute and jot down twenty or more ideas to the question, “What can I do?” Then pick one. Take action and get going in the right direction.
I hope you will keep this question handy. Anytime you feel stuck, overwhelmed, or in a bind, simply ask yourself, “What can I do?”
Find choice in every situation this week by asking that simple question, “What can I do?” Have a choice making week!!!
With Love and Volition,
Corry Ann March