Finding My Happy Place

It was the Saturday before Thanksgiving: Was I spending it with my mom who is in town? No. Was I out on a hike or at the beach? No. Here is what I was doing. Before:

Pictures of a carpeted room empty of furniture

After:

Picture of a room with the same colored carpet as first shot

Do the pictures look suspiciously the same? The reason for that is the carpet they installed above was defective. See?

Carpet with a huge glob of excess latex on backing material

These lumps of latex carpet backing feel like hunks of concrete underfoot and were conveniently situated in the high traffic areas. There were also little lumps throughout.

Small glob of latex on carpet backing

So, we had to move everything out of the condo AGAIN, just so they could fix something that never should have been installed in the first place!

I could spend my time being bitter, or I could enjoy knowing that I was able to clean and purge as I went, that I got a real life application of my Tetrus skills as we tightly packed every square inch of our kitchen with nearly an entire household’s worth of belongings, and that I won’t have to do it again. Hmmmmmmmm … pissed off or happy? Is there really a choice?

And it really is a choice. One of the many books that changed my life is Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, which was assigned summer reading in high school. One of his premises is that while you may not be able to change your situation, you can always control how you perceive it. He tells about good days in a Concentration Camp! It’s all about perspective.

Growing up (Who am I kidding? Up until a couple years ago when the stuff really started to sink in!), if the reality was different than my expectations, I was unhappy and stayed that way. I would place judgements on the situation (wrong, bad, etc.), and that jaded my perception. Over the years I did learn some very helpful tips that helped.

So what did I do on Saturday? After inspecting the new carpet to make sure it wasn’t lumpy, I grabbed my bag of holiday cards, sat down in the common area and plowed through a great part of my list. When I run out of the holiday spirit, I read my book. Productivity and relaxation. What more could a girl ask for right before a hectic week? And I also clocked in a gagillion steps on my pedometer and didn’t even need to go to the gym!

I’m so glad I decided not to stay looming over the workers. I know me, and I would have shared my displeasure. Besides spreading my gloom, what would that have really accomplished? That silver lining is looking so much shinier now.

In what situations have you actively sought the silver lining?

6 thoughts on “Finding My Happy Place”

  1. Oh no! Funny, but I remember the first time I visited your site, you posted about your new carpet (first impressions stick with us I’ve learned) so I feel I have a personal connection to my, “Oh no!” for you. Glad you pushed through that frustration constructively – focusing instead on christmas love and a power walk. Don’t you love them both?

    Happy Thanksgiving and I wish you carpet success and deep cleansing breaths (it’s sounding like labor now) through the process of reinstallation. Grrrrrrrrr

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    1. How wonderful that you have been with my blog for that long!!!! 🙂

      Finding that silver lining has been a challenge, but well worth it. At least I know I don’t have to do it again … right?

      I will definitely think of my 3 things to be grateful for as I go to sleep tonight.

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  2. Dealing with a defective carpet would be frustrating, but you seem to have handled it really well. I hope it didn’t interrupt any holiday plans you had this week.

    You’re the second person who I’ve heard say that Viktor Frankl’s book changed their life. I only know the basics behind the book, but it is on my list to read. Perhaps I should read it because I know that I sometimes have a hard time handling things if they don’t meet my expectations. I’m getting better at it, but I’m still working on it.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Steve.

      Fortunately the carpet didn’t interfere with holiday plans, but it was definitely an opportunity cost!

      I’ve re-read Frankl’s book several times. The first half is the story of his time in the concentration camp. The second half spells out his psychological principal of logotherapy – that every one needs to find a meaning for life in order to be complete. The second half was over my head at 16 (and parts still are), but it is definitely worth it.

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  3. Well cleaning a carpet made you search for a silver lining for my case i searched for it in other ways any way about Viktor Frankl’s book its life changing.

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