Thursday, March 28, 2013

Calm In The Midst Of Chaos

This afternoon, I left work around 4:30 PM to catch the subway home.  I had some plans in the evening and wanted to get home early to make a decision on my commute plans (train or car).  I figured that if I got home at a reasonable time, I would have time to choose between either option, depending on how I felt.

The plans didn't quite go that well.   As soon as I got to the subway station, I heard an announcement of a delay.  Some accident had occurred and one station (in my direction home) was closed though trains were running.

At this point, I had a choice.  I could go with the regular subway I took or take an alternative system that was also underground.   I'm quite familiar with the alternative system.  I just knew it would definitely take a while for me to get home.  The regular subway is about a 20 minute ride (30 total minute commute).  The alternative is about 30 to 45 minute ride and almost an hour total commute.

I chose to take the regular subway and it was pretty clear I made the wrong decision.  Tons of people were waiting for trains going in both directions.  Not only was one station was closed, it turned out that most of the trains going my direction were getting turned back early.  All in all,  no one was happy.

I remember being a little frustrated initially.  I was hoping to get home and then head to my destination early. Now it seemed like I would not get home early AND would likely be late to my ultimate destination on time (let alone early).

I hopped on a train going home but I got off after about four stops.  The subway was turning back a lot of trains early.  Tons of other folks going my way were also getting dropped off.   Some were frustrated.  Some were calm but had a difficult time trying to figure out which trains were going which direction.

For me, I remained cool as a cucumber and even struck up some conversation with some folks.  After all, there was absolutely nothing I could do.  I figured I might as well enjoy myself while I waited.  At the station I was at, taking alternative transportation was possible BUT just too time consuming.  I chose to be patient and just ride out the situation.

After about 20 minutes, a train was finally going my direction so I hopped on with just about everyone else who had been waiting.   I continued chatting with a few the folks.  There were a few people just like me.  They weren't too overly stressed and we all just had some fun joking around.

When the train finally arrived at my station, I departed.  An older lady that I had been talking to complimented me for "keeping a good attitude and giving her some laughs".

That comment reminded me that I do have a good ability to remain calm under stress.  I can't really explain how or why I have this ability.  When things are seemingly falling apart (especially when it comes to basketball playing or coaching), I just put aside all the emotions and focus on WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

While I do have this ability, I sometimes forget and start getting frustrated or worried.  However, today was a good reminder that there is no pointing worrying about "WHAT IF".  You need to be centered and deal with "WHAT IS".


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