Putting Things in Perspective Makes a Big Difference!

jpg_BAO0107 swimming pool We registered my son in our town’s four-week summer day camp because they offered swim lessons each morning and multiple times during the day for open swim time. He’s not a strong swimmer and we wanted him to get a lot of pool time this summer to build his strength in the water. His swim lessons are from 8:30 to 9:00 each day.

Last week, on day nine of camp, my cell phone rang at 8:45. I was at work and glanced at the incoming number. It was camp. My stomach did a flip, my hands got clammy and I felt sick. Why would camp be calling me half way through my son’s swim lesson? Something bad has happened.

I answered the phone and I heard a young shaky voice say, “Hello. Is this Mrs. Fredricks?”

Oh man, I hate when a call starts out like that. Something must be wrong.

“Yes, this is Kris Fredricks.”

“This is Claudia calling from the Tri-Town recreational swim program.”

I could barely breathe at this point and I mumbled a “Yes?” Of course I was imagining all sorts of things:  an ambulance, blood, stitches, broken bones, etc.

“I am calling to tell you that we found glass in the pool today.”

And my mind thought:  and your son stepped on it and is bleeding all over the pool deck. An ambulance is on the way.

Claudia continued with, “And we need to shut the pool down for the remainder of the camp. We need to cancel your son’s swim lessons.”

I couldn’t believe it. Did I really just hear her right? He is okay.

“Is that all?” I asked.

“Well, yes, but we knew that is why you signed him up. I thought you might be upset.”

Upset? I was practically on cloud nine!  Who cares about a few swim lessons when my son is just fine. But, now I knew why she sounded nervous when she called me. She thought I might be upset.

“Oh, Claudia, that is no big deal. He loves the camp. I am just glad no one got hurt.”

“That’s great. Have a nice day Mrs. Fredricks. We will see you this afternoon.”

After I hung up the phone, my hands were still shaking, and I felt like I was going to throw up. Why did I jump to a negative conclusion?  Why didn’t I think the call was going to be benign and maybe just about some camp information? Why did I put myself through that unnecessary stress? Even though the whole series of moments probably lasted no more than two minutes, I felt exhausted and drained.

I know what caused me to take the negative path.

Fear

The most precious things in my life right now are my two young children and my husband. Any remote chance that one of them may be hurt, brings fear to the top of my emotions.  I am not a fearful person and I am normally very positive. But, this is one area I know I can work on. We all have those areas in our lives and the first step is to be aware of them.

Are you aware of triggers in your life that cause you fear or make you jump to negative conclusions? What are you doing to work on these areas in your life?

As I have reflected on this situation, I have asked myself, What if I had gotten that phone call at 12:00 when I knew my son was in lunch, or what if the counselors would have told me about cancelling swim lessons when I picked him up from camp that day? Would I have reacted the same way? Would I have been so understanding that they cancelled 11 of my sons swim lessons? Would I have been upset that the main reason we put him in this camp was now taken away from me? I have a sneaky suspicion that I may have been more upset over the news.

But now, canceling swim lessons seems like no big deal compared to the crazy scenarios I had in my head. In the grand scheme of things, it is no big deal he won’t get two more weeks of swim lessons. He loves the camp, I have met some great counselors, and no matter what, we will probably enroll both kids in the camp next summer (with or without swimming.)

Even though the fear caused unnecessary stress in my life, it really did put the situation in perspective for me. It was just some broken glass and a few cancelled swim lessons… that is all! No big deal.

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© Copyright 2014 kfredricks, All rights Reserved. Written For: What's Your Spective?℠