If Accidents Occur

“Upon every accident, remember to turn toward yourself and inquire what faculty you have for it’s use. If you encounter a handsome person, you will find continence the faculty needed; if pain, then fortitude; if reviling, then patience. And when this, habituated, the phenomena of existence will not overwhelm you.” - Epictetus, Enchiridion

I feel frustrated. Some self-inflicted stupidity regarding my work leave of absence paperwork is holding up my short term disability request. The other night I got some additional news that I reacted poorly to. When you’re in the hospital or a treatment center you want to get back to your life and you want life to pause while in treatment. Regrettably, I have yet to find a pause button on life, and naps don’t count,

Epictetus would counsel patience and greater attention to detail on my part. Monday night I was in no mood to practice either, nor did I feel like changing my mood. I fell back on some poor coping skills because I didn’t want to muster the energy to shift my mindset. Well, not completely. I did run two miles on the elliptical. That helped to burn off a good amount of steam, but didn’t extinguish the source of heat.

I lost myself in a book, and, eventually, fell into a fitful sleep. This morning I marked my mood tracking app, Daylio, with a “meh”. I feel neither good, bad, or content; I exist in between emotional extremes. I’m sure I’ll feel better after breakfast and some time writing my book.

I definitely felt overpowered by the “phenomena of existence” that Epictetus discussed. I love that phrase because it encourages taking a moment to both experience life and to analyze it. I do not wish to feel upset over my circumstances, and it is okay to acknowledge feelings of frustrations, to feel then, and to allow them to pass.

Though I do not feel like it, I will try to maintain a positive mood today. Not a super positive mood, but a slightly more upbeat one. That is a lighter lift for my weary mind at the moment and it feels more doable.