Monday, January 25, 2016

the car battery and the manager

during the week of january 17 to 23, i noticed my truck would hesitate to start.  being almost 4 years old, i sense the battery was about to die.  i figured it would last a week and i could get a new battery on the weekend.

friday came and after i finished work, i decided to leave a little early and go to the shop to replace the battery.  however, the truck did not start and i knew the battery was dead.  i needed to be at my son's flag football practice by 4:30pm.  it was just before 3:00pm and i was an hour away.

i contacted the site security and asked if they had jumper cables; they said they didn't and in fact, it was campus policy that vehicles cannot be jump started on the premises.  i needed to have my truck towed off the campus.  so i called a wrecker service and they said they would be there in a the next hour or so.

next, i sent an email out to the parents of my flag football team to let them know to either carry on without me or to just cancel practice.

then i waited.

it was at this point that i felt completely calm.  it was unusual because if these circumstances had happened to me in 2014 or 2013, i think i would have been a complete ball of anxiety and worry.  but in 2016, i was calm and welcomed the time to my self to sit in my inner citadel.

this is what stoicism has done for me.

on monday january 25, i attended an all-day meeting with a manager and his leadership team.  this manager is known for his deliberate and very meandering and over-detailed meetings.  i was there to share some financial data with him and his team.

as i presented the data and began answering questions, it became evident that i had committed an error and that the manager had made an error in his assumptions which impacted the data as well.  in that situation, i calmly fixed my error and was able to keep a very clear head as i addressed the manager's concerns.

had this happened to my in 2014 or 2013, i most likely would have been sweating and quite flustered.  but in 2016, i was able to keep my cool and address the situation dispassionately.

life continues to get busier and more stressful for me; but i have never felt calmer and more in control than i have this year - the year i have embraced stoicism.

in a conversation with my wife, she acknowledged that i am handling the extreme stress of my job and all the other demands of life.  in 2014 or 2013, i would have been very grumpy and moody.  in 2016, i am even-keeled.

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