Monday, January 25, 2016
the car battery and the manager
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.