Australian beach cliff sunrise
blogging, Mental Health, Motivational, Philosophy

It Started with the Door

I was washing the Schnauzer Dog this morning and the young pup and rest of the family kept interrupting me, pushing open the door hitting me in the shoulder, when I was working with the dog in the tub, full of shampoo.

If it wasn’t the pup pushing open the closed door latch, it was the Moth a.k.a. ‘Man of the House,’ (New homes appear to have internal doors that don’t securely latch closed, unless you slam them).

Each time the door was opened, the very wet and soapy Schnauzer, now full of shampoo would repeatedly try to leap from the tub, and and you can just imagine how slippery a fully soaped up dog was. It was a slightly exasperating situation.

Dog washing complete, I then set about cleaning the laundry and the same scene repeated, much to my dismay. Newly cleaned floors covered with either Schnauzer paw prints or Moth footprints as suddenly everyone wanted to get into the laundry for some reason. Grr.

I felt the tension rising in my body. I was irritated by the door latch not staying closed and the laundry suddenly becoming busier than Central Station. After a few grumbles under my breath, I paused, took a deep breath and tried to remember the wise saying I read earlier this week:

When you are upset, remind yourself the cause of your discomfort is your own attitude.

This is Freedom.

Dr. Lee Jampolsky

If there is something you don’t like, you can either change it or change the way you think about it.

Each and every day, the real battle for freedom takes place in your mind.

 Ingen kan hjelp den som ikke vil hjelpe seg sjøl.

Noone can help someone who will not help him/her/themself

Norwegian proverb

Do you have a way of dissolving tension that works for you?

If so, I would like to hear it.

65 thoughts on “It Started with the Door”

  1. No, I have to talk about it until it does not upset me any more. And that is not good as my husband just does not want to hear more than once why I am upset. But, I love this post. Know the feeling, become very upset when people want to walk over my floors I have just cleaned. And while it is still wet/ Maybe because I hate the job, clean it better than I expect from my house worker, and then I just want to see it for a little while as clean.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can relate to what you said, Christa, having been someone who needed to vent through words to someone else, usually the ‘Moth.’ Until he pointed out I was doing it. Then I thought that I probably wouldn’t like someone else talking to me, about something over and over, until they processed it. Since then I have been exploring other ways of reacting, which made the quote from Jampolsky that much more pertinent. In accepting a level of disarray in life, and acknowledging that we cannot control other people, I was able to distance myself from being in that moment where emotions take over rational thought.
      Because it is when that feeling of frustration at having to repeat a job over and over, due to others’ actions, that we feel the tension begin to rise and inevitably we need to vent. Instead of approaching the situation with an attitude of loving kindness, we are allowing ourselves to be disturbed that things are not as they ‘should’ be. We feel the constraints of time, or we perceive a lack of understanding/respect from others, have high expectations and want things to be more perfect for a little while so that we can feel pride/contentment/happiness. If our attitude to the situation is altered, we might just be free from tension of floors with footprints!

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Haha! So it was the nails that did it. You can edit comments on your own blog, but if you post a comment on someone else’s blog, only the blog owner can edit them.

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    1. Great point, Alison. I think that if we cannot see a solution in sight, we must re-think the situation asking ourselves: What CAN we do? There must be another way. This stops one from focusing on what is WRONG with the situation and blaming other things or people.

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  2. Hi Amanda, Interesting how it is often the little things that can irritate us. And, possibly the straws and the proverbial broke the camel’s back. You also remind me how a pause and a deep breath help create perspective. I find I get overstimulated easily and I need some quiet space to help create perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so important to know when we reach our limit and to be able to be confident enough to take time out. Ten minutes of deep breathing from down in the pit of your stomach works absolute wonders for me. Do you practise any form of meditation?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Carol. Dogs are so cute aren’t they? I think the quote you posted it absolutely true. They want to go out when they have been inside and go in when they have been out in the yard. Doggie doors must be like chocolate for them?

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  3. Either you change the situation, and if you cannot, you have to find a way to change the way you think about the situation…easier said than done. I usually drop everything I have and step outside and take ten deep breaths. At work I say something about needing to let some fresh air into the room, then I open the balcony doors and stay there taking my ten deep breaths before returning. If you’ve found a way that works for you stick to it 🙂 I also ask myself if the situation is worthy of me wasting my energy on it, if not, I ignore it. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent perspectives on tense situations, Sag.Viking. And you are absolutely correct. It is easier said than done and I applaud you for having the resolve to take time out and ten breaths in exasperating situations. I am still working on that ability to hold back emotions. I do agree that if we can distance ourselves and ask ourselves: is stressing about it worth the energy input and potential ill-effects on our own health, then that is a way to regain perspective. Oftentimes, it is not worth the trouble. In the moment, it seems ultra-important, even critical, but step back a bit and these situations are rarely worth a moment’s thought in the bigger picture. Do this enough and we can re-route circuitry in our amygdala and learn a different emotional response.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to be like that to some degree ! Had a few talks to myself – not so hard if one is a Gemini 🙂 !! Now i recognize the moment, say ‘time out’ to myself and anyone else present and literally go for a walk in the park, rain, hail or shine. Deep breathe, do some hops and bends . Come back a quarter of an hour later and wonder what ‘that’ was all about. Cleaning . . . well, cannot afford help at present . . .living with a mess is far more fun than living with an angry self !!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this: “Deep breathe, do some hops and bends.” A deep breath can work wonders on our whole body. Relaxing tension and giving us more oxygen to think clearly.
      Exercise if great for dissipating the stress hormone cortisol and any adrenaline that the body has secreted into our bloodstream, so not only does it distract us from feeling stressed, but also gives us a chance for time out. I can see that you are able to see the bigger picture when you said:
      “Living with a mess is far more fun than living with an angry self.”
      And you are correct. It is true.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Many many years back, when I suffered severe depression, I had to go through therapy to help myself back to my feet. The best trick I got from it is very simple. My therapist explained that unless my life was in danger, any ”bad” event wasn’t all that bad. So she told me that anytime I got myself in a stressfull situation, I just had to tell myself out loud that ”this isn’t grave”. It took some practice to actually have an effect on my brain, but I have to say that over time… It works! After a while, I really assimilated that anything not life-threatening wasn’t worth getting too upset about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is easy phrase to remember, and really useful information to practise, C. You are also correct that it takes time to re-train the brain, so to speak. It really is often about perspective. Modern life is relatively comfortable and the mind tends to over emphasize small things that may irritate us. We are pre-programmed to pay attention to things that are negative so that we survive. This was useful back in the day when a wild beast may be chasing us down, but kind of redundant today. Yet we haven’t yet learnt to properly filter those panic signals that heighten our emotions. I wonder why?

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    2. That’s a great phrase to remember. I don’t get angry or frustrated very often, but when I do, I tend to go quiet. Luckily it passes quickly because I realise it doesn’t do me any good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is perhaps a good thing going quiet, Peggy. Better than blurting out something that you might later regret. I have yet to learn your level of restraint and frame the situation with Cyranny’s perspective.

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    1. It seems like a few of us experience the drama of trying to mop floors with traffic in the home. Funny that we all get stressed by something so banal. In the end, it matters not.

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  6. Forestwood, newcomer here. Thanks for visiting my post. I like the overall theme, but particularly the message of Dr. Jampolsky. I had a school counselor friend who would tell the students, “Don’t give your power away. If you do not take offense, you are not offended.” This is usually when someone goads you, but it can work on other matters. No one is perfect, so I strive to do this, but sometimes I just have to put of my Don Quixote armor and chase a windmill. Keith

    PS – a slippery Schnauzer is hard one to hold onto (and say three times fast).

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  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog today with your words of encouragement. I really appreciate your suggestion about acrylic paints. I know oil colors instinctively, especially, how they mix and what to add to them to create an effect. This is my fifth painting in acrylic paint. It’s a learning curve. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Important thoughts, Amanda. For me, it’s easy to brood and internalize stress considering the confluence of terrible events happening- wildfires, pandemic and politics. I exercise, meditate and pursue creative work. Also, focus on family and kids. And enjoy blogging friends. 🙂

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  9. I learned a useful little acronym some years ago – CIA. No, not that one! It stands for Change, Influence, Accept. Some things/situations that upset you, you have the power to change, so do so. Some you may not have direct control over, but you can influence those who do (e.g.a quiet word with the Moth some time about door latches). And some you cannot change or influence, so you have to learn to accept and live with them. When something bothers you it’s helpful to consider which of these it is so that you don’t rail endlessly about something you could change yourself, or waste time trying to change something that you cannot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that is a great acryonym. I will find that easy to remember, especially in light of our conversation re your North Korean visit. I have come across the change accept leave it adage before. It is a great guide if you are undecisive about what to do.

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  10. Love the bath story! and this summer, the “growth mindset” has come up a lot.
    It stems from Dweck’s (2006) writing about the difference between a fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

    Here is a snippet from a PPT I made:

    Mindset-focused Coping involves making sure to watch negative thinking traps (like over generalizing or having all-or- nothing thinking) and adopt a “growth mindset.” The growth mindset involves actively understanding your outlook; become less defensive to feedback, stay open to setbacks, become comfortable with corrective criticism, and see challenges as opportunities (Dweck, 2006).

    Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Ballantine.

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    1. Becoming comfortable with criticism is important. I feel like the pendulum has swung back a little too far the way of political correctness making us overly sensitive to criticism. When there is something worthwhile we can take from enduring small criticisms. We can develop resilience, learn about the other person and guatd against knee jerk reactions in ourselves andcmaybe even examine in our own self what kind of behaviour (without blaming) that might have triggered the criticism from the other party. Would that be valid, Yvette?

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      1. Sounds really grounded and wise to me Amanda!
        And as I aged – I understood what It meant to have “tough skin” –
        It was this ability to “see” and “understand” and have a sense of tightness with yourself – flaws and all- so that when various criticism comes – we can see the full picture ((And I think we both know how some folks have brutal criticism that is not meant to help – it can come from sloppy behavior and their own hurt and negative place))
        And so seeing the full picture and “not taking things personal” was something I matured into –
        It sure has helped

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree, Yvette. Our ego is rather fragile whilst we are forming our own identity. Once that has more or less finished developing, we become more self-assured in our own being – flaws and all. That reassurance lends itself to confidence in not becoming defensive in the face of criticism.
          Thanks ever so much for a lovely comment and conversation.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Hi – well I meant “conversationalist” in a chat kind of way where you know how you to ask questions of others and then you seem to have nice responses via chatting in blog community –
                so I was not really referencing the orator part of the speech – but I kind of see how it sounded like that

                Liked by 1 person

              2. I thought of you (and Mabel) this morning because I grabbed a book from my newly acquired “used books” pile – and this one is “words of inspiration” from
                1949! It reminded of the book of quotes you two are creating.
                I will take a few photos of some of the pages and email them to you because you might find some ideas for your book.
                Even if not – what I have loved about the book so far is the boost and the enrichment – which reminded me of your and M’s endeavor because remember this – people “need” more uplifting material out there and the book will ha e a watering effect (or can!) and so I hope it is going well

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              3. I think Mabel is taking a bit of a blogging break as she doesn’t post that much and she was mentioning that she was losing inspiration for posts. That is a bit sad as hers was a very important perspective on multiculturalism and the Asian Australian perspective. I feel we will do something with the book eventually, but is stagnant at the moment. Perhaps your email will get us going.
                I look forward to reading your email. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. It means a lot to me and makes me get organized.

                Liked by 1 person

              4. Hi – well I am going to share one photo of the book in tomorrow’s lens artist’s post for the inspiration theme – because the book actually has the title of “words for inspiration”
                And Amanda – I am going to save it for you as a gift – I grabbed it from
                The fifty cent rack but only got it to regift – if that makes sense – and I didn’t think of you and M until I started reading the opening and how the boo came about!
                I think it is right up your alley!

                And so email ya soon with the pics

                Also – I knew that with Mabel
                Think it has been occurring for a while –
                And reminds me of a few things – first – we change as bloggers (as you know of course) but I just sent a few thoughts to Marsha about blog challenges (my experience and view) and as I wrote it that “bloggers changing”
                Theme sorta unfolded on its own.
                Because we change so much – some folks are steady eddy or stable Mabel and might have smaller changes with more routine –
                But others have bigger shifts
                And more diverse seasons and with M
                I see that as part of where she is –
                Second – it can be freeing to break free of the blog – during my recent fast I really found good stuff unfolded – and you know Amanda – once out of the pull of it it was easier and easier to keep staying away – even when my fast was up.
                So I wonder if that is part – she is in a new mode of life and the blog has a lackluster fit at this time – and I hope she does not mine me reflective on that here in comments – it is meant with the lost respect –

                And maybe the book will happen soon!

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              5. I am sure she will see yourcomment as respectful
                She always sees the positive!
                I think you are right about the new phase of life steering one away from blogging. It is easier to stay away than to come back.
                Thank you so much for thinking of me with the book and for being so very inspiring! I am so glad to know you.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. When drama happens, it is very easy to slip into an escalation and emotionally reactive responses. Why me? Why does this always happen? What did I do to deserve this? For these questions there is generally no answers. We are putting our focus into what we cannot change. Instead, a re-think of the situation in terms of what we could do, is sometimes helpful.
      I hope that you are able to find some calm amidst the chaos.

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