However, because of the Lovelygrey family's ongoing battle with jet lag we all overslept I ended up driving instead and diligently raided piggy banks for spare pound coins before I set off. I thought forty five minutes would be plenty for the fifteen mile journey but hadn't quite appreciated how gridlocked my old home city now gets. However, even after a wrong turn down a road that had mysteriously turned into a cul de sax I arrived with just minutes to spare... only to find my way blocked by a fire engine! Unbelievably once I could get into the car park there were many spaces free but then the fun began again.
A hunt for a working parking meter took an inordinate amount of time and then to my dismay the cost had gone up and I was short of coins by £2. After begging and pleading sucessfully in a canteen which displayed a prominent 'No Change Given' sign (there's more here but I'll spare the details) I arrived at the Training Department to find that they had no record of the course. They took some time for the very helpful staff to find out it had been cancelled three weeks previously despite the fact that I had received a reminder pointing out the financial consequences of non attendance just a day before. The superior liaison between the NHS and Social Services, who were running the course, must be applauded here!
Anyway, whilst waiting for the Training team to do their investigative work I dipped into my rucksack and found The Little Book of Calm. I'd squirreled this long forgotten volume away from our decrepid bookshelf at work as I thought that it might potentially provide material for a blog post. Indeed it gave me pertinent food for thought and kept me grounded at a time when I could well have set off into orbit. So, I thought I'd share these favourite gleaned nuggets of wisdom.
- The most important skill in staying calm is not to lose sleep over small issues. The second most important skill is to be able to view all issues as small issues.
- ..true relaxation begins at the feet. It seems obvious but wearing comfortable shoes is nearly also as relaxing as wearing no shoes at all.
- There is seldom any rational reason for having regrets about past deeds or events. Because the past does not exist in any way other than in your memory.
- Recognise that there is a time for stimulation and a time for calm. This means never trying to fool yourself that a stimulant can help you relax.
- One of the greatest strains in life is constantly having to live up to the standards that we set for ourselves. Do yourself a favour and - from time to time - relax those standards a little.
- Work on having positive thoughts, pay particular attention to speaking positive words, then let the resultant positive feelings take care of everything else.
- If you set your own agenda and don't allow others to dictate your pace too much, you will have much more time to become calm.
- Contrary to what you may tell yourself, you have all the time in the world to do whatever you choose. What cannot be fitted into your day cannot be done - forget about it.
- If you appreciate that as much good comes from change as bad, you will avoid the concerns that many people seem to have about it. Relax and be open to change when it visits.
- When you find yourself under pressure, do something different. Stand, where you wouldn't normally stand, sit where you wouldn't normally sit, think the way you wouldn't normally think.
- Whether you recognise them or not, you usually have choices. The art is to recognise them. Because when you can see your choices, you will feel free.
- Tense people have tense jaw muscles. To relieve this tension, simply press on the roof of the mouth, behind the front teeth with your tongue. (I tried it and it works!)
- Remain on the lookout for things that make you laugh - and, if you see nothing worth laughing at, pretend you see it. Then laugh.
And after that thought provoking bunch of quotes I'll add one of my own. However organised you are sometimes **** ups occur. Once you realise and accept this then you'll have calm!