What’s aggravating you today?

stressed woman and man“Have you ever had “one of those days” when everything irritates you…a day when everything seems to go wrong and your patience is running out? Well I had one of those days Monday when I lost my cool. My computer was down for 3 days and I so aggravated. I was on hold on the phone for long periods of time. I had to go back and forth to the office supply store buying modems, routers, etc. I had several return visits in one day from my cable provider to solve the problem.  I was pulling my hair out, frustrated, saying a few choice words and irritated that I couldn’t get on-line to complete my work for 3 days.  I allowed a temporary situation to steal my peace.

Suddenly while looking out the window from my office and seeing the cable man return again for the 3rd time I had an epiphany. This is not a crisis, this is just an inconvenience. I said to myself….Jewel you know a crisis when you see it. You watched your son die from cancer and you couldn’t do anything to keep him here…that’s a crisis! This computer situation is just an inconvenience. Stop sweating the small stuff!

This aha moment reminded me of a story I read about best selling author Robert Fulghum.  In the 50’s he was working at a resort in Northern California.  For one week the employees were served the same thing for lunch every single day and the meals were deducted from their paycheck. Fulghum was outraged. And every night he would complain and unload his anger on a fellow worker named Sigmund Wollman. Fulghum did not like his working conditions and was ready to quit. Fulghum would rave and shout to the top of his lungs, kicking chairs and cussing.  His co-worker Wollman was a Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz camp of three years and to him every meal was a feast. He finally got tired of hearing Fulghum complain and said something that changed Fulghum’s perspective for the rest of his life.

Wollman said, “You don’t know difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have a nothing to eat, if your house is on fire…then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy, but a lump in your oatmeal, a lump in your throat and a lump in your breast are three very different things. We should learn to know the difference.

Fulghum went on to write, “For 30 years now, in times of stress and strain, when something has me backed against the wall and I’m ready to do something really stupid with my anger, a sorrowful face appears in my mind and asks, “Fulghum is this a problem or an inconvenience?”

From Janitor to Principal

Joseph principal

Joseph “Gabe” Sonnier used to clean up after everyone at Port Barre Elementary in Port Barre, La. Now, the former janitor is the principal at that school.

The journey to his promotion began in 1985 when Port Barre’s then-principal pulled Sonnier aside, CBS Evening News reported. “He said, ‘I’d rather see you grading papers than picking them up,'” Sonnier told the station.

Sonnier had dropped out of Southern University in 1979, according to the Advocate. His mother, a housekeeper, was struggling to support his four siblings and pay for his education, so Sonnier began working to help.  But at the age of 39, while still working as a janitor at Port Barre, he decided to go back to school.

“I would come to work at like 5 in the morning and leave at 7 and go to school all day and then come back and finish up my eight hours of work here and then go home and do homework,” Sonnier told KATC.

He earned his bachelor’s degree, and in 2008, went from janitor to teacher at Port Barre Elementary, according to the Advocate. He later earned a master’s degree in education through Arkansas State University.  Last November, he was made Port Barre Elementary’s principal, KATC reported.

Three months into the job, he’s still a bit in awe of his accomplishments but knows hard work and perseverance made it all possible.

“Don’t let your situation that you’re in now define what you’re going to become later,” Sonnier told CBS. “I always tell them it’s not where you start, it’s how you finish.”  source – HUFFPOST

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