Senior Citizens Deal With Frustration

Jan 11th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Here we go again, with the frustration theme!  The latest experience gives me some more insight about how to manage Frustration when it rears its ugly head. 

We’ve been in East Texas since late November.  We’ve written about the beauty and serenity of our Piney Woods, and how much we love our home here.  But living in a remote and secluded area has its drawbacks.  One is connection to the Internet.  That’s a big one for us, because we need to be online every day to keep this site updated.  When the weather interferes, or a tree grows too many leaves and occludes the satellite dish, or the modem decides to develop a mind of its own and work only part time…  those are very big obstacles for us!

My first response was to raise my voice, utter my favorite four-letter words and slam the mouse down on the desktop.  Very un-adult behavior. 

Next, I spent a total of three-plus hours on the cell phone (outside in very cold temps because the cell phone has no signal in the house) with the satellite dish technical service, running back and forth from the cell phone outside to the computer inside (we were working on the PC, not the laptop), finally getting the modem re-registered with the system so it would work properly. 

Then, the just-related-incident occurred two more times.  Replay previous paragraph twice.  My four-letter word vocabulary got a great workout over a week’s time. 

I’ll shorten this and then get to the point.  I thought the problem was the router we use to handle more than one computer in the house; it wasn’t; turns out the problem is the modem and replacing it would cost a couple hundred dollars.  I had just purchased a MiFi 2200 for my laptop, and decided to replace the modem with another MiFi.  Problem solved. 

Interestingly during this process, I re-discovered what magic occurs when I do slow and deep breathing.  It kicked in first when I didn’t know it.  (I’ve done this for stress-reduction for years.)  A couple of days ago, I realized I was no longer cussing a storm, and my demeanor had become calm and ‘in-charge’ again.  I discovered I was determined to solve the problem in a way it would not recur as quickly as it had over the previous week.  I calmed down my body and spirit intentionally, and told myself I would manage the issue and solve the problem.  My movements slowed down, my language got cleaned up and my spirit was happy again knowing I was managing the problem.  It was no longer managing me. 

I have a lot of respect for intentionality.  Making a decision and then making sure you get to the point of productive action.  Works every time!



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