Count to Ten

A few years ago, I was helping to prepare for a performance with my band fraternity chapter.  We arrived in the performance space to set up, opened the door, turned the lights on, and saw that the room was piled floor-to-ceiling with junk.  And not just junk, there were couches, desks, stands, and trash…so much trash.  There had apparently been a massive clean-out of storage facilities in the music building and all of the extra junk had been piled into the room in which we needed to perform.  Overwhelmed with the sight, our chapter President at the time turned the lights off, closed the door, and said “We are going to count to ten.  Then we are going to go back in the room and deal with it.”

Years later, on a backpacking trip, on the first day of the hike, one of the buckles on my pack broke clean off.  The stitching came undone from the pack itself leaving a gaping hole in the pack material where the buckle should have gone.  The strap, which now hung useless, was one of the ones which attached the top portion of the pack (otherwise known a the “brain”) to the rest of the pack.  The brain is the only thing that keeps all of the stuff inside the pack from falling all over the trail while hiking.  It also provides balance to the pack which, after walking 16-18 miles per day, is invaluable to the hiker’s well-being.  Seeing the apparent hopelessness of the situation, I panicked momentarily and then remembered my fraternity President.  I closed my eyes, counted to ten, and then saw a solution immediately.  I got my spare rope from my pack and set to work lashing myself a new strap.

Even with the best-laid plans, things WILL go wrong but panicking never helps anything.  Just close your eyes, count to ten, and then deal with it.

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