Freaky Stuff Happens

As some of you will know, my planned trip to New Zealand to celebrate my 10th Wedding Anniversary was thrown into chaos due to the Apocalyptic elements of Sydney weather early this morning (SMH article, Flickr photostream, BOM warning).

Whilst at the airport, the Air New Zealand staff did the best they could to explain the situation (in essence, no planes landed in Sydney to take passengers to NZ…simple really) due to limited visibility over Sydney. Our first flight (7am) was cancelled due to engineering issues so were provided a meal voucher to the food court (awesome!) and put on later flight (9:30am). At 7:30am it was apparent nothing was coming into or out of Sydney; the 9:30am was cancelled (due to weather) + the best we could do was call Reservations and make changes. I had confirmed seats on the same flight on the 24th, so decided to go home and make alternate arrangements for the rest of the trip.

Whilst on the phone with United (as the flights were booked through United, not Air New Zealand), I got to speaking to a lady by the name of “Chen” who helped me change my flights, and she was so lovely asking if it was OK to put me on hold many times. (Of course it was OK, I have worked in Customer Service and know how things work), to which I joked “sure it’s OK, I’m not going anywhere yet!” We got to chatting and I said to take her time as I understood there are delays in making changes and I didn’t mind waiting, at which point I asked her “how are other passengers/callers handling things?”

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference”

She said it’d been quite a tough morning as the majority of the callers were screaming, mad, angry and frustrated that their plans were thrown into chaos as well. I explained to her that Freaky Stuff Happens beyond our control, and getting mad at others over stuff you can’t control is stupid. I explained that I had time and wasn’t going to get mad, and wonder why others would get in such a way over something they can’t control. She replied “thanks very much for sharing that with me, it helps to get through the day to hear such kind words”

I believe I helped change the way her day will pan out, But wonder where other peoples’ heads are? When the Freaky Stuff Happens, knowing what you can control and what’s beyond your control should help you best direct your energies to achieve a resolution. Screaming at customer service people over the phone for no Freaky good reason is pointless, damaging and unproductive.

To anyone out there in a customer service role ‘affected’ by today’s Freaky Stuff, I wish you all the best to get through the tough day ♥☺♥.  To all people inconvenienced by today’s Freaky Stuff, revel in the different day this is turning out to be, and don’t turn into an ugly zombie!

Same stock; different flowers

In my blog post Letting your Flowers Grow I made note of some small milestones in the lives of my children as they transition to the next stage of their lives, gaining independence and skills to work their way through the world.

Something I’ve been guilty of recently and I’d like to share is about looking at your children for who they are as individuals as opposed to a part of a group (aka ‘family’). I’ve come to realise my boys are substantially different people – akin to having been grown from different seeds. This is an important point to remember about children; they all start from the same stock, however as they develop and grow, they become themselves. It’s important for us to realise we must let them become themselves.

As parents (especially of younger children) we must do our best to resist comparisons between siblings. Things like ‘why don’t you act like your brother (or sister)’, or ‘have a look at X, he’s being a good boy and tidying up after himself, why can’t you’. Fundamentally, each person has different drives – what works for one may not work for another. Each person has a unique listening & learning style, and one of the best ways to keep these young minds fed and nourished is to try to understand how each of your children respond. Some seem to work only when pushed; some seem to innately know (or sense) what to do next; Some daydream the day away.

I am on a personal mission to understand how we think and how the brain works, not only for myself as part of my passion for learning but also to help communicate with my children better. One of my 2009 goals is:

Improving the quality of my relationships….includes spending more time with my boys.

Also, one of the other things I am working on:

Helping reduce the amount of stress I cause in my family (by snapping less and thinking more) – this will also help me get rid of thoughts as quickly as they come

are both linked to trying to understand how the brain works and how we learn. Applying what I learn to myself + relationships to the ones around me are important part of growing as a person. Part of my recent book buying spree is aimed at helping me achieve this. It’s a difficult (but not impossible) path to help change ourselves, but ultimately there is only one person who can change anyone else – the rest are there as inspiration or motivation. I hope to {one day} be the inspiration or motivation for people I come into contact with.