Last night I spent about six hours trying to write a poem - or adapt one I had already written - for the Rethink Your Mind competition. I was shattered by the end of it. And not that happy with my work - I sent in a poem that I had massacred just to fit the remit 'With good mental health, I have...'
The first two verses of the poem were ok - I've put them on here before, when the rest of the poem took a completely different form - but the subsequent three verses were trite, rhyming doggerel. Still, I really wanted to win - the prize is an iPad and a trip to the House of Lords - and there weren't a lot of entries so I hoped I was in with a chance.
Nope, the poem was rejected. The last three stanzas were apparently ok, but the first two were not positive enough! But then, if the poem had started off positive, it would have been even more trite - and the whole point of what I wrote was that I had overcome my troubles, and triumphed... Here it is, judge for yourselves.
So that was one frustration.
The next was that I took my daughter to the hospital this morning for an ultrasound scan. She was off school anyway, for the start of half term, but to get her to the hospital I still had to organise and juggle various things - for example, one of my sons, who was also off school, went off swimming with his friend so that he didn't have to tag along with us.
It took me forty-five minutes to get to the hospital, and parking was a nightmare. In the end, I had to use the multi-storey car park, which I hate. Little daughter (I call her that because she is the younger daughter) was convinced that our car was too big for the car park, and that we would get stuck - the roof was very low. I just hated hving to manouvre the vehicle - we have a seven seater car and these places are so tightly built. And parking, when I finally found a space on the eighth floor, was hard too - it took ages, and I had to put up with a grumpy woman, who couldn't get past until I had parked, shouting and swearing at me for taking so long.
It was not actually ages - it seemed so, but it was less than a minute. The woman had a child in the car, and as I said to my daughter, I felt sorry for that child, whose mother was so close to the edge that she could not control her impatience. And I was not just incompetent, the parking space was small - I could not even get out of my door once I had parked (it was next to a pillar) - I had to climb over and get out of the passenger side.
Anyhow, miraculously, we arrived in the Ultrasound Department at ten o'clock, right on time. I hadn't been able to find the hospital letter before we'd left, and I would have liked to check it, but luckily I had got the time and place of the appointment right. (I thought I had, it was on my calendar, but usually I would have brought the letter with me to be sure).
I calmed myself down though. I pointed out to my daughter that the sun was shining, we had time together to chat, we were going for a drive in our lovely car. I was pleased that I had not vented my frustration in the hospital - the attitude of the receptionist and sonographer was not particularly polite, but I knew that getting cross would not have helped. And when I got home and found the hospital letter - which did actually say that my daughter should have had nothing to eat for at least six hours previously, I was even more pleased that I had not made a fuss!
We have been studying stress in psychology for the last few weeks, and what it boils down to is that what you perceive as stressful, causes stress and has associated implications for the health of your body (and mind, surely). So my mission is to learn to cope with the hassles of life in a sanguine fashion. Which I suppose I have done this morning - I was mildly annoyed about the poetry, and about the waste of time and money at the hospital, but now I have moved on.
I do so love the company of my little daughter. We are going to walk the dog together now, and then I am going to treat her to a nice lunch out. (She has tummy troubles, hence the ultrasound scan, so we will have to choose food that doesn't set her off, although it can be hard to tell). My son is doubtless having a lovely time with his friend, so everyone is happy. Plus, no actual harm was done by the frustrations of the day, etc etc.
And it's always good to be able to write about these things!