I had an enlightening experience today, all the more so because I got to share it with my offspring.
Caleb – the 14 y.o. – and I were sitting at the doctor’s office. It was 8:50-something and we had an 8:30 appointment. I could feel myself heating up. I was running scenarios for the doctor’s arrival.
“I hope everything was OK”, I would say. To which he would respond questioningly. I would then say “well there must have been an emergency for you to have kept us waiting so long”. I know. Really clever. Right?
So about that time, I suggested to Caleb that we do a little box breathing – I’m not sure that’s the right term, but I’ll describe it.
We breathe in for a 5 count, hold the inhalation for a 5 count, breathe out for a 5 count and then hold the exhaled state for a 5 count. Then we did it again. And again. We did it about 5 times and then the doctor knocked on the door.
As it turns out, the doctor came in apologetically giving his very valid reason for keeping us waiting. Not an emergency, but a meeting he couldn’t get out of.
The great news was by that time I was calm.
Caleb and I talked about it on the way home. I explained to him my motivation.
It was wonderful to share the experience with him, and also to share a positive response to frustration.
We’ll do it again, I’m sure. Hopefully he’ll internalize it.