gratitude

When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break #Gratitude

Vidya Sury Gratitude Circle October

I grew up on a steady diet of self-help, and it has never let me down, so far.

My Mother loved to quote this all the time and firmly believed that being independent is best most of the time.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.

Not saying we don’t have to depend on others occasionally to get stuff done, because we do; still, it feels good to be able to manage by oneself as much as one can.

Okay. Philosophy pause.

Sometimes, life can be a real so-and-so. Last week was crazy and I had to keep telling myself to calm down. After all, am I not that sweet person who is ever ready to look at the bright side?

I am, but even my glasses get muck on them that won’t wash off, no matter what, and I end up feeling like Lady Macbeth with the stains on her hand—although, no crime committed here, mind you.

Truth is, I’ve been so p*ssed off over various things last week that I found it really hard to grin and bear it. It seemed like Life was trying her best to do a Murphy’s Law on me every step of the way. Particularly the “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”—and it did.

Sure, I kept seeing the funny side and laughing my head off, but I won’t deny it was a strain sometimes to plaster that smile on the face and pretend everything was okay.

So let me follow my Mom’s advice—I’ve been dreaming of her so much that there’s no escaping it—she probably knew my internal thermostat was off and is trying to pass me that divine coffee from the other side.

I would share a long list of all the sh*t that happened, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is this, and I have a large poster to prove it:

Gratitude Circle Dont tell people your problems

Instead, I’ll share my all-time favorite strategy of overcoming it, because heh, my space here is all about the happy. What could I possibly achieve by ranting? No, don’t answer that, because I did rant and got it out of my system, and laughed it off.

“Hey, but what happened?”

Okay I heard that. Let me briefly share the funniest thing on my list. I mean, funny now, very annoying then!

Son got new smart phone in July. Loved it. Okay, still loves it.

Enter, snake in paradise.

Son returned to college, end of July, happily put a data plan on phone.

Data plan didn’t work. Frustrated.

Tried everything. Nothing happened.

Called the internet service provider for settings. Didn’t get them.

Enter, Mom, annoying with her tweets to ISP (that’s me).

Son furious because ISP called when he was in class. Big No-No.

Approached local whiz who sells SIM cards, but even he was puzzled.

Son exasperated, but stayed calm. Said he’d wait until October to sort it out. Smart thinking.

Of course, data plan expired, kissed money bye-bye.

Son came home last week for 4 days to tackle list of urgent pending things.

Approached the ISP here. Spent three hours. No solution.

ISP blamed the phone.

Went to a phone vendor who suggested OS reinstall. At a ridiculous cost, of course.

Phone still under warranty, so cleverly, went to the nearest authorized service center, only to find that they only dealt with hardware. Got redirected to another center. Too late that do, so went next morning.

Next morning, 10 a.m. and full of hope, went to service center. Begged them to look at it since son was leaving early next morning.

They said 15 minutes. We waited.

They said 15 minutes every 15 minutes and before we knew it, it was 4.30 p.m.

We were hungry, a little angry and not a little frustrated.

Finally, they handed over the phone – reset. All info wiped out. And requiring a major software update.

By this time, I had almost decided to buy my son a new phone and send him on his way, because—can’t manage without a phone on campus, no?

Returned home, exhausted from sitting on our behinds for a major part of the day.

Had late lunch.

Son, calm, probably resigned, started watching comedy.

His laughter probably calmed me down too, but then, it is not in my nature to give up.

What was so complicated about using a data plan on a phone that those qualified, professional, skilled guys couldn’t figure out?

I decided to take a shot at it. The worst that could happen was, I would have to reset the phone and get it working again.

But first, brainwave. I emailed the ISP. Surprisingly they wrote back in half an hour, informing me they would send settings.

Didn’t get those.

Requested them to show me how to do it manually.

They did.

I entered those.

Turned off Wi Fi

Added a minimal mobile data plan.

Didn’t get credited.

Added another.

Got credited.

Turned on mobile data.

Eureka moment.

Unconvinced, went out to the road where there’s no chance of free Wi Fi.

Eureka moment continued.

Now big test—will it work on son’s campus?

Had to wait 24 hours to find out.

Eureka moment continues.

Lessons learned?

Check all features in a phone/any product as soon as it is purchased. Since there was Wi Fi at home, we never thought to do it. We paid the price with our precious time and money.

So, here we go with my strategy. Sometimes I need to remind myself, you know.

The T chart strategy

I make a T-chart when I am really, really freaked out.

If you asked what’s a T-chart? It is a sheet of paper with a T on it. The horizontal line runs across the page at the top, leaving just enough space to put a title on the page and the vertical line splits the page in two.

On the left, I write “Debits” and on the right, “Credits” because a. I love lists and b. it works.

Like this:

Vidya Sury Gratitude Circle October

Next, I start listing out all the things I think are not going okay in the debits column on the left.

Now, I’ll bet you think I am going to say that I’ll list all the good things in the credits column on the right, right?

Nope. Here’s the twist.

I start my “Credits” list on the right, from where the debits ends. Which means, next to each debit, there’s blank space on the credits side.

Kind of like this:

Vidya Sury Gratitude Circle October

Have you guessed why?

Do I see a smile?

You see, I prefer to look at the good side of not-so-good situations. Not-so-good is a temporary phase. When I look for something positive, even if it is a life lesson, I simply switch it over to the credits side.

My goal with my T chart is to turn the debits into credits.

Because I can.

So here’s what last week’s T Chart looked like:

Vidya Sury Gratitude Circle October

Things I always discover:

  • It is very hard to fill my debits column.
  • It is very easy to fill the credits column, because gratitude just rocks.
  • It is easy to convert the debits into credits
  • A fact of life: This too shall pass
  • We have the power to make ourselves happy
  • DIY is fun
  • Life’s a wonderful teacher
  • As an absolutely sane person once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
  • As another absolutely sane person said, “Go for what you want. Don’t expect life or someone else to do the hard part for you. The harder the tribulation the greater the rewards!”

That’s how it works.

That’s the waltz of life.

I am grateful for the learning that these experiences bring.

I am also grateful for a number of things, beside which the frustration of what didn’t work, just fades.

I am excited about the release of the book “Winding Road to Freedom” where 15 entrepreneurs share their turbulent journey to financial freedom. I am honored to be one of them. Please support me by joining the pre-release. Just click the image below to go to the book page and enter your email to be notified when the book is available for the special launch price 0.99 – book launches on November 5!
Vidya Sury Winding Road to Freedom

What is on your gratitude list, this October?

Gratitude Circle Vidya Sury

Join me in the October 2016 Gratitude Circle bloghop. You know what to do. Looking forward to reading your posts!

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Debbie D.
    October 27, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    Sorry you’ve been having such a rough time, Vidya! 🙁 You are the expert when it comes to positive thinking and that has obviously helped you out, here. I laughed at the quote. It’s so true! People either don’t care about your problems or indulge in Schadenfreude. (I wish there was an English word equivalent – basically taking pleasure in other peoples’ misfortunes.)
    “This too shall pass” is a great mantra, along with “one day you’ll look back on this and laugh”. Cheers!
    Debbie D. recently posted…AS SHE LAY DYINGMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Funny thing, Debbie, I’ve learned to pause and take a deep breath and calm down. Sometimes it is so easy to build up the bad stuff–they end up growing in our heads and appear bigger than they are. Heheh. that quote — my Mom gifted the poster to me when I was 18. So true! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…A novel concept in designer kidswear shopping with StylemyloMy Profile

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    October 28, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Wow, excellent post that everyone can relate to! Love the debit/credit chart. Here is another version of that–Start with something on the debit side and then say you are grateful for it. Of course you won’t mean it! But keep going. For example:

    I’m thankful for these phone problems. I’m thankful I have a phone. I’m thankful that there are people who know how to fix it. I’m thankful I have the patience and persistence to get them to do it. I’m thankful for the convenience of cell phones. I’m thankful I have the resources to afford this convenience. I’m thankful for the technology that allows me to talk to my son when he is away at school. I’m thankful that I have a wonderful son to talk to on the phone. And so on….

    Eventually, you will find that you are really are thankful and you are sincere in expressing your gratitude.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm

      Galen! I am squishing you with multiple hugs! So happy to see you here. Actually, I drove my son nuts with the “thankful” exercise while we waited at the service center, the passport office and all the other things we tackled together. I learned to do this when my Mom’s health fluctuated so often that we grabbed at the tiny moments of peace in between. It is an easy habit these days. Thank you so much for coming by! It is a huge sign that I must finish the email I’ve been writing to you!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Cyberbullying. Raising Kids That Help Stop BulliesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Darla M Sands
    October 28, 2016 at 2:12 am

    I’m sorry for your difficulties. Thank you for sharing your ways to keep a positive attitude. Blessings to you and yours, my dear.
    Darla M Sands recently posted…Autumn is In the AirMy Profile

  • Reply
    Obsessivemom
    October 28, 2016 at 9:57 am

    What a week! Full of not-so-good stuff and yet you managed to turn it round. I love the sunny feeling I get when I drop by here. Glad the phone is sorted. It is frustrating to handle technology when you’re not properly informed.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Meri wali DiwaliMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      October 28, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Thank you Tulika! Thrilled you’re the first on the Gratitude link! (And reminded me to add my own :D) Love your post. Oh yes, technology is great but a bit tough when we have to figure it out on our own! I am just shocked that the “experts” didn’t! Still, all is well that ends well!
      A very happy Diwali to you and yours!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…When the going gets tough, the tough take a coffee break #GratitudeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Shivani Maurya
    October 28, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Glad to join the Gratitude circle..
    Indeed gratitude is the best expression. .😊
    Juz so happy n thankful to be a part of it

  • Reply
    Susan Scott
    October 28, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Well I’ll be darned Vidya! My blood pressure was rising as I was reading about the cell phone – all in all an amazing story. Then even more extraordinary the T-bar !! Have a lovely weekend! If you’re celebrating Diwali then love and light to you and family 😄❣️

  • Reply
    Jemima Pett
    October 28, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    You’re right, Vidya – always check out a new purchase straight away. I’m really bad at that. On the plus side, my life and health are smoothing out at present, so I hope yours will be smoother too, very soon. Thank you for all you do to cheer me up, daily :hugs:
    Jemima Pett recently posted…#Flashback Friday | Halloween Special – Revenge of the GreenflyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Parul Thakur
    October 29, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    What a lovely post, Vidya. You are so awesome. Definitely cheered me up.
    Absolutely loved the T-chart idea. You are right that credits are so easy to fill up, thanks to gratitude. Debits will pull us down but we need to fill our lives with credits. I am going to try out this one.
    That quote about problems and who wants to know about them – that is perfect. Something that VT keeps telling me 🙂 Very true.
    I am glad that the data issues were sorted finally. It’s always good to check new purchases.

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    October 31, 2016 at 6:10 am

    ***Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others***

    Your mommy was SO smart!

    I can tell you have many beautiful qualities of her, darling Vidya.

    Love you more than orange pumpkins! xxxx

  • Reply
    Ramya
    November 2, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Wow!loved the T chart strategy. I know, how frustrating it will be after purchasing the best phone we liked which dont work properly.
    I loved this quote
    “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

  • Reply
    Vasantha Vivek
    November 2, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    T chart principle is inspiring. Happy that you tried to remain positive in all difficult times.
    Vasantha Vivek recently posted…The Miracle Of Being Grateful ….. #GratitudeCircleBlogHop #MondayMusingsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Gayu
    November 4, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I am silent reader of your blog. I admire the way you choose gratitude over everything else. I read your post of self-love yesterday and I was touched deeply by your stories. Some of the stories connected, as I went through similiar situations. Thank you Vidya for being an inspiration for many womeen out there 🙂 Hugs and I did smile today reading this T Chart. Take care and lookinng forward to connect more frequently.
    Love and light,
    Gayu

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      You, dear Gayu, made my day with your lovely comment. Hugs and thanks for your kind words. I am so happy you joined the Gratitude Circle! Looking forward to seeing each other more often!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…About Coffee Beans, Cappuccino Makers and MeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mahevash
    November 4, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Lovely reminder to be grateful for what we have now…for someday, that could be snatched away too. Loved the T chart 🙂
    Mahevash recently posted…Motto For LifeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mayuri Nidigallu
    November 4, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    What a waste of a precious day! But your brainwave made up for it! Is the Eureka moment still on, on campus? Hope it is!
    Your positivity and cheerfulness are contagious, Vidya. And i simply love, love, love reading about your Mom. Her memories must feel like a hug, right?
    I hope to make writing my Gratitude post a monthly exercise, and I am glad i’ll be sharing it with you:)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 10, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Thankfully, yes, Mayuri — still working! And what a difference it makes to be connected while away from the laptop! Hugs and thanks…and yes, I am in a constant state of being hugged with my memories of Mi!

      I loved your post and look forward to seeing you become a regular!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Wish I Was There. Travel EnvyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Birgit
    November 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Writing this down is a perfect way to see the pros and cons and I like how you turned the cons into pros! You did have a frustrating experience but it will get done. I say”it too, shall pass…sometimes like a kidney stone, but it will pass.”
    Birgit recently posted…Thursday Movie Picks-Movies about AddictionMy Profile

  • Reply
    Asha
    November 24, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Loved your T chart 🙂
    Asha recently posted…A day in the TharMy Profile

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