Now that Downton Abby has said its “Goodbye,” what would you like to say “Goodby” to?
Perhaps, it’s frustration. Are you frustrated with all you need to do and learn just to keep up with the latest technology?
Or, maybe it’s ambivalence. Are you having trouble deciding whether to stay in your safe job or take an exciting position with a start-up company?
Or, might it be bewilderment? So many choices! How can you possibly decide what’s best?
What if you got rid of all of these scourges? Then, your life would be fulfilled. Or, so you tell yourself!
It’s not that easy!
Frustration, ambivalence and bewilderment are a product of our “culture of choice.” And that’s a good thing.
Return to the days of Downton Abbey, then we’d all know exactly what we had to do and when to do it. No less true for the ‘upstairs’ as for the ‘downstairs.’ Though clearly, whatever the ‘upstairs’ was doing, they looked ravishingly elegant!
So, if we are not able to say goodbye to frustration, ambivalence and bewilderment, what can we do?
Embrace them! What??? Yes, embrace them. They are the consequences of living in a world of choice, change and creativity.
As you begin to accept that these feelings are inevitable, you’ll also appreciate the following:
Frustration isn’t always difficult or troublesome.
Sometimes, it’s a result of activity being challenging and exciting. So, don’t panic when you hear that there’s one more thing you need to learn or figure out. Instead, take a deep breath. Relax. Then, reflect on what’s good about this new challenge. And consider how best to handle it.
Ambivalence is often a struggle between opposing parts of your personality.
It’s not unusual if a part of you (the risk-taking part) wants to experience life in all its infinite variety while another part of you (the cautious part) craves nothing more than to be out of harm’s way. For you to move forward, you need to find a way for these two parts to exist together in harmony. Not easy. But better than disowning one part of yourself entirely.
Bewilderment reflects discomfort with what we are unfamiliar with.
Perhaps Downton Abby’s dowager, Violet Crawley, said it best, when she aristocratically groused, “First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I am living in an H. G. Wells novel.” Good for a chuckle in our age. But think about how bewildered you might feel when you need to program your smart house or buy your first self-driving car.
So, though you may not welcome these feelings with open arms, at least consider receiving them with an open mind. For, at times, you will feel frustrated. You will feel ambivalent. You will feel bewildered. The only question then is how you’ll deal with these feelings.
Will you complain about them, feeling sorry for yourself that your life is so anguished?
Or, will you embrace them, knowing that these are signs that you live in a society which is saturated with choice, change and creativity?