I volunteered to support my daughter's elementary school's annual Variety Show, which was held last Friday night. I had one job to do. One responsibility. Music. I shared this responsibility with the school's music teacher. We make a great team. I volunteered for the Variety Show last year and maybe the year before that too...everything seems to run together these days.
Everything went really well last year, but not so much this year. I will spare you the details, the blow-by-blow events. In short, I had all the music and in the correct order (even with a last-minute revision). What I lacked was bass. Somehow, my laptop had lost the bass. So all kids that relied on me for their music lacked that wonderful, deep rhythmic thumping that is often so adored.
I felt terrible. I knew that the Master of Ceremonies wanted bass. I knew that the kids were likely missing the bass. I tried my best to figure out mitigations. I continued to come back to the same thing...there doesn't seem to be a way to fix it. It was better to play the music without bass than not be able to play the music at all.
Although I lacked consciousness as the events unfolded, I was completely conscious in the hours after. I ruminated for quite a while. (Rumination is that ability that we have to replay a negative occurrence in our mind over and over and over.) I so wanted it to stop, but I couldn't figure out how to make that happen. I believe the only benefit of rumination is to assess the problem(s) to identify opportunities to prevent it from happening again. If I volunteer for the Variety Show (and they let me, hah!), then I'll suggest a sound check. An ultimate PURPOSE for my rumination. :)
My intention of sharing the story is to share what came to mind as I thought about all this. For one, I was NOT conscious during the Variety Show. I was present and aware of what was going on, actively troubleshooting and making decisions about what could be done, what may work, etc. I was NOT conscious of how I was going about it.
In times of stress, I often don't do a great job of becoming still and thinking about the desired outcome. In this case, I assume I didn't feel like there was time to spare and just stayed in reaction mode. I'd like to work on that. I do a fairly good job of catching myself when I'm angry or frustrated with my daughter. (This stressor was different - it had the time element and the knowing that others were counting on me.) I'm interested to know how consciousness would change things. I can only surmise that I'd feel more in control and less at the mercy of the problem. Wouldn't that be lovely?
Be open to what comes.