I was lucky enough to attend a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art regarding how some of the Disney animators got their ideas for some of the Disney animated movies. The lecture coincided with the Disney exhibit at the Met.

The lecture was amazing, and I was enthralled by listening to how the animators were inspired. Right in front of my eyes I saw how Beast was created. Mind. Blown.

But do you know what impressed me the most?

One of the animators was part of the lecture via Zoom. Unfortunately, because tech is still not actually our friend, the zoom link didn’t work 100% and we could see him, but not hear him. Trying to work out the technical bits was equally frustrating and annoying, but no matter how flubbed things were, the man at the other end of the Zoom link kept his calm, was funny, and just rolled with the punches. To borrow a line from another beloved Disney character, he just kept swimming.

How do we learn to keep cool in situations that require patience and resilience?

Many of you remarked that I was patient when dealing with my Mom buying a new car, and while I tank you all for the compliment, I don’t know how patient I really was. I had to drink at least three cans of diet coke. I had to take a walk outside the lot at least once. I most definitely took a few deep breaths. And I’m pretty positive I spun a fantasy in my head about the Mustang. Can we conclude that the keys to patience and resilience are:

  1. vending machines
  2. caffeine
  3. stepping away
  4. breathing
  5. day dreams

We can break it down…

I guess it’s easy to be patient if you are fortified- hangry won’t get you anywhere. So while diet coke in itself might not be a cure, the thought of being sustained by food or beverage isn’t a bad idea.

I’m not advocating for people to be hopped up on caffeine, However, as anyone who has ever been around a toddler knows, if you’re tired, you are going to be cranky. Well rested is definitely better than sleepy. Sleep and rest are important for fueling body and mind.

Stepping away. No joke: when you are faced with a trying situation, stepping back for a moment really is key. If you can gather your thoughts and emotions, you will react better to a situation.

Just breathe. Always, always, always just breathe. There is no greater mindfulness tool in the tool box than just breathing and being aware of one’s breath.

There is nothing wrong with a little, harmless day dream if it gets you out of the anger and into the happy, or at least neutral. Picture yourself driving down the highway in a Mustang, imagine you’re looking at penguins on a beach, watching a sunset…whatever…Thinking about something that will make you smile will actually make you smile…There’s a reason why people watch kitten videos.

So that’s my fifty cents (inflation you know)

What do you think the keys to patience and resilience when you are placed in a situation that is out of your control?

25 thoughts on “Keep on Swimming

  1. First of all, what a wonderful lecture! How lovely to have access to that in your own backyard! I enjoyed watching it.
    I think all your suggestions for patience are excellent. However,For me personally, too much caffeine makes me impatient and cranky. What works for me is my imagination. I have to go to another place in my mind. Deep breaths, talking to myself, and my imagination is what helps me a lot. However, if things go wrong in the middle of a lecture, then it becomes pure skill and improvisation. Actors, teachers, any person who has to speak in front of a crowd knows you have to stay cool, calm and collected and keep things going. A sense of humor is another way to handle any situation. I think whatever works best for each individual. Plus, it’s different if you are on stage lecturing a group or performing. That’s stage presence.
    But, One on one with a family member is much harder. That’s a whole different ball game and works best if you remember to add a touch of kindness. It’s easier to Stay patient if you look at the bigger picture. We tend to lose tolerance when we are too close to people. So…Keep breathing those deep breaths! And remember this too shall pass!

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  2. Sometimes I remind myself that it could always be worse. When that doesn’t work, I try really hard to look for something positive out of the experience. But I’m not perfect, so there are moments I do a terrible job at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stepping away for a moment to breathe is such good advice. One I learned to heed when dealing with my daughter and some tumultous teen years. It was much better for both of us if I just walked out of her room and did something else. You have that feeling as a parent that you have to get the last word in and have to fix the situation right away and give wisdom, etc. But sometimes the best thing we can do is just step out, calm down and re focus. And that pertains to any situation.
    Good advice in this post and yes, caffeine never hurts! Or curling up with a good book! That’s my escape sometimes.

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  4. I retreat momentarily inside my head. Years ago, when I went through boot camp or was on the ship in a stressful situation, I imagined myself being a stock broker on the exchange and someone visualizing the brokers calling out numbers, percentages, and an image of myself bidding alongside them helped me through. I am not sure why but it did the trick. I pick up something to read if I am in a waiting room or somewhere in an office, I read the walls, anything…

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  5. Walking away & breathing are my things. The other one that seems to work is that if another person (and someone I care about) is upset or emotional, then I find it easy to stay cool, calm & in control – in the moment, at least. I’ll go have my meltdown later, in private.

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      1. I wish I knew where the switch was so I could actively decide to turn it on, but it seems to be a subconscious thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your keys to patience and resilience are as good as any I could come up with. Here’s my take on them currently for myself.
    vending machines – food in general has always been a go-to for me. Vending machines were often the only thing available in my working days when I was otherwise chained to my desk/office
    caffeine – see vending machines. Just fill my stomach to the point of discomfort, PLEASE. Also a current substitute for the times when alcohol is not available/appropriate. I can say that since I’ve been pretty close to being a retired recluse for quite a while. I hope that will change soon with my move.
    stepping away – why I took walks to get away from Mom who was in no shape to accompany me but would have if she could have
    breathing – I’ve been told by several people that I constantly and unconsciously breathe out as if I had COPD. I’ve never noticed this in myself but don’t thing consciously breathing as you’re suggesting would work for me. Then again, it might be a way to turn my thoughts to only that activity and away from the current stressful situation. Then again – nah!
    day dreams – oddly I’ve been having happily imaginative night dreams about my potential future and new life!

    Liked by 1 person

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