I just love this episode… Caroline is so feisty! And yet she also notices the weakness in herself to lose her temper even though we don’t blame her – dealing with the likes of Harriet Oleson! I love her example and honesty of admitting that she has let it get the best of her.
I consider myself pretty easy going and I get along with almost everyone, but this episode reminded me of losing my temper just the other day. I was at the pool swimming, while my kids were doing lessons. I was sharing a lane with another gal who was in way better shape than me … To make matters worse it was my first time back in the pool since my brain surgery so I was a little rusty to say the least. Well the Olympic swimmer who I was sharing a lane with, kept running into me … really because she was lapping me. So first off it was making me feel like a loser because I was so slow but then I was thinking … “wait a minute I had brain surgery, it’s amazing I’m even out here!” After about the 3rd time she ran into me I lost it and asked if we could just each swim on one side so I wouldn’t get in her way. She wanted none of that, “etiquette is to circle swim you know?” My thoughts were “yes I do know that … but etiquette is also to space out, pass with plenty of room and maybe don’t swim the backstroke on someone’s heels!” It happened one more time and I moved to a different lane. Anyway long story just to say I lost my temper and just like Ma said “I’m always upset when I lose my temper.”
In fact, it almost ruined my day because I was so disappointed with myself acting that way and letting it get to me so badly. A few days later I swam again and of course she was there … I didn’t share a lane with her but I wanted to meet her gaze and apologize for losing it. She not once in that hour looked my way or took a breathe facing me. That’s when I knew that she had it even worse than I did. I said a little prayer of peace over her, that her heart could soften enough to admit when we let our tempers get the best of us.
It brings me back to the episode and the words Caroline wrote on the chalkboard …
Do I have compassion or understanding for those people around me? Even crazy swimmer lady? Even when I feel like I’m not being given compassion or understanding … And I’m the one who really deserves it! We all have bad days and have to bite our tongues and apologize to complete strangers … And you know what? I think it’s really good for us when we have to do it. It opens our hearts to see that we don’t have it all together, it keeps us humble and reminds us that others have off days as well. I’m keeping my eyes out for my Olympic swimmer friend… If I see her again I know what I need to do!