After I got home from work this evening I was going to get out and clean my garage. It has been the catch all through the winter and needed a little TLC. So, I invited my wife and son to come hang out in the front yard and I would clean. Marixa suggested that we move both vehicles back in the driveway so they would have the main part of the concrete to play on. And so it would be easier to corral Trey. I moved one vehicle and got into the other to move it and couldn’t find my keys.

I had just driven the vehilce home from work. I knew the keys were somewhere in the vicinity. I had been in the garage, the bedroom, the office, and the back yard since my arrival. I began the search. 15 minutes later I was no further along. Marixa asked me to take a moment and think about what all I had done. I retraced every step in my mind. I then set back off to check everything I had just checked in the 15 minutes previous.

15 minutes later I was still no further along. My plans for cleaning out the garage were starting to look a little shaky. What was I going to do? Marixa asked me once more to retrace my steps. I stood in the middle of the garage and thought and thought. I had retraced all my steps. What could it be? I was impatient and wanted to keep moving and keep looking. Then, her words hit me. Retrace every step. The one place I hadn’t looked was vehilce #1. I had been in it right before trying to move vehicle #2. Sure enough, the keys were sitting right there when I opened the door.

I spent over 30 minutes trying to find my keys. When I didn’t find them immediately, my brain swithed into overdrive and I started to rely on looking instead of thinking. Two lessons learned from this endeavor:

1. Listen to your wife. She told me the keys were probably in plain sight, but I wouldn’t be able to see them because I needed to step back and gain perspective. She was spot on. Wise council generally is though.

2. Little things can really frustrate you if you let them. It was only when I calmed myself and regained a level head that I realized where the keys were. I have the choice to be frustrated or not. I have the choice to be level headed. Should have picked the latter to begin with.

I could have saved myself half an hour if I had only relied on these two things: listening to wise council and choosing to respond to frustration with a level head.

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