Being on the Autism Spectrum can make even small inconveniences or changes harder for me to deal with than they would a typical person. For example, last Thursday night, on the way home from San Francisco, my flight was delayed for nearly 2 hours. This meant that I got home at nearly 10:00 instead of 8:00 as planned. I was disappointed because I wanted catch the end of the Dodgers playing the Philadelphia Phillies, but I was unable to do so because we got home so late. Even though I knew it was not a big deal, the change in plans made me anxious and upset.
Then, last Friday evening, the power went out at my house while we were having a guest over who had just come in from Texas that day. I thought that Friday evening was pretty much ruined because the power company was estimating a restoration time of several hours. It only lasted an hour in the end, but it threw off my entire evening because it wasn't part of my plan for the night. Coping with even minor inconveniences can be hard for me because of my autism, and that's something I need to work on.
In my post "Dealing with Fears and Obsessions", I mention how coping with anxieties involves looking at what is bothering me from a different perspective. I found that this tactic is useful for dealing with changes in plans as well. On Thursday night when our flight was delayed, I actively told myself that at least I would at least miss the rush hour traffic when we landed in Los Angeles. I also reminded myself of what I great time I had a fun time in San Francisco with and it was totally worth putting up with the delay at the airport trying to get home. When our power went out on Friday night, I had to remind myself that we only have a power outage about once a year, or twice a year at most. Hopefully we got it out of the way for this year. That is not to say that I was happy about those inconveniences that happened last week, but looking at it from a different perspective made easier to manage.
Having said all of that, I realize that I still have a long way to go in appropriately dealing with curve-balls that life throws me. I learn to say, "this too shall pass" when this happens especially when it is only small inconvenience. Sometimes, I get so caught up being upset at something that happened that I will forget to remind myself to look it in a positive way. Forming good mental habits like this takes A LOT of work. Like anything else, though, I am confident I can succeed if I put my mind to it.