Ever have an “off” day?
You know the kind……. where NOTHING goes right?
I just had one that was so bad, I was certain a director was going to pop out of nowhere and yell “Cut!” Imagine my letdown when I realized that was not going to be the case.
But even through the complete chaos and my monster screw-up I learned some valuable lessons and how to cope with an off day. And isn’t that the goal of getting through this crazy thing called life? To learn from every day experiences, grow and even take our bad experiences and make some good out of it?
Here’s how my “off” day went:
It started with my son’s doctor appointment
My son was scheduled for his 3 year old well child checkup. Now, this appointment had been on my calendar for months. Hell, I made the appointment. It was also on my calendar with several reminder alerts.
Because the appointment was scheduled for the same time I usually pick up my daughter from school, I had asked my husband to pick her up and drop her off at my office. I would take our son to his appointment.
Next- my daughter
It just so happened that my appointment with a client ran longer than I expected, so when it came time for her to get out of school, my dad (we work together) popped his head in and asked “Want me to pick up Annika?” He had done this many times before and so reflexively I responded, “Sure” and tossed him my car keys.
Can you guess what happened next?
Yep- my dad and husband showed up at the school at the same time to get her. Next thing I get is a phone call from hubby asking “Doesn’t Ethan have a doctor appointment today?”
Mother of the Year Award? Yeah- you may as well take it back right now…… Perhaps burning it or burying it in the backyard would even be better.
So, dad brought Annika to the office and hubby picked up Ethan from daycare and took him to his appointment. And his schedule isn’t nearly as flexible as mine. *sigh*
Finally- my travel to a conference
My fabulous day concluded with me driving to Columbus for a 2 day conference and going to the wrong hotel. Yes- I parked, unloaded the car and got to the registration desk only to find out I had driven to the wrong hotel.
Oh. My. God.
Luckily, I had reserved a room at the right hotel, but had driven to the other simply because my last conference had been at that hotel. And even better, the right hotel was just down the street.
What did I learn from this experience? And how can you apply it to yourself?
- You can be TOO busy. I’ve got lots of projects floating around in my head, as well as in real life. My brain is always working. Obviously, it’s too much. I’ve reached my breaking point. I’m scattered and unfocused and that’s not a place I want to be. For my own sanity (and to ensure my family’s survival), I have to slow down. I have to regain focus. I’ve fallen victim to the “myth of doing it all.” I’m living proof you can’t do it all (and I have a whole office full of people willing to testify 😉
- Not every day is going to be rainbows and unicorns and you must figure out how to cope. Some days it’s going to be fire-breathing dragons and shit up to your eyeballs. Thank God that as I sat in my chair shell-shocked by my screw-up, my husband and dad were coordinating a battle plan to get the kids where they needed to go. And it all worked. You know what I did through all the mess? I shook my head and laughed. What else could I do?
- And speaking of laughter, sometimes it’s all you’ve got. So use it. Laughter clears your mind & makes you feel better. I laugh a lot. Hey- it’s better than punching or shooting someone right? Read how laughter in business is good for everyone.
- Allow yourself to be human. We all make mistakes. Yes- each and every one of us. Unless it’s a multi-gazillion dollar mistake or one that cost lots of lives (and let’s face it, our everyday lives are usually simpler than that), don’t beat yourself up too hard. It’s not worth it.