I had a terrible Monday.
It reminded me of a childhood book, a favorite, called “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst. Ole Alex, the main character, has fiery red hair. And if you’ve never befriended a ginger, allow me to paint a picture for you. They’re a little hot-tempered, prone to fits & generally the last to be chosen in dodgeball. But gosh, they’re scrappy. A friend recently confided in me that during his undergrad, there was a “kick a ginger day” on campus. All day long he carried an axe handle to and from class, beating off his blonde/brunette classmates. Geeze.
Anyway, hair color aside, yesterday was horrible, no good & very bad indeed. It was the kind of day where nothing goes right, people are mean, you stump your toe, spill coffee down your shirt, have to put your ginger English Bulldog in a cone of shame, etc.
What’s your remedy for a really bad day? Sometimes, mine is as simple as yoga pants, a glass of wine & an ’80s movie. But if it’s really bad, terrible-horrible-no-good-very bad, I have a different method.
1. I consult the mentors. They are extremely supportive & invested in my personal & professional growth. They are successful & empathetic leaders. They don’t believe in shame as a management style, but believe instead in championing others. So when they dish out the truth, it sounds like: “Jess, you made a mistake there. Try again. You can do this” or “Jess, the critics are mysoginistic ass monkeys. You’re a rockstar. Keep going” or some combination of both statements. Wherever I end up, I will have them to thank. Mentors are crucial.
2. I call the parents. They’ll laugh with me, love on me & remind me of who I really am. Aside from my husband, they know me better than anyone. Whether it’s really good news or a really bad day, they always get a call. Sometimes two. (Okay, three. Max.)
3. I get comfy. I let Cory make me mac ‘n’ cheese (or any other chemically created, high caloric bowl of happinesss). The thing about marriage (that no one tells you about) is that you can’t be everything to one person. It a romanticized idea, but an impossible & unhealthy pursuit. While I consult Cory in all matters, I also try to leave my distress at the door. When I come home, I come home. & I don’t expect him to be there ready to fix all my problems, be my therapist. I just try to relax & enjoy his company.
The final step in the Monday Hangover Cure? Wake up Tuesday & go kick some ass. Keep going. Accept things didn’t go as good as they could have. Acknowledge you have more to give, to contribute, to learn. Remember that showing up & being seen is hard, but at least you had the guts to stand in the arena.
Whether you really are a ginger or just a ginger-at heart: grab that proverbial axe handle & keep swinging.