Can I Get A Do-Over?
Awhile back, I had ONE OF THOSE MORNINGS! You know the kind. After a cruddy, fitful sleep, filled with dreams about rats with painted on eyebrows and guest bathrooms that nobody ever cleans, I woke up late, achy, and in no mood to deal with anyone's crap. EVERYTHING was wrong and pissing me off.....and I hadn't even gotten out of bed yet!
Let's just say that based on my performance that morning, I definitely would NOT have won 'Mother (or Wife) of the Year'. I growled a lot, and if I'm being honest, I even yelled a little....o.k......maybe more than a little. See, I'm deathly allergic to rushing around like the Tasmanian Devil, trying to get somewhere that I'm not really that jazzed about going to in the first place. The reaction is rather unsightly.
On the morning in question, the fact that I smacked my head on the rear view mirror as I was getting into the van (to go where I didn't want to be), was the absolute kicker. I let out a screech and gave the offending mirror a good backhander....you know, just to make sure it learned its lesson....dammit!
While the bump was forming on my head, and a slight throb developed in my hand, a few more expletives escaped my mouth and then, then came the ugly cry, the woe is me self-talk, followed by the whimpering, and finally the realization that I was behaving like a TOTAL idiot. When this sudden awareness hit (I think the mirror must have knocked some sense into me), I stopped, took a deep breath, and thanked my lucky stars that my little outburst.......o.k. full on adult temper tantrum, was witnessed by nobody but me.....I hoped.
I proceeded to ask myself if unhinged, bitter and tied in knots, was really how I wanted to feel for the rest of the day. Um – are you kidding me? Who would CHOOSE to feel this way dumb ass?.....was the loud and clear answer. I also reminded myself of my core desired feelings....and recalled that 'crazy bitch' isn't one of them :)
And then my friend......I gave myself permission for a 'do over'. Yep.....I decided in that moment that I was going to re-start my day....even if it was 8:07 and I had already been up for the last 3 hours.
And guess what? It TOTALLY worked. My day turned around. After the pity party ended and I told 'Sybil' to take a hike, I gave myself a total attitude adjustment and decided that my day was NOT going to be crappy, despite the failed first attempt.
Once I committed to this, things went much more smoothly. I got where I was going (almost) on time, and had a fairly productive and mostly uneventful day. When I reconnected with my family later on, instead of freaking out because my son's lunch bag had suffered a mysterious yogurt explosion for the third time in two weeks, or because the toaster (that was still on the counter from the morning), slipped out of my hands when I went to put it away......giving me an arm concussion and spewing crumbs across the recently washed kitchen floor, I took a deep breath, remembered that every reaction is a choice, and decided that even if I really wanted to, I didn't have the energy for two tantrums in the same day.
As much as I'd like to admit that I always learn my lesson the first, or second, or third time.....I don't. Most of us don't. Becoming a better version of yourself is a constant work in progress. As a result, I use this technique on a fairly regular basis....and you can too.
Next time you wake up feeling all growly, and it seems like your day is headed straight into the shitter......Stop, take a few deep breaths, and grant yourself a do-over.