It started when you rolled over in bed, dreamily half-opened your eyes and had your first look at the illuminated clock on the end table. No worries, you’ve still got an hour or so to drift off again before you rise. Ah but then the eyes jolt open as the brain screams, “This isn’t Saturday! Get up! Get going!”
In a flash, you’re barking at kids in other rooms, flicking on lights that seem to have magnified in intensity, you slam your knee into the ‘stupid’ dresser that somehow during the night must have moved on its own and put itself directly in your path. Another bark to the kids to, “get up or else!” and no time now you realize for a shower. Kids are up and moving at least and you’re in the closet standing in your underwear looking for a specific pair of slacks. Like the dresser, the cursed pants have somehow conspired with your other pants and skirts to conceal themselves as you separate hanger after hanger angered at your inability to find the stupid things.
“What’s for breakfast?” a voice from the kitchen is calling. “Can’t you see I’m getting dressed? Get your own!” Really though, how could they see you’re getting dressed? X-ray vision? The dog is panting and pawing at the door, unable to fend for itself like the kids. Now dressed, fed, and out the door, you put the car in reverse just ever so quickly and nick the bottom of the garage door which couldn’t get out of your way fast enough. “Stupid door!”
You’re finally within a block of the school when the siren is heard and the Officer is signaling you over to the side of the road for speeding in the school safety zone. The steering wheel is choked by the intense grip you’ve got it under, and if it had previously come to life like the dresser and your pants, any life has since been squeezed and snuffed out in your death-grip.
Whew! Fate really has it in for you today! It’s like the gods all conspired or were bored and you got picked in the ‘let’s mess up somebody’s day lottery.’ Or is it possible – just possible mind, that it is YOU that started this entire chain of unfortunate events and the decisions you are making are continuing to attract disaster? I think if you are honest with yourself, you might arrive at the same conclusion that yes in fact, the actions you’ve taken based on the decisions you’ve made, contributed to the kind of day you’re having based on the things you’ve got control over.
When you are having a really rushed, busy day and things are getting out of control and not moving along positively, sometimes the best thing you can actually do is exactly the last thing your fire-fighting instinct is suggesting. So instead of reacting to a new stimulus in an immediate way that in retrospect may not be the wisest, it’s best to do the oppostie and switch that auto-pilot over to manual and take a breather. Get in control.
What often happens, and I’ve seen it again and again, is when people are out of control and rushed they get sloppy, work is of a lower quality, and ‘accidents’ always seem to happen. Maybe the saying, “things always happen in threes’ is because it takes some time to actually get back in control, and by then on average, three bad things have happened? Could be.
If you are running late, it’s always best to call ahead, inform your boss and indicate you are going to be in as fast as you can. If you have a dependable record to rely on in terms of attendance, you probably have a boss who will understand the ocassional day you’re a few minutes late. Better to arrive there in one piece than slam into another car because you were distracted and rushed and never show up at all. A quick pause when things seem out-of-control can give you a few precious seconds to inventory your available resources in a crisis, and determine what assets you can put into motion to mitigate your problems and most importantly avoid multiplying your worries.
Oh and a word of caution; while you might call the dresser and the pants stupid, best to hold back on calling the Officer stupid. That would be most unfortunate!