I originally was going to write something different today but found myself feeling inspired, after a bad day yesterday which I managed to turn around.
My flight home from Charleston was delayed on Sunday, and I didn’t get home until close to midnight. I had no blog post written but was so exhausted from my flight and sitting in traffic that I prioritized watching Game of Thrones over work. And then suddenly it was 2am and I was just hitting “schedule” on my post. Naturally, yesterday morning was a bit of a train wreck.
I awoke to all the things I hadn’t dealt with before I left: a pile of clutter on my desk, a messy and very smelly kitchen (somehow everything in my fridge managed to go bad over the weekend – this is super gross to admit, I promise I’m actually really clean/slightly OCD most of the time). What really sealed the deal was that when I went to feed Tyrion and his food dish was covered in ants (I swear you guys, I’m not a gross person – but I live in a ground floor apartment and no amount of Clorox, keeping all food (except his) out of sight, and constant cleaning will keep the ants away). I spent a solid half hour massacring the ants and spraying every surface with Clorox and then Windex (double cleansing??) until every ant was gone and Tyrion was expectantly looking at me like, “Okay b*tch, where is my FOOD!?!”
I reached for a new bowl for him and (as if on cue), my great aunt’s beautiful porcelain bowl slid out, smashing into bits on the counter. Around that time, my friend’s fiancé locked himself out of his apartment and came over. It was after 10am by then but I was still in my pajamas and hadn’t managed to brush my teeth or wash my face. After helping him I (finally) fed the cat, sat down at my desk and got an email from my manager with a brand timeline that was really, really tight. My stress was at an all time high. I stepped away from my desk, took out the trash and somehow managed to hit myself in the nose with the lid of the bin – leaving me with a bloody nose and a giant bruise right between my eyes. I kid you not, there are no exaggerations, this all happened before noon.
This is why I usually go to bed early on Sundays.
Anyway, I was in pretty bad shape at this point. I just started to cry. Big, heavy raindrop tears. It’s so silly in hindsight but it felt good to just cry a little and indulge in a little pity party. I’m not a big crier, it happens very rarely, but when I do, I CRY. And then I sat there and said to myself, “Okay, you have a lot to do today, it’s time to get your shit together.” I followed these exact steps below, which I have documented below. I hope this is either a) helpful, or b) makes you laugh. Just picture me hitting my nose with the lid of the recycling bin if you need any sort of entertainment. #hotmess.
One // Take a step back. This is the most important step. Honestly, all of these things, in the scheme of them, are pretty minor. If I’d had a proper night’s sleep, the messy kitchen and ants wouldn’t have bothered me. If Tyrion’s food wasn’t covered in ants, I wouldn’t have been upset by the smack on the nose. The brand’s timeline would have been fine if there hadn’t been ants and I hadn’t broken the plate. I was having a bad day because a lot of little, bad things had happened… but really they were all pretty inconsequential.
Two // Set your timer for an hour and do the things you don’t want to do. So this might sound counterintuitive but just trust me. When you are having a bad day your gut may tell you to go get a massage or buy yourself flowers and yes, those things will help, but if you spend an hour doing things you hate doing, you will feel so much better and accomplished and overall, less stressed out. For me, this is always accounting. I am so bad at it and there is a lot of it with blogging. Piles of receipts, checks that need to be entered into Quickbooks and deposited, etc. So I spent an hour just entering in expenses and clearing through the stack on my desk.
Three // Then do something you want to do. I went back into my room and made my bed, and then I came back out and responded to reader comments on my blog. I had a big coffee, and then I scheduled a few posts to my book club page.
Four // Call a friend. I called Christine. We had a good long gab session and I immediately felt a lot better. Sometimes you feel like an idiot and have a bad day and it’s good to talk to someone who you know isn’t going to judge you or make you feel worse. It was good to catch up with her and we were able to laugh about my “mood.”
Five // Step away. My big project (outside of work deadlines) for the week is to get my patio in order. This is sort of a self imposed thing as my best friend and also upstairs neighbor’s engagement party is on Friday and we want to have part of it be on my patio, so I have to get it in order. I was grumpy, so I got out of the house. Usually I make myself sit at my desk and work til 6 or so but I took off around 4 and headed into the city for a trip to Michaels and World Market. I noticed myself continually checking my phone so I put it into airplane mode and turned on my “Dirty French” playlist (a compilation of reallllly good 80’s music which is what that restaurant is usually playing, hence the name). Putting my phone into airplane mode was everything… I am going to do this more often, it was nice to consciously unplug and not see any messages/emails come through for a while.
These tips and tricks are maybe not the most responsible… (as I’m writing this it’s 12:30am, I definitely lost productivity today from gabbing on the phone, leaving work early, and coddling myself a bit), but they made me feel better in the end. I am not always the best at taking care of myself. I typically just push problems under the rug and focus on work, which isn’t the most healthy behavior. As I finish writing this post, yes, it’s late… but I am in a better place than when I started and will definitely sleep very well tonight!
photography by Trent Bailey.