Weighty Matters

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Some Days are Diamonds, Others Dust

on June 26, 2012

Today didn’t shine for me the way that my work days often do.  I’m in the enviable position of really loving my job, the organization that employs me, and the people with whom I work.  This does not mean that every single day is going to be magnificent.   Today turned out to be a “dust” day, even though it started out in good shape.

I discovered an error.  Although I didn’t make the initial error, it was connected to something that I was responsible for checking and I missed it, plain and simple.  Unfortunately, mistakes are rarely plain and simply in my world.  .   I  believe in owning my own shit and taking responsibility for screw ups.  Those are good practices.  So, today, I discovered the goof, researched the solution, found that it wouldn’t be too costly a mistake and admitted it to my bosses.   I am extremely hard on myself, often harder than anybody else is on me. True to form, they were accepted the error and the solution and brainstormed with me on how this might have happened and what we needed to do to prevent a repeat.  Then, in different words, they pretty much told me to unclench my stomach and not beat myself up about it.

A little later on a completely different subject, I misspoke a point, totally saying something that came out wrong which resulted in someone else taking something personally.  We immediately addressed it and when I apologized again, the other person said that it was okay, we’d worked through it and cleared it up.  Whew.

In between these issues, the phone simply didn’t let up with internal and external phone calls.  Some of these brought new, interesting, potentially great things into the mix; others ranged from annoying to downright wacky.  By  3 p.m. I wanted chocolate.  By the end of the day I was wiped.

In the interest of full disclosure, a buddy had a small peppermint patty.  I gave myself permission to have it and savored every bit of this small bite.  I did not go back for seconds or thirds or go hunt up other things to eat on top of the single tiny treat.

On the drive home, my spirit was blah and I really wanted to feel better.  I started to reflect that my old M.O. would be to bury the blues in binge foods like pizza and ice cream.  In the old days, those first bites always lifted the mood, but by the time I was done, I was just numb and not feeling anything — blah, better or otherwise.

My point, and I do have one, is that comforting or coddling myself with food is no longer an option but living a happier, healthier life does not guarantee that dust days won’t happen.  I worked it all out in my head before I got home.  I’d fixed what could be fixed and if that was good enough for everyone else, it damn well should be good enough for me.  I made a conscious decision to let go of the ick and embrace a positive action that didn’t include food and overeating.

I walked in the door and greeted my dogs, then quickly changed into a swimsuit.  I grabbed my iPod nano and opted for the pool.  (It’s the first evening in a week that isn’t completely stormy.  The sun was even partially out.)  Jogging and doing other exercises in the water while Springsteen rocks Thunder Road, Adele belts out Rolling in the Deep, and Dolly Parton chirrups an unlikely, bluegrassy, uptempo version of Time for Me to Fly,  is a great way to lift a bum mood.

After about 40 minutes, I fed the dogs, showered off, and then fed myself a small, simple, tasty meal.   I’m in a much, much better place this evening than I was a few hours ago and I did it all without plowing into vast quantities of food.

Today is shining up to be more like a diamond after all!

******** Edited to Add *********

All evening while I busied myself with a few projects, I continued to think about this day.  I finally decided that I didn’t make my point as solidly as I’d like.  For me a day like today brings forth a lot of lessons.  I know these things but often need reminding when I’m in the middle of things.  (This reminds me of an old saying that when you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s tough to remember that your objective was to clean the swamp.)  Lesson one: Keep things in perspective.  I made a mistake.  This mistake did not result in the destruction of my company or trigger a war somewhere.  Lesson two: (I actually followed this one.)  If someone mistakes your meaning, correct the misinterpretation as soon as possible.  Lesson three:  Mistakes or misinterpretations — when you do what you can to fix things, remember the lesson and then Let. It. Go.  Lesson four: No matter what, eating over the difficulties is not an option.

That last bit is the big thing that I need to constantly reinforce in myself as I continue to recover.  Overeating was always a coping mechanism.  It wasn’t a healthy one, but it filled a need in its own dysfunctional way.   I need to be aware of when I’d like to reach for the old familiar method of coping and pick something else instead.  Today I swam and exercised instead.  Tomorrow, if circumstances warrant, I might use some other way or thing to cope.  Having several healthy coping options can only be good!

4 responses to “Some Days are Diamonds, Others Dust

  1. hoperoth says:

    I had a similar day at work today. 😦 Pretty much everything that could went wrong. Thanks for the inspiration to stay away from that tub of Ben & Jerrys!

  2. robena grant says:

    I hate days like that. Had one recently and am glad it’s behind me. You did great with realizing though and staying on track. My M.O. on those days is pizza and red wine. Ick! I think I’m going to work on your idea, because after the pizza and wine, the problem day is still there. : 0

  3. Susanne says:

    We’re not perfect people and making mistakes is a part of life. It’s the mark of a person how they deal with their mistakes and disappointments (especially in themselves).

    I’d say you did well 🙂



  4. This is great! Look at how far you’ve come! (And I had a not-great day too. Making myself sit down and write anyway. You know…as soon as I get off Twitter and stop reading your blog :-))

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