You’re running late for a meeting and the phone starts to ring. Pantyhose only pulled up halfway, you try valiantly to avoid tripping while tottering over to the charger only to hear the strained notes of the ringtone coming from the other side of the room. Turning, frustration mounting, you tug at the hose to try and get them in place while scanning your desk for the cell phone. No dice.
Three of the six rings have sounded … uh oh.
Sweat starts beading under your arms. Darn, forgot to put on deodorant.
The fourth ring.
You dive for the desk … riiiiiiiiiiip. And you had almost managed to pull the dratted hose all the way up, too.
Venting with a curse when you bang your knee on a drawer handle, papers scatter as you desperately shove piles over in your search.
Ah ha, there it is!
Nope, it isn’t.
Fifth ring — cuss, cuss, cuss.
Following the dissipating tone downward you finally track it to the cranny between the side of the desk and the wall. Of course. Reaching, slipping on the roller mat for your computer chair in your stockinged toes, you grab it. You spring up in triumph, finger pressed to the screen, ready to swipe and stammer a breathless greeting.
1 MISSED CALL
But they didn’t even stay on the line long enough for the sixth ring!
Leaning against the desk, the tear in your hose having spread halfway down your thigh during your heroic efforts, you slouch in defeat. That was the client. It was totally the client. They needed something from you and they gave up. They probably think you’re lazy or don’t feel they’re worth your time. They’re sure to go with someone else for the job. You open your recent calls and sure enough!
Frustration and the backlash of panic threatens to bring tears to your eyes. You don’t even bother with a swear because you just don’t have it in you. Now you’re running even further behind schedule and you’re barely half-dressed.
You have two options here.
You can slide on down to the floor and indulge in the ugly cry that your tear ducts are ready to let loose. Maybe the client will be willing to reschedule for tomorrow. Chalk this one up as a bad day.
Or you can stand back up. Yank the ragged hose off and slip into the slacks, instead. Swipe on some deodorant and message the client to let him know you’re on your way.
And take a deep breath as you walk out the door.
It’s hard to pick yourself up and get back on track when you’ve been completely derailed. When nothing is working out the way it should and it feels like the day is conspiring to undermine you.
Distress is going to come knocking and road blocks will pop up seemingly out of nowhere for you to stub your toe on.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to say something like, “Don’t give up! You’ve got this! Just strike your Wonder Woman pose and slay the day!”
That really doesn’t help when the rip in your hose is about to reach your knee and the floor is looking like a good place to curl up and have a good, cathartic wallow on.
When you’ve been knocked back on your heels and are left with the option to either fall back or move forward, find it in yourself to just put one foot in front of the other. It might be more of a shuffle than a stride. Maybe it’s little better than a limp. But do it. One step.
That, you can do.
A step toward the trashcan to throw your torn pantyhose in. Phew, did it.
Now another step. Take that step toward the closet door and pull the slacks out. No need to wrestle yourself into hose, now.
Another step. And another. One at a time until you’ve hit on a stride that propels you onward with more surety.
“Keep moving forward.”
Tell yourself that with each step you take. If you can do it, then you’re not sliding toward the floor.
Take the day on as it comes. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s just moving forward. Progress instead of stagnation.
At a certain point, you’ll find it in you to find your swagger again.
“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”
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