August 8, 2017
The Day Nothing Worked Out - or - I Should Have Stopped at 77
Posted by: Nancy Skee
So, what do you do when your day blows up in your face? You know what I’m talking about – those times when everything you touch is an automatic disaster, and everything you once enjoyed has become insipid, and everyone you know is temporarily stupid. It doesn’t happen to me very often, but one day last week I came down with a bad case of the Crappity-Craps.
Not a worrier by nature, I somehow let myself believe that I personally had to come up with the answers to the 78 perceived problems that were clamoring in my brain, many of which belonged to Other People. That was part of it right there. I can do 77 problems, but that extra one put me over the top, and it was too late to effectively distract myself. I tried, though. My go-to distractions are to create and organize, so I decided I would put a shelf up in my office and get rid of the clutter. I went downstairs to get the things I needed. I couldn’t find the drill I wanted and got mad and yelled, “Where are you, you stupid tool?!” and picked up the box of tools and hardware and dumped everything out on the basement floor. I should have stopped right there when I became possessed, but angrily carried on instead.
Up in the office I positioned the brackets, but was short one wall anchor. I went back downstairs to where I dumped out all my tools and hardware to find another anchor so the shelves would be strong enough to support my books and my ire. In that time I had been diligently working, Grace Kelly had decided the tools were invading her cat space and had peed all over them. Really? Now I had 81 issues: tools I had to pick up that were now whizzed on, no wall anchor I was going to touch, and a floor to disinfect. I should have stopped right there, but angrily carried on instead. Got the brackets up, screwed the shelf into the brackets like Tom taught me, and breathed a sigh of relief and accomplishment. It looked pretty good, I must say. I arranged my books and Important Things on the shelf and went to make myself a cup of coffee and have some pie in celebration. I had just pressed the Keurig button when I heard a crash in the office. This isn’t hard to guess, right? Right. I needed that extra wall anchor after all. The weight of the books had partially pulled the shelf out of the wall and everything was all over the place and the lamp was broken. I should have stopped right there, but angrily carried on instead. In a fit I dramatically swept everything from the desk space to the floor, yanked and twisted and pulled the stupid shelf the rest of the way out of the wall and yelled, “There, you stupid thing! That’s what you get!!!!” Well, that’s actually what I got and now had 86 issues: books and papers to reorganize, damaged shelves and brackets I could no longer use, big holes in the wall created by pulling out the anchors, a lamp to fix, and a mess in the kitchen. It seems in my distracted state I had neglected to put the cup under the Keurig and coffee was brewing all over the stove. I stopped right there. By that point I had spent more than half my day angry and unproductive. I cleaned up the coffee, but left everything else where it was and went to Little Dippers for butter pecan ice cream. In that walking-away space I dropped 54 perceived issues that were Other People’s Problems and not mine to have to fix after all. I would like to say that I cheerfully returned and righted every peed-up thing that happened that day, but I didn’t. I shut the door on the tools and the office, picked up a book and a glass of wine and sat on the porch to read. I straightened everything the next day after I had taken some time off and returned to a state of Normal. Here’s my point:
- Don’t carry Other People’s Problems. You might be able to listen to them but you often can’t solve them no matter how much you want to or someone else wants you to.
- Don’t use tools when you’re jacked up.
- Know that you need to take some time off waaaaay before you get to 78. There’s still summer and beautiful weather ahead of us. Take care of yourself and enjoy some space away.
Take a breather. I am wishing you a week filled with grace and understanding and projects that work out. And drop me a response - I would love to know how you deal with a case of the Crappity-Craps. I might need some new techniques some day.