Gratitude on bad days

Yesterday was a very long hard day. Actually the last 3 weeks have been pretty hard. But yesterday? It was a crazy shit-show. That’s a little term we say in the printing world when things go very wrong, and you may or may not be the cause of it.


There are three things I hate:

  1. Letting people down
  2. Asking for help at work
  3. Having things out of my control

Number 1: I was born that way. And I have the disc personality test to prove it. I am a people-pleaser. It’s in my DNA. Number 2: I am being paid to do my job of 25+ years, and if I can’t do my job with effectiveness and confidence than fire me now. Oh, and if I screwed up that job at work yesterday I could be asking, “Do you want fries with that?” very soon. Number 3: It’s out of my control. It’s too late to fix it and there is nothing I can do about it so worrying all weekend will solve nothing. And I hate that! I like controlled environments, not chaotic ones.

When days go the way they did yesterday, usually the little ugly anxiety monster rears its ugly freakin’ head. Even though I KNOW I did the job correctly, a day full of anxiety and stress did nothing but feed that ugly anxiety monster’s voice that lives in my head. The one that says, “No, you screwed it up…you weren’t paying attention…you weren’t thinking…you suck.”

And a night of restless sleep and panic attacks follow; along with some praying to Jesus.

So, I may get fired and there is nothing I can do about it. You suck, anxiety monster.

But something also amazing happened yesterday amidst all the panic, stress, and anxiety. Something that I am eternally grateful for: My co-workers were there to help even though I didn’t ask; they just stood up and did. Then, someone I didn’t even know until yesterday, someone completely unexpected jumped in and helped when she didn’t need to bother.

I am reminded of this quote by Julianna Margulies: “Honey, it’s only a moment; it’s not the rest of your life.” Ain’t that the truth?

Yesterday was just a blip on the map of life; but when I am in that stress zone I think it’s going to last forever, or get worse.  If you are living then bad days are unavoidable. Which keeps my anxiety monster employed.

By showing gratitude for my co-workers and that stranger who stepped up without me asking, rather than focusing on the anxiety I hope that I am growing and will be better able to deal with the next bad moment, breathe deeply, and put it into perspective.

The truth is, bad days are part of a great life. You can quote me on that if you like.


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