Yesterday I overslept. My alarm didn’t go off and of course for once I wasn’t already awake, waiting for the alarm. I woke up at 6:18am. I had a 7:15 patient. At that time of day the absolute fastest I can get to work is 37 min. IF the stars align. IF there’s no traffic. IF I drive really fast.
But I was sound asleep at 6:17, and in full panic mode at 6:18.
I have to shower in the morning or I can’t wake up and I look like Janis Joplin on a bad hair day.
Good thing that moving fast is one of my talents. I got in the car, showered, dressed,and with a lunch packed, with 37 min to spare.
And I didn’t have my work jacket.
Back inside, up the stairs. Back to the car, only slightly out of breath.
And I didn’t have my keys, they were in yesterday’s scrubs pocket.
Back inside, back up the stairs. Back to the car. Seriously out of breath.
Finally! I pull out of the driveway.
And my gas light is on.
No hope for being on time now.
Admittedly, this isn’t the END of the world. My patient can wait a few minutes (although this goes against my core value of respecting people and their time).
So I stop for gas and get to work at 7:22. Not too bad.
And my first 2 patients are late, so now I am running behind. WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!? Nothing is going according to plan and I feel my nervous energy is rising like someone is turning up a psychosis dial.
As the rest of the staff trickles in (everyone else starts later), I realize I am not the only one having this kind of day. Everyone is riled up about something.
Issues that should involve 2 people somehow are involving 10. Patients are yelling at people, or showing up on the wrong day. Email messages and phone calls are being batted back and forth like ping pong balls.
Everyone is spinning out about something. Full disclosure, I was 100% contributing to the crazy.
Have you ever had a day like this? I know you have. I never believed in the full moon effect until I worked in healthcare. And my husband works in an elementary school…it definitely happens there too.
So I sat with myself for literally one minute. I usually do a quick check in and intention setting for the day when I get to work but there was obviously no time for that today, the day started without me.
I could sit and try and identify why I was feeling this way, why I was so internally agitated. I could do some deep breathing, I could intentionally look for new thoughts that would support a calmer environment. These things definitely would have been a good approach.
But I took an easier way out.
I didn’t fight the moon. I didn’t try to work my way out of being crazy. I didn’t get aggravated at the people around me who were also being crazy (I think they would agree).
I just decided the whole thing was amusing and I think that my practice of mindfulness on other days helped me do this. I was able to be present with what was going on WITHOUT JUDGMENT. I was able to just observe from a neutral perspective. Everyone was just having emotions; not a problem. Everyone was trying to feel better by sharing their emotions with everyone else; not a problem. I didn’t want to dictate my notes or call patients back; not a problem, I did it anyway. I felt crazy (and was acting a little crazy);not a problem.
By being able to be amused and non-judgy (even of myself), I was able to laugh through my craziness and share THAT energy with my coworkers. We were able to not take things personally. We were able to get through our day without too many wounds or unfinished work.
The moral of the story? Acknowledge when things are ridiculous. We can't control the moon. We can’t control other people. Sometimes it feels like we can’t control our emotions. Of course we can control our emotions but know that it’s ok if you choose to embrace the ridiculous instead of doing a lot of work to change it. No deep dive is necessary if you decide it isn’t a problem.
And the best part is, at the end of the day my coworker told me the full moon is next week.
P.S. Seems like a perfect time to tell you that if your week was crazy, AND if you want to be happier at work, I recorded this week's webinar on Reclaiming Your Happiness at Work. For the next week or two I am keeping the recording available for anyone who is interested and just realized now that they missed it. Just click here to submit the registration and the link will be delivered to your inbox immediately :)
It’s ok, I sometimes don’t know what day it is either.