I was just about to cry from overwhelm when a co-worker walked into my office yesterday. I had to pull it together. I am not one of those people that cries at work. I’m just not.
I have been a part of three conversion projects that all went live at the same time, and now I am juggling the clean up and next steps for all three, which is leading me to feel like I’m sucking at everything since I’m having a hard time keeping up.
It’s life, right? We all have seasons of this. But I couldn’t see the forest for the trees yesterday and just felt like I was going to lose my shit.
When I hit that point, I know I need to do one of two things.
1 – Just complete SOMETHING. Anything. Even if it’s just a two minute thing that’s been sitting on my to-do list. Just complete something.
2 – Focus on someone else. Get out of my head, listen to and connect with another living human being.
So I decided to shoot for both yesterday afternoon. I had to make a call back to customer support at a vendor so they could help me build out one of the specs on my core system.
In all honestly, the woman I was calling back wasn’t my favorite person. I’ve had some frustrating interactions with her in the past, but I was setting that aside to get something done and hopefully have a good interaction with her.
And wouldn’t you know it. It changed my entire mood and was the turning point in my day. I knew Sharon was getting ready to have a long weekend for the holiday so I decided to ask her about that while she was pulling up the computer program. She absolutely lit up! She excitedly told me about her daughter coming to visit, the last few presents she was going to buy, and most of all she described this German chocolate cake that her daughter was going to be baking her.
German chocolate cake is Sharon’s favorite and once a year her daughter bakes one from scratch and she literally looks forward to it all year long. Her joy and excitement oozed out of her voice as she told me about this. As her happiness danced through the phone lines and into my ear the rest of my stressful day melted away.
Sharon brought me back down to earth. She then spoke about how much she loves Christmas and how it’s all about time with people you care about, conversation and making memories. (And eating that glorious German chocolate cake of course.)
As I warmly wished Sharon a Merry Christmas and hung up the phone a few minutes later I couldn’t help but smile. One five minute conversation was all it took to get out of my head, stop feeling like a work failure, and see the bigger picture again.
Seriously, a woman’s excitement for cake did that. It was such a good reminder that when I’m stuck up in my head and stressing about shit I’ll never be thinking about when I’m on my death bed, just focus on someone else. Care about someone else. Stop to listen to someone else.
Thank you Sharon. Merry Christmas, and I hope you enjoy every last crumb of that cake that totally made my day yesterday.