Sometimes you hit a wall. Or drop to the floor. Or crumble, tumble, collapse.
Sometimes things just suck.
In the past few months, I (Andrea) have been posting about the gifting of good habits. I’ve been positive. Upbeat. Focused.
Today, I struggle. Today, I’m not. I’m negative. I’m cynical. I’m disheartened. I’m ready to quit everything and spend my day working out and scrubbing the kitchen floor while 80s music plays on my Echo.
And even though I don’t want to, I have to write this blog. And I have to gift a good habit for the month of May.
And then I remembered a quote I came across while doing some work for a client. It’s from the book, The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Healer, Teacher and Visionary
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a shaman or medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions.
When did you stop dancing?
When did you stop singing?
When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?
Where we have stopped dancing, singing, being enchanted by stories, or finding comfort in silence is where we have experienced the loss of soul.
Dancing, singing, storytelling, and silence are the four universal healing salves.”
So if the song has gone out of your heart, gift yourself some time to find it again. Every day. Because you deserve it. You deserve to take the time to care for yourself.
It’s time for us to start dancing again, to take care of ourselves so that we can be great for others.
I (Frankie) know all about customer service. I've been a waitress, worked in retail, I am an office manager who answers the phone and schedules appointments, and the co-owner of my own business. I'm always and forever dealing with customers/clients and I know the golden rule; the customer is always right. But, that's not quite true is it?
One of the hardest things about my job is being nice to people who feel that it's okay to be mean to me. I know where their head is. They know that I'm serving them and if I'm rude, no matter if they were rude first, I could, at the very least lose a customer/client or, at the very worst, lose my job. So does that make it okay for them to be rude to me? Absolutely not, but unfortunately, lots of people think it does make it okay.
I get it. Sometimes things happen and we get frustrated. It happens to me all the time. But, nine times out of ten whatever happened to frustrate us or make us flat out angry, has nothing to do with the person taking care of customer service. These people usually aren't who we have the problem with at all, but because they are there and we know they can't say anything back to us, it makes them an easy target. That's not okay.
The next time you get mad or frustrated with a business, just remember where the problem originates from. It's almost never because of the person who you're dealing with at that particular moment. Just because you're angry or frustrated doesn't mean it's "right" for you to be rude.
Whether you work from home or in a brick and mortar business, no matter what side of the counter you're on or which end of the phone line you're on, we're all customers at some point and we're not always right. Be nice.
So….that’s my laptop in the photo above. Let me tell you about last Friday.
It was a decent day. My son had half a day of school. I didn’t have too much work on my plate. I had gotten a lot of writing done at the laundromat earlier. All was well.
I’m sitting at my desk looking over the menu of a restaurant my son and I were going to try. My husband was helping out family so he wasn’t going to be around for dinner. That’s typically when my son and I will try something new.
I picked up my laptop and was walking into the living room with it, like I have done a million times before. My elbow caught part of a door and it happened. Like some slow-motion part of a movie.
It was maybe two seconds in reality, but as I watched it, it was around twenty. The laptop, falling...falling...falling…
It hits the floor.
The screen shatters. Well, yes and no. It shatters in only the way an LCD laptop screen can shatter.
And I yell the only word that comes to my mind: SHIT.
All the positivity for the day, all the happiness for the joy of the weekend, all the excitement of spending a fun evening with my son crashed at that moment.
Form upstairs my son heard me and asked if I was all right. I paused. And said No. Well, yes. I’m all right physically.
I just wanted to cry. I wanted to stomp my feet. Shake my fist in the air. Yell to the world that this was BS and I didn’t deserve it. Eat an ice cream sundae. Go to bed.
But what good is that going to do? Crying isn’t going to make everything better.
Throwing a tantrum and sobbing just means I’ve wasted time when I could have been solving my problem. Maybe it would have felt good for a second, throwing a little pity party. But in the end, my screen would still be shattered and I’d still have a problem.
So - I told myself the one thing that I had to tell myself: Suck it up, Andrea.
Crude? Sure. Harsh? Maybe. Honest? Definitely.
No one but me and my actions were going to fix the laptop problem. And so, I sucked it up. I swallowed the pity party, and moved into problem-solving mode. And two hours later, my son and I had a nice road trip with subs, a potential fix, and fresh from the conveyor belt Krispy Kreme donuts in our bellies. (Not a bad resolution!)
Sometimes you just have to keep going. Keep moving. You’re going to stumble. You’re going to fall. You’re going to drop your laptop and shatter the screen. You can be angry, but don’t stop moving. Don’t stop solving the problems. And it might take a couple of tries. The first fix didn’t work. So I came up with a second one, and that one worked. (And now I know how to repair laptop screens - so please, ask me if it ever happens to you!)
And don’t forget to give yourself a Krispy Kreme as a reward, too.
For me, that question is very easy to answer. I'm never happier than when I'm surrounded by the ones that I love. It's the most amazing feeling in the world to me and I wouldn't trade it for anything. When I'm with my family, nothing else matters. I am at peace.
I also find happiness in my work. I know that sometimes I complain, but I have to admit that I have a pretty amazing work life. I get to work from home with a phenomenal group of counselors at Eddins Counseling Group, and I am co-owner of this kick booty company called Coffee Talk Consulting. I never dreamed that I would be co-owner of anything so this is pretty great for me.
I just want you to understand how very important it is to be happy in all aspects of your life. Enjoy your family and friends. You'll argue, sure, but you'll get over it. Love what you do for a career. Money is important, but it's much more important to be happy with what you do. And always remember while you're pursuing happiness, to take time to just be happy.
I spent a lot of years looking for something to make me happy without ever stopping to actually be happy. I've learned to slow down and just enjoy the happiness that has found me. It took me awhile to get here, but I'm here now and I hope you'll join me.
Leave us a comment and let us know where you've found your happiness.
Before you go to the dentist, do you brush your teeth first? Before you get a manicure, do you trim your nails? Before you get your physical do you frantically work out in the hopes of dropping a few pounds?
Yes, you do. I do. We all do.
I was thinking about this a few weeks ago as I was getting ready for a manicure appointment. I hadn’t had one in years, and I was treating myself because it was my anniversary. As I was getting ready, I pulled out a nail file to shape my cracked, snaggly nails so that they would look okay for the manicurist.
And then I realized how stupid I was being. Why am I trying to make my nails look better? Isn’t that the whole point of paying for a manicure?
We do this a lot, with so many things in our lives, and it’s really the wrong thing to do. When I gain a new client for my VA business, I don’t want them telling me how great they are and how great everything is going. That’s not why they’re hiring me. I can’t help them if I don’t know know all the ugly. I can’t change things if I don’t know what the “pain points” are for my client.
Why are we all looking for help, and then pretending we don’t need it?
The best way to succeed is by identifying all the problems that are happening. If you have a client or customer, you need to know what their problems are and then you can solve them.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.