Post written by Jason Terry, Entrepreneur | Social Coach | Web Developer | Scuba Instructor | Guitar Player | Cruise Traveler | Lego Collector
Well, the last two weeks have been interesting for me (Jason). Interesting is the word I use in place of “awful, terrible, and sucky” when I’m trying to stay positive. I’m sure you’ve been through periods in your life where it seems like the universe is out to get you. Things just aren’t working. Or worse, they’re breaking right and left.
Here’s the story of how I got here.
It all started with our new washer and dryer. We decided to put in a new washer and dryer proactively so that we wouldn’t have to worry if our older set just stopped working one day. We have a 2nd floor laundry room and I was really glad the installers were moving them up there instead of me having to do it. Unfortunately, that was about the only thing they did right…
A couple of weeks after the install, I came home to find water damage on our ceiling. Oh no. I immediately had that pit-in-my-stomach feeling. We checked the washer and dryer and sure enough, there was water behind the washer. And so began the frantic process of stopping the water source and getting a company out to dry everything out before mold could set in. Sage Restoration did a fantastic job. I was recommended to them by my great friend and client, Kandy Meehan at Home Rental Services.
We have a cat and a dog. Let me tell you that cats and dogs really don’t like three large, loud fans in their way, blowing air on the ceiling 24/7 for 9 days. We couldn’t do laundry, so that started to pile up. We had to “collect” our dog Coca to take her out to the bathroom because she was too scared to walk by the fans by herself. My cat started peeing on the carpet on our main floor instead of going to the litter box in the basement.
This really shook my sense of stability and “things being normal”. You know, you have stuff at work, and you have stuff at home. And for the most part, they go fairly well and you’re able to manage the ups and downs. At least until big ticket items like damage to your home, a death in the family, or the loss of a major client happen.
Then the universe decided to start piling on.
My Sirius/XM Radio in my car randomly stopped working. It told me that the subscription had expired, which I know for a fact it had not. This might seem like a “Johnson County Complaint” but I’m in my car a lot most days. I love music and sing along with the music in my car (and yes, I sing and play guitar at church too.) It’s one of the things I really enjoy and lifts my spirit. So when it stopped working, it was really disappointing and just another thing I had to deal with.
My work laptop started crashing. Not much explanation needed here… without a laptop, I’m not able to do my work. Big problem in a consulting practice. And fixing a laptop is never a quick thing…
My new heart rate monitor stopped working. I decided about a month ago to get serious about my health. I got metabolic coaching at Lifetime Fitness and have a daily workout program that is very dependent on keeping my heart rate at certain levels while working out. It worked great for 2 weeks and then just stopped working. At this point I was really frustrated. It felt like everything was against me and this was just another thing breaking around me. I didn’t need yet another roadblock while trying to stay on track with exercise and healthy eating.
A client’s website update didn’t go well. I was with our good friends at Marian Hope Center all day working on an update to their website. (WordPress websites use themes that control the look, feel and functionality, and their theme needed to be updated.) The update sorta worked, but certain pieces of functionality stopped working. So now business stuff starts weighing on my mind. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get them back to where they need to be and it will probably take a lot of work to get them there. I did the update correctly; it’s just a hosting issue or parts of the new theme are broken and need to be resolved with help from the theme developer. So it wasn’t my fault, but something I’m going to need to take care of, and because they are a not-for-profit, I’m not going to charge them for the extra effort that will undoubtedly take hours.
And trust me when I tell you, there were about 20 other things that happened. It felt like it was just one thing after another. But I’m not going to go into all of those details. I think you get the point.
Fight or Flight?
I believe you have two choices when the world feels like it is crashing in on you. Fight or flight. I fought, even though I was feeling depressed and overwhelmed. I realized I needed to clear my schedule, make a list and start working through the problems. I canceled a couple of appointments and made a conscious effort to focus on one thing at a time.
Water damage: Called the insurance company and got the ball rolling on the installer’s insurance paying for repairs. Check.
Sirius/XM Radio Subscription: Called and renewed after being on hold for 2o minutes. Worth it.
Laptop: Spent 4 hours repairing and re-installing software. Good to go.
Heart rate monitor: Needed a new battery… which I had. Fixed.
Client’s website: Ended up spending a total of 12 hours over a couple of days, but everything is working great now.
Basically, I worked my tail off all day fighting hard to get back to “normal” and it felt great to have so many things fixed. Honestly, the hardest part was getting started. I had to realize that I needed to stop the normal grind and get caught up. It was an important decision and, as is usually the case, once I got started, it all seemed to get easier.
You may be wondering why I decided to share all of this “pain” with you. The honest answer is that I wanted to try to encourage you the next time you find yourself in this place. The only way I know how to get back on the right track is to make the decision to get back on the right track. Take action. Even when you don’t feel like it.
I will leave you with my favorite quote that motivates me when times get tough:
The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand at times of challenge and controversy.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.