A Spare Clean Shirt

a spare clean shirtYesterday’s post alluded to the difficulties of this past week… but there were plenty of lessons learned, like the value of having a spare clean shirt on hand among other things.

Last week is done and I refuse to define next week based on the week that just passed. It wasn’t the greatest week but it wasn’t entirely horrible either as there were so many lessons learned or in my case, relearned:

  1. Always have a spare clean shirt around. – A few days before my presentation I took my favorite blue shirt to the cleaners to be cleaned and pressed. The morning of the presentation, I went to take it out of the plastic from the cleaners and discovered two tiny stains around the buttons on the front. Instead of panicking, I grabbed my other blue oxford shirt that was also cleaned, pressed and ready to go. Lesson learned… always have a Plan B or other options.
  2. Practice makes perfect. – To be honest, I have never been very swift at presentations, or at least that is what I think. When I was working on my Masters we had to give at least one presentation in every class that we took and there was one presentation that I flubbed up so bad that it still haunts me to this day. Not wanting to go through that again, I made myself practice this past week’s presentation from beginning to end, three times, so six hours total of me talking to “me” in the mirror. It’s rather funny if you think about it. Lesson learned… practice not only makes perfect but it also gives you the confidence to perform at your best regardless of the task.
  3. Be patient. – With so many things in the air this week and with the timing of it all being both delicate and important, patience was something that I had in very short supply. One thing I can be patient for, even two or three things… but when juggling six different items and awaiting various outcomes… well, this caused a lot of anxiety (or more accurately, I allowed it to escalate into a lot of unneeded anxiety.) Lesson learned… or in this case, relearned… Life has its own schedule and it doesn’t always jive with ours. The truth is, it rarely does. When I gave my presentation I spoke on the point that what we want to happen in life usually does – eventually – but usually not on our desired timeline. Be patient.
  4. Know when to make critical trade-offs in life. – Two things fell by the wayside this week… writing and running. Every day this week was pretty much crammed from the morning until I went to sleep at night and trade-offs (not sacrifices) had to happen. In order to accomplish certain things this week I had to reallocate my available bandwidth to make it all happen. Lesson learned… sometimes, some balls are going to be dropped and that is okay, just as long as you are the one deciding which ones those are and taking responsibility for it. Just as life has its own timetable, life also has its own ideas on what we can and cannot accomplish during those time-frames, sometimes, something just has to give.
  5. Be happy and just ride it out. – A part of me recognized this week as just one of those crazy and chaotic times that I just need to get through in order to grow. Another part of me viewed the chaos of the week, or the struggle if you will, as something to actually be thankful for as I figured one day I will look back at this time and not only reflect on how “fun” it was but also be grateful for it all as well. Lesson learned… It’s never as bad as you think and the reality is that things are usually only as bad as you choose to think or believe they are. Simply put, just relax and enjoy the ride.

This is going to be a better week and as I am fond of saying, “I had to get through that to get to this.” Time to pick the ball back up, get back in the game, and keep moving the thing forward each day as I had been doing. And I can’t forget… I have to get another spare clean shirt now!

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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