How to salvage a day from hell

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”  Winston Churchill

There are so many subjects I could write about from this past week and I think I will concentrate on yesterday: The day from hell… and what I did about it.

Surely I’m not the only person out there who has those days when everything that could go wrong does. Right?

Yesterday actually started out pretty darn great. I met clients in the morning for a speed training workout and then Candace made me an awesome omelet which I was happy to eat since I have gone through most of my life detesting eggs and I finally like them now. Yay eggs!

With full stomachs we headed outside for not phase one, not phase two, but phase three of the damn pond project we started over a month ago (and then finished, and then fixed and then finished, and now fixing and finishing again) Moving the heavy rocks…again. Shoveling and moving the thick, sticky, and heavy mud…again. Digging trenches in impossibly small spaces…again. If creating ponds had a suck rating this would receive the maximum number of sucks fo-sho.

After lunch, and crying a little bit in my chicken because this project never feels like it’s going to be over, we slowly got our thick muddy shoes back on to persevere for several more hours of back-breaking labor.  And that’s when Candace told me in a scared voice that something wasn’t right. She couldn’t see out of her left eye.

Well, it’s not every day that someone tells you they’ve suddenly lost their eyesight and so pretending to calmly take action on the situation was interesting to say the least. On our way to the emergency room she said that her sight, although still cloudy, was returning so we called a nurse to make sure the situation was still ER worthy. In standard cover-your-ass fashion she said it was and an hour later the ER Doctor examined her and said there was nothing they could do and for her to make an appointment in the AM with an Ophthalmologist.

We got home after five and didn’t care that the yard looked like a bomb exploded with all the tools left out and a mess everywhere. We were exhausted from the hours of labor we put in and the adrenaline rush of the eyesight scare. We were ready to take hot showers, drink some wine, and have the kids help us with dinner.

We were looking forward to grilling out steaks and having a nice evening enjoying each other’s company because between my son and his broken ankle (and all the limitations that accompany that) and my daughter’s work schedule, quality family time has been sparse.

However, in keeping with the ‘hell’ theme, my daughter who was sleep deprived from work, college preparation, and primarily Saturday night’s prom, decided to have a meltdown. It’s a rare and not so wonderful treat ;0

And that was the last straw.

What do you do when the day from hell hits? Here’s what I did:

Reset

I proceeded to do what I write about and tell clients to do: I reset. I leashed the dog and took off for a power walk. This gives me time to take deep breaths, refocus my mind, look at and appreciate the trees and flowers, and slow down my world.

Evaluate

My mind becomes more clear after I allow myself time to reset and I’m able to evaluate the situation or in this case, situations. It’s time to ask myself (and take action on) important questions: What all just happened? What role did I play? What are other ways to look at what happened? What do I have the power to do about it? What are the positives? It took me about 20 minutes before I was ready to return home with a fresh attitude and outlook.

Laugh

At the end of the day you just gotta laugh because why not?  It’s good for what’s troubling you. We laughed with Kennedy about her meltdown. We laughed that the reason Candace temporarily lost her eyesight was because she couldn’t bare to look at that muddy pond for one more minute. Cole grilled the steaks while doing a silly dance with his crutches, and during dinner we toasted Candace with ‘here’s to mud in your eye.’ We finished the night with two really funny episodes of Modern Family.

Sleep

A good night’s sleep is perhaps the best reset button of all because without fail it helps me to see a fresh new day and allows the previous day to stay in the past – where it belongs!

What do you do when you have a day from hell?

I would love to hear from you in the comments below. What are top three things you do? 

Eye sight Update: I just heard from Candace and her eyes are just fine. What a relief. The Doc asked if she’s been stressed or overwhelmed because the symptoms point to a migraine….Ah, yeah! That damn pond!

This is a perfect example of how our minds and bodies work together to give us heads-up and how we need to be mindful to hear what they’re saying and take heed.

Her body was telling her to stop and that the pond can wait. Yes it can.