Just when you think you have a handle on things...
The Universe shows you how unpredictable it can be.
I started off yesterday morning with a new routine. Set an alarm! Meditated! Put in contacts! Brushed teeth! Dressed for dog walk! It was a new day and a Monday and a good day to start working in earnest on finishing the book and writing full time.
I took the dog on a lengthy walk to make sure he was tired and had his outside time.
AAANNNDDD he was bitten by a snake.
He was in a lot of pain, couldn't put weight on that foot, and we were a good 1/4 mile from home. Beau is 70 pounds, so carrying him the whole way wasn't an option. He gamely tried to walk, then would rest, I'd carry him a bit, then we'd both rest, and repeated that pattern until we got to my car. He stayed there while I ran in to get my bag and keys, and off to the vet we went.
It's not a terrible bite, probably done by a very immature snake. But it was very painful, and his leg started to swell, so they kept him at the vet all day giving him supportive measures and pain meds. I brought him home at 5pm or so, and he passed out from the pain meds. My neighbor graciously carried him out at 9pm to go to the bathroom.
Since Beau couldn't make it to the bedroom, and I was worried about him, I slept on the couch with him. It's a great napping couch, but as for an all nighter? Maybe not my first choice. I lie there thinking about the day, and how worried I was, and the what ifs and should haves. I should have carried my phone - and then I could have called the neighbor to come get us. I should have paid attention and not let him go in the ivy.
The thing is our entire lives could be what ifs and should haves and could haves and maybes and on and on and on. What if I had been quieter and more malleable? I might not have been first on the list to lay off in 2011. What if I were better at hiding my feelings? What if I were more agreeable? I might still be at my last job, or really the one before that.
But who would I be if I were all those things? Probably not someone I would be proud to be. Once upon a time I reported an SVP for abuse and he in turn wrote me up for insubordination. Guess which one stuck? But had I not reported him, and had I suffered in silence, a little piece of me would have died.
And any time we are not true to ourselves, especially as women, I think a little part of us dies inside.
I refuse to do that to myself anymore. One can be pleasant to work with, and a good employee, without sacrificing our moral compass or true selves. And as managers and leaders, we should work to build a team who can be themselves AND be good colleagues and employees. People do their best work when they feel seen and appreciated for who they are. It's a delicate balance, and sure, you cannot say EVERY thought that pops into your head, but at the center of it all we need to be our honest and true selves.
One day soon we'll all head back into offices and communities, and maybe we can go back a little more in touch with who we are, what we like, and how we want to take up space in the world.
Beau is recovering well, bearing weight on his leg, and generally enjoying his Tramadol naps. This, too, shall pass.