Let me tell you a story

Today I crafted the perfect blog post.

It took over 4 hours. I spent extra time on it because it was a topic that was really meaningful to me and I spent extra time sharing my personal story. It’s hard to open up, but I knew it would resonate with all of you.

My parents held my baby, fed her a bottle, and I put my head down and worked my butt off.

It’s been a long while since I was really proud of my work and my writing. But this post really made me proud. I tweaked sentences so they were just so. Reading it over made me feel like I was really going to do a service to those struggling. I felt this one was going to make a difference.

I went to press send, and the page disappeared.

No problem, I thought – this program auto-saves.
I refreshed my browser and saw I wasn’t connected to the internet anymore.

Uh oh…

Take a deep breath. “I’m sure you only lost a sentence or two”, I said out loud.

The program popped open and there was my post . The first three sentences.

And that was it.

All of it gone. My ideas. My wisdom. My time spent on it. And my time away from my baby.

This is a teaching moment and I am digging deep to share this with you because everyone knows this pain, and everyone who is a parent knows what it is like to work so so hard on something only to fall flat on your face or have it all end in disaster.

Let’s talk about how to pick ourselves up after disappointment and disaster.

Step 1: Cry

Step 2: Find someone you can share the story with, because you cannot hold that sh*t in. You need to tell someone and have them be witness to it.

Even if you are crying.

Step 3: Especially if you are crying.

Step 4: Take 3 seconds, but no more, to acknowledge one thing you could have done to have possibly prevented disaster (I should have copied and pasted the entire thing before pressing send, just in case. How many times have we all been told to have a backup?!)

Step 5: Don’t spend more than 3 seconds on that task. Because if you spend more than 3 seconds on it you will forever ruminate and blame yourself and be stuck in a guilt loop that only serves to heighten the misery.

Three seconds is enough to learn the lesson anyway. Then let it go.

Step 6: Change tactics. Change scenery. Take a drink of water, get a breath of fresh air, and try to distance yourself from the event. If you stay stuck in it, it’s hard to ever walk away from it. Sometimes you need space to recover, or at the very least gain some perspective.

Step 7: Speaking of perspective, can you change yours? Is there another way of looking at what happened that is more productive?

I’m not saying pretend it’s positive or have false happiness. I’m not even saying shrug your shoulders and pretend it doesn’t bother you. I fully want you to acknowledge how crappy it feels…and I want you to then offer yourself some useful wisdom. Like: Maybe you can turn this experience into a teaching moment that your readers will appreciate.

For example, rather than trying to re-create my perfect post (thus likely causing me to be in pain all night about the wonderful sentences and ideas that I will never be able to create again, let alone remember (#mombrain), instead I needed to see how I could leverage this experience in a different way.

Step 8: Stay humble. Ok, maybe this wasn’t the most perfect post ever to be written. Was I proud of it? Immensely! Did it have wisdom? Absolutely.
Can I write it again and still get the point across even if my story and sentences aren’t as magical? Yeah…probably. Ok, I guess I can. Sigh.

Step 9: Stay human. Guess who makes mistakes? All of us! Guess who misses out on things no matter how hard they tried and gets disappointed? All of us. Guess who can recover from these setbacks – whether mishaps at work or disasters* at home – you guessed it! You can!

Step 10: Parent yourself (and those who are watching you). Yes, this a teachable moment for you (ugh, don’t you hate learning lessons the hard way), But also, what can you do that your tween or teen will pick up on that will help them navigate their own heartbreaks in the future? What lessons do you want to impart on them for when poop hits the fan and they break down? Do that thing!

Bonus Step 11: Try again. Next week I will have a post for you that I hope will resonate. It may not be as amazing as the one that will be #foreverlost, but if it gets the point across and helps you then that’s all that matters, right?

*I realize I am being cheeky and that while my disappointment is real, there are far greater crises and disasters happening in the world and in families all over the globe. This newsletter is meant to give you permission to mourn the everyday things in life than really can make you fall apart while also, hopefully, offering all of us perspective that sometimes our disasters are minor in the grand scheme of things and that it doesn’t hurt to use these moments of pain to offer gratitude for what we have.