Do you feel like you have no right to be disappointed right now (or angry or sad or frustrated)? Mainly because the world is on fire, and your problems are smaller than small. Me too. I feel this way everyday.
My amazing former coworker, friend, and sister, Ros, once reminded me that just because other people have it harder than me doesn’t mean my hard doesn’t matter. Someone in the world is always going to be going through far worse than us. That’s a universal truth in some ways. To Ros’ point, not all ‘hard stuff’ is measured on the same playing field. She also made the point that talking through my disappointments was not me saying that I have it harder than anyone else. In her own way, she reminded me that I’m human, and life is not binary.
It’s too bad that Ros is leading a conference in Japan right now because I sure could use a pep talk. What’s happening in Israel and Gaza, and more importantly, the innocent people who live there has been weighing heavy on my heart (like so many of you).
My everyday worries/problems feel so silly, and at the same time they’re real for me and my family. Such a fine line to walk.
Anyways, knowing that so many of you are in the same boat, I thought I would share two small recent personal examples and how I dealt with the disappointment I felt.
Example 1: My hair
I got my hair highlighted the other day, and to make a long story short, it turned out VERY red. I shared pics with a few close friends and my family, and the reactions varied from – “I see your point but it doesn’t look that bad” to “OMG.” I’m in the camp of I look like a clown!
Anyways, when I got home from my appointment and tried styling my hair, I lost it and started crying on the phone with Vishnu.
Then I felt guilty for crying and being so upset about my hair. Like people are losing loved ones left and right and you’re crying about your hopefully fixable hair?!
Now that I’m 24 hours out from this debacle, I see that three things can be true. I can be disappointed about my hair AND know that it’s fixable AND know that this is very much a first world problem. Never did I say I’m the most unluckiest person ever or that I have it the worst.
The self-talk helped, as did making an appointment with the owner to fix the mess. I also realized that so many “problems” we face can be cured with a little bit of humor so I leaned in on jokes and laughter when texting with my family and Vishnu. The levity definitely helped!
Example 2 – The client meeting that wasn’t
I had a big (or so I thought) potential client lunch yesterday. Again, long story short, the lunch + the people + the conversation were all amazing. However, this was not a ‘will you come run a program at our company’ meeting. This was a networking meeting. Also great, but definitely not the former.
As I walked to my car after lunch, I felt a little foolish and a little disappointed. However, for some reason, I was able to shake this one off a little quicker. I told myself that connections are worth their weight in gold, that this was an important opportunity for me to talk about myself and Awarify, and that I was planting the seed for my future growth.
I also used some humor when talking to Vishnu about it later. When he asked how my meeting was, I said, “Well, my lunch was delicious!”
On the flip side, I also see people hiding their current joys…because who are they to think/talk about joy when it’s literally being stripped away from so many people right now. To that I would say, it’s really important to keep our joy front and center. I don’t know about you, but the things that bring me joy ground me. They inspire me. And honestly, who are we helping by not feeling joy? No one.
I have zero answers for how to human right now, but something I’m continuing to learn is that my feelings, no matter what they are, are important to me AND perspective is absolutely key right now. Two things can be true…