I rolled through the summer with “Everyday I’m Hustlin” playing in my mind, overbooked with weddings, overworked, tired, but determined. Definitely not as cool as Rick Ross or as blinged out but hey I was hustling. Working hard is great … but where do we draw the line and create our boundaries? I felt it deeply this summer! That overwhelm, the anxiety that I took on too much and I know it and my family will pay the price. That bad Mom moment where Mila Kunis says “I’m going to try to do everything by myself today. It should be fine as long as everyone does what they’re supposed to do. Right?”, yup that was me, and disclaimer: it didn’t work out well. Of course the weddings went well, I worked my butt off to get everyone in at the salon, but I ran myself ragged. My family missed me, and my husband had to pick up all the slack. My daughter could feel my anxiety and in turn felt anxious. This was so eye opening to me and was a huge lesson that I really needed to learn. Being busy and making money is great, BUT if it is going to affect my number one priorities aka my family, then I need to make some big changes. I want to say a huge thank you right now to my husband and daughter for putting up with me and being so supportive, patient, and helpful. I also want to send a big thank you to all of my clients who have been so flexible and supportive during this weird summer of double weddings because of postponements. It honestly feels like a blur. June feels like it was 3 years ago, but I also blinked and my daughter was back in school. Through the ups and downs of this summer I learned how to deal with stress like no other lol. One of the method’s my husband and I have been trying to adopt to deal with,you know, LIFE, is Jocko Willink’s “Good” approach to everything that comes our way. Never heard of him? Well look him up, he is a really cool guy, badass Navy Seal now turned podcaster and author of adult and children’s books. Greye loves his book “Mikey and the dragons”. Jocko’s approach to life’s challenges is to say “GOOD” to everything that comes his way. In his podcast he is quoted saying;
“That’s it. When things are going bad: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get started, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say: “Good.”
Now, I don’t mean to say something trite; I’m not trying to sound like Mr. Smiley Positive Guy.
That guy ignores the hard truth.
That guy thinks a positive attitude will solve problems.
It won’t. But neither will dwelling on the problem. No. Accept reality, but focus on the solution. Take that issue, take that setback, take that problem, and turn it into something good. Go forward. And, if you are part of a team, that attitude will spread throughout.
Finally: if you can say the word “good,” then guess what?
It means you’re still alive.”
He of course is talking about life and death, which ahem is very important as a Navy Seal. Willis and I on the other hand have been using it to problem solve with regular daily problems. For example: “I got a flat tire while at Funtown USA. GOOD. I can problem solve and with the help of my husband and a very nice stranger get my car across the street to Toyota. While I get two new tires put on, Greye and I can really get our money’s worth at Funtown and ride ALL of the rides.
Sometimes it gets pretty hilarious. Greye and I were climbing the rocks at harbor beach looking for sea glass. For some reason my right leg was being lazy (is this a thing??) and I kept stubbing my toe. Between the ouch and swear words came “good, good, good”. Greye said “Mom why are you saying good? You stubbed your toe so many times and now you’re bleeding, that’s not good, that’s bad!!”. I had to think about this one lol. What would Jocko Willink do? I told her “Honey, hopefully I can learn my lesson and grow, I can pay better attention and lift my foot higher, or maybe I can climb a little slower so I can keep my pinkie toe nail.” (If I could put an emoji here I would). Ridiculous and hilarious but it felt good to say good instead of just complaining and not fixing the problem, and I also kept my toenail intact.
“When things are going bad there’s going to be some good that comes from it.”- Jocko Willink.
First a couple easy ones before I continue with ridiculous. “My client is going to be 20 minutes late. GOOD. I can now eat lunch and take a much needed break.
“School pick up line took 45 minutes: Good. I can listen to a podcast, read a book, or catch up on emails I have been avoiding. “
“I recently went to the UPS store to return an Amazon purchase. I thought it was one of those returns that they package for you, welp it was not. The lady not so kindly told me I would have to pay to have it taped up or buy tape. No big deal except I didn’t have my wallet. So I said GOOD OK I will come back. Same day I tape my box and head back over to the store. I go to open the door and it won’t open. They are closed until 5pm and it is 4:40 with Greye sitting in the car. Hand to the face…good good good good I will come back AGAIN. No big deal I can totally do this and luckily it is right down the street from my house.“Good!” is also a solid replacement for swear words. I have definitely been using less of those.”
“My child is home with a cold. Good. I get a day snuggling with my baby, no agenda just me and her time.“
This got me through some really tough days of overwhelm this summer when I spread myself too thin. Saying “Good” just made light of the situation at hand and would open my mind up to the possibility of something bigger and better. Now back to the ridiculous.
When I can, I will walk to pick up Greye at school, and bring the dog along with me. This one day he happened to stop to take a poop on York street on the way back from school. (I warned you, ridiculous) Our robot vacuum had been broken for at least a week so McCourty (the dog) had somehow ingested a hairball. While taking a poop on one of the busiest streets in York, friends are beeping and hollering out the windows “Hey Greye!”. The dog has a poop hairball hanging from his butt and is whipping it around desperately trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Of course I try to help him… but try telling a dog to hold still so you can use a poop bag or a stick to help get a hairball off his butt (I legit can’t make this up).People are now beeping at us and I am chasing a poop hanging from my dog’s butt. He has already whipped it into my Lululemon leggings at least once, he’s spinning, I’m jumping out of the way. Greye is casually waving to people and watching the horror show, and I just start hysterically laughing and say “GOOD”. Greye starts laughing, we laugh together. I pick up my ego off the ground and ask myself “What did I take from this situation?” That sometimes laughter makes mortifying situations much more fun. Oh yeah and I am so so grateful for my iRobot vacuum named “Petey” when he works.
How we react to things is really all the control we have. We can’t control the universe,other people, the weather, dogs… we can only control our attitudes to situations. Instead of whining and complaining let’s laugh it off and come up with a solution. And it might not always be laughable, but I know there is always a way we can have a better attitude.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Victor Frankl “A man’s search for meaning”
As Victor Frankl states above, we always have the choice to choose our own way. His book “A Man’s Search for Meaning” goes through his journey through years of being in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, and how his attitude and his passion for his work saved him. It is incredible, and also eye opening. If Victor can choose a productive attitude within nightmare conditions after losing his wife and family, we can definitely make light of and solve our daily life problems. There is always a bright side to everything, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time, and might not even seem bright, but there is always a solution! We are alive right?! If an attitude change is all we need I would consider us VERY lucky! Seriously, let’s stop being so serious and laugh our way through life one “GOOD” at a time. Try it out! I want to hear about it! Don’t leave me hanging alone out there with my ridiculous stories, let’s bring good things to each and every one of our challenges.
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” Chuck Swindoll