What I Learned from Missed Connections

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I’ve been having a lot of computer/network related issues at work and because of that, I’ve missed connecting for a handful of meetings. At first, I was so annoyed. I was fussy and grumpy and found myself getting irritable. I mean, is it too much to ask to just get a good network connection?

I would admit, when I call IT for help, I am more calm and can communicate the inconvenience while also hoping they get how annoying it is – and they do! I’m grateful that they are responsive and always, always kind. As a result, it’s hard to be angry at them. I’m more angry at the inconvenience that I experience.

This past week, I missed a meeting again due to connection issues and I promptly contacted IT and then emailed the two persons I was scheduled to meet with. Both were understanding and I was able to connect via email with one and when the network was up and running, I was able to connect with the other. So, in reality, it was not a disaster, just another inconvenience.

At the end of that day, I cried out of pure frustration because things were not flowing as I wanted (because of the network issues) and I thought that I would be perceived as disorganized and unreliable. At that point, I cried some more because I realized how untrue those thoughts were and became frustrated at myself for being unrealistic. If you haven’t picked up on this by now…I was not coping very well.

Later that night, I processed what I experienced that day and why the inconvenience was so upsetting to me. I was also a bit surprised at how easily I became overwhelmed and I took some time to explore this deeper. When I thought about the past week, I realized that this had been building up. I was not practicing my usual self -care practices, and I had been “stuffing” a lot of things. So, this missed connection at work reminded me about a few things:

  • maybe this missed connection happened to force me to slow down, to feel, to sit with what is uncomfortable instead of running away
  • even though I was unable to connect, it doesn’t take away from my worth and value – that one incident does not define me
  • although I was frustrated at the inconvenience and immediately went to “worst case scenario” there was a solution! All I had to do was ask for help
  • there’s more than one way to make a connection. Although the network was not connecting, I was able to use my phone to get on email and I could have made the meeting a phone call. In other words, all was not lost
  • the biggest lesson I learned was this: because I was holding on to other things that were bothering me, this one missed connection seemed like a disaster when it was really just an inconvenience. This situation reminded me to pay attention to what I need, when I need it, and to process things as they come up so I don’t send myself into “overload.”
  • life happens and I can deal with it <insert high five>

What are some lessons that you learned recently?

Karisse C

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