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

Let’s Talk About Stress and Coping Skills

We all feel stress at some point in our lives. For many persons, there are various sources of stress (eg., work, family, health issues, the pandemic, racism, or finances) which may overlap at times and in some cases, stress in one area of life impacts the other areas of life. Although signs/symptoms of stress may sound like anxiety, the cause of stress is usually different to anxiety.

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Slowing Down Is Hard and Necessary

It seems like I’m always having this conversation with myself so I figured I’d “say it out loud” here too – slowing down is necessary. It’s easy to ignore or pay less attention to our feelings and thoughts when we keep ourselves busy. Let’s be real – facing these emotions and thoughts can be scary, uncomfortable, and inconvenient.

No one said personal growth was easy, right?

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Build Your Capacity for Stillness

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One helpful skill for coping with stress and overwhelm is learning how to be still so you can be attuned to the needs of your body. By tuning in to your physical and emotional needs, you are better able to figure out what you need in order to feel more calm and at peace. Do you need to take a walk? Do you need to take a deep breath? Do you need to talk with someone so you can relieve the pressure of the thoughts?

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What Made Me Cringe Made Someone Else Dance

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A few days ago I left work with a terrible headache. I was also feeling irritable and just crabby, however I decided to get some fruit and a few other things at the store on my way home. When I got to the store, my headache intensified because there was live music (in a grocery store…I know!) and I thought the genre of music was very annoying and not pleasing to my ear. I walked around the store basically stomping my feet and throwing things into the cart and could not wait to check out. I quickly got a few more items and headed to the cashier.

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