I had the best of intentions yesterday. Woke before my alarm went off, was having an unusually great hair day, trains were running on time, the weather was perfect. I was checking all the boxes and I knew it. It was going to be a good day. I arrived at my office, breezed through the doors with a self-assured smile…and was promptly clocked straight in the face (in the metaphorical sense, of course). My ‘perfect’ day, the one I was supposed to conquer with my great hair and my on-time train, was reduced to a series of meetings and conversations and emails, all seemingly asking, and in some cases, demanding, answers that I didn’t have. I couldn’t please or satisfy even one person. For 10 straight hours, I was off my game and it stung. By the time 7pm rolled around, I was a tired, cranky mess; trudging around the office with a scowl (I have never had a good poker face), just trying to get shit done and get home.
It was as I was shutting my computer down for the night that I realized I needed to do something to rectify this day. Illegitimus non carborundum, my father always tells me. Don’t let the bastards get you down. I needed a reset button. Something to ensure that I would leave the crap weighing me down behind, that I wouldn’t carry it with me into the next day. So, in a moment of spontaneity, I decided to go to a movie. A quick goodbye to my coworkers and I was off to the theater around the corner.
It turns out that was the best decision I made all day. I got to escape my life for two hours, to forget about the proverbial ‘FAIL’ I had stamped on my forehead, to put into perspective that one bad day is just that. It’s one bad day. You’re going to be fine, Tina, stop being such a drama queen. I left the movie theater (after a good Disney-movie induced ugly cry) feeling lighter. I took the long way to the subway, enjoying the cool night air and the buzz of the city. My train home was perfectly on time. I felt like myself again.
On days like these, everyone needs a reset button (as Liz Lemon says, ‘Don’t go to sleep with a frown in your pocket.’). It’s one of my big adult lessons that I carry with me and share as often as I can with others. You have to find what works for you — whether it be running it out on the treadmill or grabbing dinner with friends or watching a silly YouTube video or carving out fifteen minutes of your day to read a great article (like this, this, this or this). Whatever works for you, whatever snaps you out of your funk and gives you the energy you need to press on, cherish that. Nurture it. And make time for it. Sometimes it’s the only thing that saves you. It’s the thing that picks you back up, dusts you off, and with a swift kick in the ass, sends you back out into the world to conquer tomorrow (which surely will be another great hair day).