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At Least I Made My Bed!

Some days are like that.  Your efforts are exhausting; patience runs thin, nothing goes well. Everything  you try, goes wrong.  Remember Dudley Do-Right? (Circa Bullwinkle) You feel like Dudley Do-Over.  Or the movie Groundhog Day? You’re having a Monday on a Tuesday…or, pretty much every day feels like a Monday. Ugh.

Sound familiar? Hark! I hear a resounding “YES, YEAH, OUI, SI, AGREE, YEP, THAT’S ME!” Here’s a simple tip to use when you’re having that kind of day, week, month, or life. Just make the bed in the morning. That’s all.  Just make the bed. Pull the spread or comforter tight. Plump up the pillows. Then step back and admire your work, because you have just completed one task that you have done well. Exemplary, actually.  Yes, it’s a small thing, but, hey, it’s ONE thing. One and done.  And, no matter what else you do today, regardless of what may go wrong today, AT LEAST YOU MADE THE BED!”

This is your mantra when that heart-sinking, hair-pulling feeling rises into your subliminal consciousness.  It’s subliminal because, you don’t realize when the negativity takes over.  It creeps in, over and through you. When you say, “At least I made my bed!” you’ve had a positive moment, which in turn triggers your system to release endorphins.  Endorphins are natural hormones in your body that are released when you do certain activities. In turn, endorphins naturally combat stress. And daily combat with yourself is flat out, not healthy.

Five years ago, I was given a new marketing supervisor. I’ll call her Liz. Because that was her name. She probably did a good job, but I was not used to being micromanaged, unheard, and made to feel  inadequate. She graded my press releases like Mrs. Long graded my second grade papers. Lots of red ink. I was stressed to the point of four letter words. Co-workers noticed my sad, stressed demeanor. My husband, Jeff, suggested I wait her out. “She won’t outlast you,” he promised.  Cliff jumping sounded more feasible than waiting her out.

Several things happened to improve my course. Our daughter, Korey, was studying abroad for a year in Versailles, France. For her two-week winter break, I would be traveling with her. We’re talking Rome, Florence, Paris and Geneva. We’re talking trip of a lifetime. Except I wasn’t looking forward to the trip. “Self,” I said, “This is not right. This is not the way. Make a change. NOW!”  First, I moved my office furniture because the desk butted up against a wall; which I took as a sign. That’s exactly how I felt. Next, I framed the picture above to make me smile/laugh daily. (Giddy-up endorphins!)  Finally, I requested a department change, which gave me hope again. Off I went on my dream trip with the knowledge that I would return to a different position. Luckily, there was a position open, because that doesn’t always happen when one needs it most. Whew.

Jeff was right (duh). I outlasted Liz. She moved on to babies and a new job closer to home. I am blessed with fun co-workers and a supervisor who treats me well. I wish I had known to just make my bed back then, before every work day with Liz; that would’ve helped too. Bw

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