Mr. Chris's Blog:
down to earth
Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh
February 29, 2016
Tonya and I rarely have date nights due to our busy lives and given we don’t leave our kids with many people, and our families live nearly 2 hours away. Additionally, whenever we try to do a date night, it’s a 50/50 bet as to whether it will even happen. For example:
Then there was the coastal overnight getaway that turned into a “fire drill work weekend” from the hotel, the winery event we missed due to the interstate being shut down, etc. You get the idea; we don’t have good luck when it comes to date nights. Every time though, I could have slammed my head into a wall, but I went with option #2 instead. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.
I apply this technique to other situations as well. For example, after a real challenging day at the office and a strong desire to either go to bed or just be alone, Tonya called me during my drive home one day to say “Deacon is stuck inside the wine rack.” I rushed home in a panic. He was 2 years old and somehow had lodged himself inside the structure. The stress level was high and it took a while to figure out a safe solution, but we finally got him out. I could have “wined” like a baby, but I went with option #2 instead. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.
Not long ago, I started coaching my son’s 2nd-3rd grade basketball team. Before each practice, the league asks that we lead devotions, which is an inherent challenge with boys this age anyway, especially on a Monday night. I was teaching on the topic of “self-control” and I asked the boys for some examples. It was at that point that one of the boys accidentally produced a loud noise from the rear of his body; I will let you fill in the blanks. That was the complete opposite of any example I was looking for and I totally lost control over the boys; they were on the floor in laughter at this point. I could have slam dunked that kid, but I went with option #2 instead. Sometimes you just gotta laugh.
So in summary, I have become very good at recognizing when I am about to boil over out of frustration, and knowing when to shift gears and apply option #2. It has taken me a long time to develop that skill. I don’t have it down perfect though, and I recently found that out.
As part of my networking relative to future opportunities as an accountant, I was privileged to have scheduled a breakfast meeting with the CFO of a Richmond company back in January. The day prior to the breakfast I had to reschedule the meeting as one of my kids was sick and I had to stay home with them. I hated to do that but sometimes you have no choice – family first. We were able to get it rescheduled to February though, so it worked out.
When the rescheduled breakfast meeting rolled around, I woke up that morning not feeling great, but I really didn’t think I had the option to reschedule again without sacrificing the networking opportunity. It had been a long week and I figured I would be ok once I got going and had some coffee. As I was about to pull into the restaurant parking lot I started feeling really sick. I will spare you the details, but let’s just say my white sweater and khaki pants were yellow-greenish after I parked. I was in bad shape and I couldn’t go into the restaurant, but I also didn’t want to run into the CFO in the parking lot, so I parked behind the place. I needed to contact him to explain why, at the last minute, I couldn’t have breakfast; however, I had no cell phone contact for him. I sat and strategized. I sent him an email, left a voice-mail at his office, and even called the restaurant to see if they could help, but I had no luck. Long story short, I stood the CFO up for breakfast and I felt terrible about it.
I had blown more than a few chunks that morning; I had blown a potential opportunity. I was a mess physically and emotionally. I slammed my fist into the dashboard, said a few things I shouldn’t have, and drove like a maniac back toward my house. I changed clothes, jumped in bed and decided to exit the day via sleep for a few hours. I was mad and depressed; not a good combo. Without knowing it, I had gone with option #1. I guess we’re all a work-in-process; nobody is perfect and we don’t get it right every time. Sometimes we mess up and I messed up that morning.
Well, after waking up from the long nap and regaining composure, I noticed I had a voice-mail on my phone. It was the CFO. He had received my email and voice-mail after getting to his office, and to my surprise he was laughing; not at me, but at the overall situation. I actually think he may have been a bit entertained by it (and me). I called him back and I was right. He asked how I was feeling and then he had another good laugh. He wasn’t mad at all and told me to go ahead and set another date. I was very surprised and very thankful. He could have written me off like a tax deduction, but he didn’t. I am sure he was annoyed initially, but while I was still dwelling in my bad mood, he was laughing about the whole thing.
I had gone with option #1. The CFO went with option #2. Sometimes you just gotta laugh and I am very glad that he did!
Until next week,
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