Yesterday morning, I was silly enough to check my work email before I completed my journaling, or meditating, or blogging.
I discovered a series of last-minute emails that detailed a change in plans that would affect my morning class plans and, indeed, my morning practice, as it meant I took time to email my students, the faculty, update my calendar, and put on fancier clothing than I would have if I’d not read the emails.
Within all this activity, I was feeling FUNKY. Not good, James Brown funk. Like, “in a funk” — or perhaps more accurately, “in a smoldering.”
The smoldering wasn’t exactly warranted, but I do hate last minute changes and can sometimes find it quite difficult to be flexible. While teaching a class is in itself a gargantuan exercise in flexibility, I can tend to hold some rigidly inflexible habits around the structures and landscape of my teaching day that allow me to have that openness in the class in the moment (i.e. creating a lesson plan = important; letting the class take it where it may = also important).
But, the impingement on the structural changes to my day meant that I felt thrown off my morning track, and I was stewing in negativity around it. I crafted an email THREE TIMES to the person who delivered these messages laying out that, “Hey, maybe we don’t send emails after work hours for imminent changes in the morning.” I also deleted this email three times(!!!), and came back to what in the world I could change. This moment, clearly, was something that was done, set, past. What did I really need then? I needed to give myself the notice in advance.
So, I opened my school calendar, copied all the germane events to my own, and set up an email alert for the day prior. This is what I need. While, yes, it’s important to speak up for what I need in general, my ire at this woman was unwarranted.
So, I scaled it back, did what I could in the moment to prevent it next time… and then made three phone calls!
I left two cranky as f*ck voicemails, and then I reached a live person.
However, instead of going into what I was all “panties in a twist” about, I asked her how she was. And, in fact, she was at the airport about to travel for work with her new boss, and needed that phone call herself!
We got to talk about her trip, her thoughts that arise about how she’s perceived at her job, and how she also feels different–better–in this new job.
Then, we got to talk about fashion.
She was going to be attending an apparently very fancy Hollywood Hills party, and she detailed what she’d wear, the swag bags she’d receive, and how to pack that up on the far side of the trip!
In other words, we got to talk about LIGHT things. We got to laugh, to giggle, to get excited, to feel inspired and joyful.
And by the time I arrived at work after that maybe 10-minute call, I felt lighter, too.
I felt relieved of my irksomeness and my bile. I remembered again the wholeness of myself and my experience and my interests. And I got to let my bad mood go.
And that’s good, because yesterday at school ended up being a truly fantastic day.