Wednesday 8 May 2019
“Becky, you’ve got exactly 5 minutes! Coffee, then game face on and get back out there!“
It’s 8 am, I am at work and one of my Friday run-buddies has found me blubbing inconsolably in my office. She brings coffee, wipes, a make-up bag and a face that tells me that her mission is to put me swiftly back together! I find work incredibly difficult at the moment. Today’s public put-down, in our morning meeting, wasn’t even a bad one, but the cumulative effect of having all your mistakes amplified and any achievements ignored or belittled has taken its toll…. It doesn’t help either that my weekend has been pretty emotional. I am feeling broken. “It’s not just work is it?” observes my run-buddy, as if reading my mind. “It’s not” I sniff between sobs, “Rubbish weekend- I’m feeling sad and single, old and shabby”
For a moment my friend’s face softens into a kind smile but then she remembers that I need to greet ‘the public’ at 8:15 am and the puffy-eyed, streaked-cheeks look really isn’t going to cut it. “Well it’s a good job I’ve brought my make-up bag and not yours then!” she announces with renewed determination “We’ll soon have you zhuzhed up and ready to sparkle!” Now I know that it has been ages since I’ve felt or looked sparkling, but it does make me laugh, and that always makes me feel better. I take a resolute gulp of coffee, put out a hand for the wipes and start putting my face back together.
Later, as I am showing a visitor around, we observe another colleague delivering an amazing session on the ‘positive side of suffering’. There’s a song playing, to stimulate discussion, it’s ‘Live like you were dying” by Tim McGraw and it stops me …’on a dime!’ It’s a simple message, namely that challenges and suffering can help you get life into perspective. Life really is precious and not to be wasted wallowing and worrying about unimportant nonsense. Feeling humbled and inspired, I resolve to keep my game face on permanently … at work, at any rate, from now on!
“Well thank the Lord for that!” laughs my friend, as I catch up later to apologise for unacceptable weepy-ness and to announce my new resolution “And be ready to run early on Friday, I’m getting my eyebrows done at 7!”
She sweeps off down the corridoor and I feel thankful in life that I don’t just have to rely on telling myself to ‘get a grip’, I have friends to tell me too!!