Today is a good day

It has been a really rough week at work.

Our company acquired a Californian-based company roughly the same size as ours and we took on all of their work at the beginning of the year, so our work-load has nearly doubled. While my department as a whole may be adequately staffed, my particular team is kind of drowning with all of the things that we have to do.

I’ve been given more responsibilities on my team – which when I write it out makes it sound positive, like they’re rewarding my good work – but in reality it just adds a lot more pressure and stress to what I’m already dealing with.

Monday was particularly bad. We hired a new person on our team, so trying to train him while at the same time get all of my normal work done was nearly impossible. Tuesday wasn’t much better, and  I came home that night completely exhausted and in a terrible mood. And then I thought, this is ridiculous. I spend 9-10 hours a day at my job, and the little time I get to spend with Andrew or doing just what I enjoy in the evening is totally tainted by what happened earlier in the day.

I realized, I can’t live like this. So as I got ready the next morning for my day, I tried to think about how I could make this day a better day. I can’t really control my workload, but I can control my attitude. I pondered about how one of my coworkers explained to the new person that the person I was on Monday and Tuesday was the “frazzled, grumpy, stressed out” version of Becca. I didn’t want that to be me or that to be how the new person viewed me.

Today is a good day for a good day.

I’m not sure when or where I first heard this saying, but that’s what popped in to my head that morning. So as I drove in to work, a list of all the things that I had to do piling up in my head, a took a deep breath and said, “Today is a good day for a good day.”

It sounds silly, but all day Wednesday when something popped up that I wasn’t planning on or didn’t go as expected, I repeated that phrase in my head. And I took a deep breath, and it really changed my whole day. While I was still a little stressed about the amount of work I had to get done, I wasn’t frazzled or grumpy – I tackled my tasks one by one with a positive attitude knowing that today had truly been a good day. I came home feeling relaxed and accomplished, and left work at work.

Encouraged by how my attitude completely reshaped my day at work on Wednesday, I had to try it again on Thursday. The morning started off well enough but then the day really started to go down hill. One of the groups in California that I handle submitted a whole afternoon’s-worth of work past their deadline, so I had to scramble to get that done on top of my other work. Then our team lead informed us that because of the winter storm that was supposed to hit the next day, we had to stay late and finish up some payments that needed to go out for tomorrow.

Tired, a little frustrated, feebly telling myself that today was a good day even though it clearly had not been, I went to pull in some payments to get the projections for the next day and I simply clicked the wrong button. It paid all of the files in the system that I simply meant to view and created an absolute nightmare.  We had to call financial systems support down and my boss and her boss got involved. That one little wrong button took two hours to fix and we still hadn’t even finished everything that we were supposed to stay late to complete.

I was at work until 7:45pm.

My head was reeling; I was exhausted, almost in tears, and wanted nothing more but to forget that that day had ever happened. When I was finally released to go home, I climbed into my car and started to sob. My little mantra could not have made that day any better and it was hands down the worst day that I’ve ever had not only at this job, but of all the bad days combined from previous jobs.

I felt inadequate, like after the day that I just had I shouldn’t even bother to go back in. I was discouraged, and felt that I couldn’t do anything right.

When I got home, I climbed straight into bed and didn’t even say a word to Andrew.  I willed myself to go to sleep, but the events of the day kept replaying through my head and I knew it would be impossible. I realized I could stay in bed and be miserable, or do something about it. So I got up and talked with Andrew. He offered to go get some food so that I could have dinner and then we watched a movie. Nothing particularly profound happened, but I made the decision to move on from what happened at work.

So even though that day was the worst I’ve had in a long time, I just reminded myself that it was one really bad day. I always strive for perfection, even though it’s unattainable, and need to be satisfied in the fact that I’ve simply done my best. I am more than my mistakes.  I’m not placing my worth into how successful I am at my job. My sins have already been paid for, and I can take comfort and peace in that.

It’s hard to shake those really bad days, but you have to move on. Telling yourself you’re going to have a good day doesn’t magically make it The Best Day Ever, but we’ve all got hope in better tomorrows.

13 thoughts on “Today is a good day”

  1. I’m sorry Becca you had a rough week!! Just know all humans have bad days!! But I mean, it wasn’t really that bad if you put in perspective. You have a loving husband, a home, and a steady job. :D

  2. YIKE. That does sound like a rough week :( I can totally understand how you feel about what happened on Thursday with that one accidental click. I’ve made mistakes here and there at my work, and let’s just say I felt like an utter failure afterwards. I just had to tell myself that we all make mistake, and it’s not the end of the world for me making a mistake like that. Easier said than done, though. I do believe that we are our harshest critics, so we’re extra hard on ourselves when we do make a mistake. The best we can do is to learn from it, and just be more diligent with what we do at work.

    And don’t worry about being crabby. We all have our days and moments. I’ve lashed out a bit when I grew very frustrated at external factors and at my own incompetence a couple of times. Thankfully, my bosses were understanding. I just need to remember to have more patience and be flexible — one of my weaknesses that I’m trying to overcome — and to just wait until after work and go punch my pillow or something . . .

    I’m glad you were able to talk it out with Andrew and get over that day *hugs* It’s great when you have friends and families who will listen to you about your hard day. Sometimes, you just need to vent. Like I vent about things to my dad, but I’ve learnt he’s not the best person to do it with because he just says I’m too negative. I just need to vent to someone, not get an opinion about my predicament at times! But yes, don’t be afraid to discuss your frustrations. Let it out rather than keeping it all in yourself until it boils over and becomes something super ugly.

    If you ever need to vent — I’m here :) Hope your week will be better next week! At least you have Monday off, so yay for a three-day weekend!

  3. What a day! I’m so sorry you had a week from hell. I, too, beat myself up for bad days. My perfectionism is horrid when it comes to doing stuff right and when it isn’t right, I blame myself terribly. This post really hit home for me. You taught me that telling yourself over and over “Today is going to be a great day. You’re going to do great. It will be fine. Today will be fine. Do your best, be great, try your hardest.” Just because I say those words doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a perfect day but how I handle the day is up to me. I can either make the best with what is dealt with me or let it take me down.

    You did your best that day and every other day. That’s really all you can ask from yourself.

    I hope you have a better days ahead. You will and you won’t. And that’s OK. You deserve a good day ahead of you. That was a day from hell. ((hugs))

  4. Oh no, sorry to hear about such a rough week :( Having to do extra things on top of your normal work load is definitely stressful and hectic. I’m glad the positive outlook helped on Wednesday, but Thursday sounded really tough. That sucks that that happened and that you had to stay late at work. Everyone makes mistakes though! I’ve made my fair share, including ones that affect our product and users. It’s never fun to be the cause of a mistake, but the important thing is to do what you can and to keep moving forward!

    I hope your workload gets back to normal soon and that next week will be much better!

  5. I am so proud of you and the attitude that you have taken. You are certainly dealing with a lot of stress and pressure. It’s really wonderful that you are placing things in perspective and I truly hope that this continues to enable you to make it through and to find positives and ways to deal with those bad days.

    <3

  6. I remember writing a blog post a while ago about how a quote (or a mantra, in this case) can only go so far. You were upset not because the mantra let you down, it was because the day could have been better. You made an honest mistake and when you look back, you had one good day right in the middle of the week (hump day, incidentally! ?). Mistakes can totally take two hours to fix and you’re definitely lucky it didn’t take longer than that. I’m sure you were very apologetic even though you felt emotional. If you have a supportive group then I’m sure they would understand and wouldn’t give you shit for it. Commonly when you’re working in a company like mine, it can be easy to slip up and make a mistake as small as yours was – but instead of anyone putting the blame on the person who made the mistake, the person is encouraged to take action to help fix the problem they created. Because that’s how we all best learn.

    I have another little mantra for you, next time you’ve had a shitty day and just want to cry yourself to sleep: today is not over yet. So next time, you can flip yourself over in bed and have a chat to Andrew and I’m sure everything will blow over and he’ll make you feel a lot better and you’ll be just fine. ??

    I hope you are having a better start to this week – it’s always hard work when companies acquire other companies and many people get hired, it should be an OK-flag that you had to spend time training up your new employee so you couldn’t get other work done. Don’t give up!

  7. I’m sorry to hear that you had a rough couple of days last week. Hope things will be better this week! You have a good point- even though you can’t change your workload, you can change your attitude. I had those days when I was crying in the car because I thought I dropped the ball pretty badly in my last job. Don’t feel inadequate. You’re still learning and doing the best that you can! Mistakes happen and as long as it’s fixed at the end, it’s all good.

    I found it helpful talking to my boyfriend about the crap that happened at work and let it all out. It’s not the end and there’s always a chance for redemption.

    Keep doing what you do best (be awesome) and go kick some ass!

  8. Sorry to hear it was a rough week at work :( We all get them. It sucks. I’m glad that little phrase got you through it, though. At least Andrew was there for you – it’s the little things <3 Here's hoping your workload gets easier!

  9. It’s funny how that works, and more like in a funny not funny way. Like, when I think I’m going to have a good day it turns out to be hell and when I think the day I’m dreading into is going to be really bad it doesn’t usually happen that way. It is probably just me being weird but I just feel like that happens.

    That sounds really rough about your job though. I wish you all the luck with it! I don’t have any great words cause I’m struggling with sort of the same thing. Pretty much all I do is just the best I can and shrug of the rest – of course I have a lot of anxiety dreams. LOL

  10. I know the feeling of having something good then it turning bad. It can get better and it does. Keep your chin up and everything will turn out alright, you know? Your attitude defines how you will get through the bad times. I have to work on that, honestly.

  11. Oh no! Sorry to hear that it’s been stressful. I’ve worked in a lot of places where they’ve halved the staff but kept the workload the same, and it’s awful. I used to get given an impossible amount of work to do in my previous job, and it was a really horrible feeling knowing that I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I was expected to (even though it was more than anyone could ever do in that time). Keep trying to be positive about it, even though you might have bad days, it’ll be okay. Don’t let it get you too stressed. Work shouldn’t be that bad.

    Hope that you’re feeling a lot better now. I have days where I do things wrong at work, and I’m always so hard on myself, even though it probably doesn’t matter that much to the people you work for. It is just one day after all, and everyone makes mistakes. If you’re under stress is bound to happen, so just apologise and try for a better day tomorrow.

    Hope this week is better!

  12. I’m really sorry to hear this Becca. Sometimes life just hits us hard in the face and stresses build up and we start feeling like we’re not in control anymore. I definitely recommend positive affirmations and self-talk during these times, I know it’s hard to but it definitely works for me whenever I feel like I’m about to snap with all the pressure.

    Hope this week is better and repeating what you said, “Today is a good day for a good day.” <3

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