Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Michael's story

Today actually has not been one of my best. I think I peaked too early this morning!

I felt completely overwhelmed with everything. I looked at my list and it just was too big. I looked at my emails - there must be thousands there. Text messages - loads. I am normally a very efficient and organised person but right now it is all simply TOO MUCH. I am exhausted but cannot sleep for more than 5 or 6 hours a night. I eat like a sparrow. Add to that the indescribable hole I have without Clive and it's one recipe that says simply - enough.  Perhaps if I took a break now I will buzz again tomorrow?

After a few supportive phone calls I called for Michelle and we took Harvey dog for a walk - down the lane I used to go regularly with Clive. Another 'last time' place crossed off the list.

I decided to be good to me and drove over to my parents. I had planned to do so today even when Clive was still here. We would plan midweek trips as long as we made up time in the office at evenings or a weekend. That's the beauty of self-employment. We probably would have arranged to meet a client too.

So I went. Once at their house I had a nibble to eat and we went to pick up Claire and Sophie and went for a walk in Delamere Forest. Sophie was wearing the cute little golfing T-shirt I had bought her when Clive and I met up with staff from The Belfry. Clive was going to be training some staff there. I recalled how smart he looked that day. He was like a boy in a sweet shop looking at all the golf equipment and was so excited to be going back to play there. He won't now. In the past I have spent many hours at Delamere taking my pupils from a local special school for walks (in the days when you were allowed out without having to fill in 27 forms!) and have many happy memories there with Nick and Dominic as he was growing up. There is now a cafe.

 Ooh! Quavers!

Stupidly I took my Blackberry with me. I completely forgot my own advice of 'be in the moment'. I should have been soaking in the sunshine, listening to the birds, appreciating my family - but no, I could not switch off. I was still taking calls, checking for messages the whole way round. Okay folks - I know - BIG mistake. When you need a break that is what you should do - take one! I just felt so sad. I described to Claire that I do feel like a gingerbread man cutter. I am just a vague outline with all my stuffing knocked out.

We like teal!

After our walk we dropped off Claire to enjoy her birthday evening with husband Martin and we kept Sophie for a sleepover! En route back we picked up Dom.

Even back at Mum's surrounded by my darling son, parents and niece I just could not hack it today. I was feeding Sophie (who is a truly delightful baby) and picking at my meal when for no logical thought I just cried.

All I feel I have achieved today is worrying my family even more. I haven't applied my 'Hanzak' principles to myself and it's been an extremely tough day.

I drove back tonight so I can make the most out of tomorrow but really I should have stayed for a girlie sleepover. A cuddle in bed with Sophie in the morning would have been a real tonic.

Instead here I am back. Perhaps the fridge represents how I feel tonight:-


Our good friend Paul McGee (The SUMO guy) describes a Hippo phase in change - when you wallow, 'managing emotions and developing resilience under pressure'.

Maybe that is what today has been.

So what shall I do?

  • Go to bed and try to sleep
  • Acknowledge that today has gone - tomorrow is a fresh one
  • Remember that I am still officially 'unfit for work' so stop beating myself up
As of today my whizzing around stops. Tomorrow I shall go and fill the fridge with tasty food. 

What have I learnt?
  1. That I have many amazing people reading this blog! Including someone I was at infant school with! Your support keeps me going - thank you
  2. That there are so many people cheering me on and it helps so much
  3. That when I tell myself I need a break - do it properly!
N nite,

Elaine x

P.S. Last night my friend Harriet posted this on her Facebook page. I thought you'd like it:-

Here's a story I stumbled across on the internet, I read it every time I'm in a bad mood and it gives me that positive attitude I need! ♥...

Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him,

"I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied,

"Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or ... I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I Choose the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied.

"If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be-born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or ... I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked. Michael continued,

"...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read "he's a dead man. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes', I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity.' "

Over their laughter, I told them,

"I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

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