Tonight while taking out the garbage, I stepped in a gopher hole. Invisible to the naked eye, this thing took me out. I went down like a sack of potatoes. I hurt my hip, knee and ankle on my right side. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem serious, but it’s definitely very painful and I’m certainly not doing any jogging tonight.
Whenever something bad happens to me, I immediately try to look for corrective action I could take for next time. I have a whole process I go through:
Step 1: Look for all the ways the Bad Thing could have been my fault. What could I have done differently? What mistakes did I make that I could correct? What lesson can I take in order to improve myself? Example: I didn’t land a client that I was pitching. What could I have improved?
Step 2: If I feel entirely confident that the Bad Thing wasn’t due to or preventable by my own reasonable actions, I then run through a second checklist – was this the fault of anyone else specifically? And if so, does this person have a pattern of this behavior, to the point where my life would be better without that person? Example: An online acquaintance has said rude, untrue things about me on one platform or another. Assuming I haven’t done anything to invite this behavior, would I be better off without this acquaintance in my circle?
Step 3: If, after steps 1 and 2, I feel very confident that the Bad Thing is neither my fault, nor the direct fault of any other individual, and is instead the result of some combination of the general state of society and/or random happenstance, I make a face.* Example: Stepping in a freakin’ gopher hole.
Like most people, I prefer problems I can solve. I’m a fixer. When a Bad Thing happens, I can accept that and I rarely get mad, but my primary way to avoid an emotional response is to leap immediately into positive action, changing things about my behavior or life to steer away from future Bad Things and towards Good Things. Sometimes, though, you just get bit by life.
On those days, I’m happy to have a blog I can vent to.