I had one of those absolutely chaotic days where so many things were changing last minute and going wrong. I was off for President’s Day Monday and we had a work from home snow day yesterday due to snow and sleet in our area. I work in sales for IT staffing and consulting and days off and weather issues really cause chaos for our schedules with interviews and meetings.
I’ve also had a killer sinus headache since yesterday morning that none of my usual remedies has seemed to help (ibuprofen, a moist heat herbal pack, massage, etc). I deal with chronic pain and my pain levels were up after a fun but crazy day out with the kids at an indoor climbing and play place on my day off on President’s Day. I originally had an appointment scheduled for this afternoon with my musculoskeletal specialist who really helps with pain relief for the knots that I can’t seem to work out myself and I was really looking forward to that to bring my pain levels down.
My lunch meeting with 3 important contacts had to be rescheduled until next week because they had a major conflict and overbooking due to the snow yesterday. They are about 45 minutes from my office and it seemed perfect that I’d be up that way because the pain specialist is nearby and then I had another meeting scheduled in the area at 4 PM. After the lunch canceled, since I was supposed to be up in that area anyway, I put out a bunch calls and emails and I was able to get a last minute meeting booked with a key client to replace the lunch meeting. Right after I got that booked, I got a call from the pain specialist that he would need to reschedule due to a conflict! I felt like I was spinning my wheels in all directions to make things work and nothing was working out right.
I also didn’t have any lunch packed because I thought I had a lunch meeting so after helping to train a new hire this morning I grabbed a forkful of cottage cheese and walnuts and ran out the door to the last minute scheduled afternoon meeting.
On the drive, I took some time to breathe and realize that I had to find a way to turn the chaos of the day into calm. After the meeting wrapped up, with the gap in meetings due to the rescheduled pain specialist, I decided I could fit in a walk while working from my phone, taking care of calls and answering emails.
The very friendly front desk receptionist at my client lives in the area and drew me a quick map of a great park nearby with trails around a field and also through the woods. When he let me know he had this perfect, close spot for me to walk, I knew I was well on my way to reducing the feeling of chaos and spinning in all directions. We had a day full of snow and sleet yesterday, but today it was sunny, 50 degrees, and very windy but beautiful!
I was able to fit in a last minute full hour walk in the sunshine while taking care of work. I took a picture of me in the crazy wind to represent the chaos of my day and also a picture of me feeling much calmer in my car after wrapping up my serendipitous walk.
Sometimes it can feel like everything is against us and nothing is going right in our day. Those days can be tough for anyone, but with my bipolar symptoms added in, chaos and the feeling of everything going wrong can cause a tumultuous, dangerous, downward spiral if I don’t catch it quickly. I need to breathe and make time for self care. Sometimes that self care can be texting or calling a friend or my SO, or a video call with the kiddos who can always make me smile, or touching base with my boss, sometimes it’s getting out for a walk or at least stretching, sometimes it’s making the time with my musculoskeletal specialist for much needed pain relief, sometimes it’s listening to a favorite song and singing at the top of my lungs, or quietly listening to a quick guided meditation.
The story of my chaos may not even make sense to you and the telling of it was meant to be chaotic to give you a sense of what was happening in my head today and the work that it takes to turn chaos into calm and a feeling of the daily work it takes for me to Tame the Bipolar Beast and live well with bipolar.
How do you turn your chaos into calm and just accept the day and go with the flow versus fight it tooth and nail and feel like it’s a crushing losing battle?