As one of my colleagues and I walked into the gymnasium for our all-school community, these words were uttered, "I'm chalking this day up as a loss."
And you know what?
We're going to have days that are less than stellar. Rather than sugar coat them, downplaying them, or sweeping them under a rug, face them for what they are.
We are all allowed rough days and we don't need to feel guilty about them. This colleague even talked earlier in the day that her kids just didn't seem to have it today, and so she restructured her day to match what her students could handle. She knew that forcing the agenda would be futile, so she controlled what she could. That's the mark of an amazing teacher in my book.
Even though the day still unraveled to some extent, she was still able to laugh about it and walk out of the building knowing that tomorrow is a new day.
And that's the key to it all. Moving on.
Sometimes, though, we allow ourselves to get stuck in the rut of self-pity, and suddenly that one rough day turns into two, three, or more. We get wrapped up in the negativity, self-doubt, and we start seeing the world as one that is out to get us.
So, what do we do?
Take some time away. When we have a rough day, it's important to do something kind for ourselves. Go for a walk, treat ourselves to a relaxing soak in the tub, sit down and watch a guilty pleasure on TV, give ourselves permission to read a book for 30 minutes, or simply go to bed early.
Reflect on the experience of the day. Journal about it. Write about all that happened in a brain dump. Pick out the parts that can be learned from and salvaged. Let the rest go.
Remember what we enjoy most about our job overall. Make a list of everything we love in the big picture. If that list ends up being short, that's okay too. Maybe it's an indication to take stock of what we're good at and look for something else. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a good hard look at our current situation and deciding it's time to try our hand at something different. It doesn't mean we've failed. It merely means that this might not be what we've bargained for. Maybe things are getting too mundane and this is a wake-up call to see what else the world has to offer.
But, on the other hand, don't panic. One loss doesn't mean it's time to jump ship. Maybe today just wasn't our day. As one of my friends would tell his basketball team after a horrendous loss, "It was a nightmare. All you have to do is wake up and it will all be over."
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.