I remember the day like it was yesterday. It began at 5:30 a.m. with work. When the clock struck seven I promptly paused my morning’s efforts and then proceeded to:
- Wake up three kids and get them ready for their day.
- Help my daughter finish her Halloween costume.
- Facilitate piano practice, music homework and spelling words.
- Feed three kids and get two of them off to school.
- Buy (and wrap) 6 gifts.
- Finish three loads of laundry.
- Pick up my husband’s eye prescription while simultaneously scheduling my daughter’s eye appointment.
Eventually, later that afternoon, I finished the work I had begun that morning in my office.
I had successfully accomplished quite a lot in what was barely half my day, yet all my successes were immediately discarded at 3 p.m. when…
The phone rang and the caller ID indicated it was my daughter’s orthodontist office.
I had forgotten my daughter’s appointment that afternoon.
In that moment, every important task I had completed in my day meant nothing, and I was left feeling like a failure. How quickly a day can change when you allow it to be defined by one mistake.
I fought back tears of frustration.
In hindsight it seems like such a silly thing to get so upset about, yet for some reason I let myself subconsciously choose to let one forgetful mistake consume the rest of my day.
I wanted so badly to plead my case to the office receptionist, to prove to her that I didn’t normally forget! (Even though I do forget more than I like.) I wished I could make it emphatically clear to her how difficult keeping track of a family of five’s busy schedule can be. And I REALLY wanted to ensure her (and myself) that my household was not as crazy and chaotic as it sounded.
However… I didn’t.
Instead I silently suffered and proceeded to re-schedule the appointment for the next day.
The following morning I again began my day at 5:30 and again carried out our busy morning routine.
Once all three kids were at school, I ran some morning errands, proceeded to a meeting, and afterwards raced to pick up my youngest from preschool with just enough time to pick up my oldest for her reschedule orthodontist appointment.
My back-to-back busy morning was a direct consequence of yesterday’s forgetfulness.
Driving to the appointment I found myself contemplating the “walk of shame” I would take entering the orthodontist office for our rescheduled appointment. And that was when I realized something… I had two options:
a.) Walk into the office with my guilt-stricken head hung low while offering profuse apologies to help further explain yesterday’s failure.
b.) Walk in with my head held high, give myself “a pass” and recognize that I could not possibly be the only busy parent who had mistakenly forgotten their child’s appointment.
I remembered that I had a choice.
And I decided to choose the latter. With a forced smile I entered the office and allowed myself to let go of my oversight. I wish I would have remember that choice the day before.
Leave a comment: Do you ever allow a simple mistake to weigh too heavily on your day?