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Aug 26, 2009

Seeing the positive in a bad day

Today could have been marked as a bad day. Not an awful day (nothing disastrous happened), but bad in the sense that a lot of small things went wrong.
It started with Daniel waking up with fever for the third day in a row. While his fever was much lower than in the 2 previous days (and his energy level was back to normal), the fever was high enough for him not to be allowed to daycare. From then, the stress started: calling the baby sitter, calling day-care, negotiating coverage schedule between my husband and me, reassuring Daniel who was to disappointed not to go to daycare today, etc...
The plan was for me to stay home with Daniel in the morning, the babysitter would take over around lunch time, and my husband would do the late afternoon shift. Although I wouldn't be in the office until noon, I was hoping to get some easy work done from home while watching for Daniel: email, phone calls, etc...

It didn't sound too bad at the beginning. But it turns out that, right at the time of an important meeting, my VPN and phone decided to freeze on me, making it impossible for me to contact the team. I lost 10 minutes of precious time at a bad moment. I also somehow managed to hurt my back again (third time in 6 weeks!), not sure how... But I can say I don't recommend it when being around an active, short and heavy 19-month old. The morning was definitely on the bad side.
To top it all, our baby-sitter showed up over an hour late. On the way to work (rushing), I stopped by a gas station, where the payment system was down. I had to drop by the cashier and pay cash, losing another 10 minutes. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling so happy about the day so far when I arrived at work.

But then, miraculously, the effect of the Gratitude Challenge kicked in. It is a 21-day project, sponsored by my company Tinyprints, where people are encouraged to see the positive side of life and blog about their experience. I am not an official participant, but I have been reading the posts and feeling very inspired. I am not sure if the change in my perspective had to do with seeing my colleagues who are Gratitude Challenge participants, or if it was from listening to customer calls and seeing how positive the experiences were. In any case, I realized that it was my opportunity to see the glass half full in my situation... And it worked!

After all, I shouldn't complain because
1. Daniel's sickness is nothing alarming, and he will be back to normal in no time.
2. I got to spend a few more hours with my son, at a time when he really needed me (Daniel is usually quite happy when he is with a babysitter, but when sick, he only wants to see "mama"). Also, I didn't have to rush to get ready to leave home early in the morning. I could enjoy drinking my coffee and having breakfast while sitting, a luxury these days!
3. My phone and email connections were up most of the morning, and I got some work done. And I have to say that technology is a life-saver when it comes to efficiencies and being able to work in different places.
4. We have a great baby-sitter who was flexible on a short notice, and helped us a lot during these 3 days... even if she missed one hour yesterday.
5. I saved money on the baby-sitter cost!
6. I was able to get rid of all the heavy coins in my wallet at the gas station.
7. I work in a cool company (Tinyprints), I love my job, and I am proud of the customer service with offer.
8. Since I didn't have to pick up Daniel from daycare, I could stay at work longer and get a lot of work done in the evening.
9. I am still looking for a positive twist on my back pain, but I could say that this reinforced my motivation to continue practicing yoga, despite my busy schedule. I will probably need to find a more robust solution to cure my back, though. Not sure how exactly.

So, after all, my day wasn't too bad. I am so grateful to the Gratitude Challenge for reminding me to see the positive side of things. It is great that the participants are able to share their experiences on blogs, so that the spirit can benefit readers too. I hope the impact will last past the last day of the challenge. I am sure I will have some other not-so-good days in the future, and I will need to remember how to turn my perspective around...

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