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Beauty and the Beast

February 11, 2013

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I’m in New York for work, and of course, so is the Blizzard. 

As 5,000 flights get cancelled, including mine, I narrowly escaped flight carnage by finagling this funky itinery that gets me out of the city before the weather kicks in full force, except that my travel time is now 18 hours. 

There’s a pile of work waiting for me; I can’t find an outlet to charge my devices at the airport; I’m walking around in sweat pants and bad hair; I start to feel sorry for myself. 

We all experience times of beauty, when everything goes our way.  We tackle work with gusto, get home in time for dinner, tell good jokes and feel in control.  Then there are the other times, when the beast invades our inner peace:  Procrastination, Frustration, Anger, Distress.  These sabotaging thoughts that get in the way of us doing our best work.  

These non-productive moments are part of us.  There is no way to prevent them from invading our minds.  But what gets us down doesn’t have to keep us down.  A good trick that I use to snap out of a funk is by taking a break to embrace my inner beast. 

Here’s my airport formula to wallow a bit and then get back on my feet:

  • Fast food value meal – Burger, Coke, fries, the works.  I don’t eat fast food except at airports.  It’s like eating a vat of delicious frying oil.  But I work out, so it’s OK.
  • Chocolate.  While I carefully deliberated between premium Dark Chocolate Truffle and Milk Chocolate with Almonds, I can’t help but feel good about my career.  I am even more selective about how I spend my time at work than I am about choosing candy bars.  I love candy bars.  So this must mean that I really enjoy my work.
  • A trashy gossip magazine, like People Magazine – the more vapid the better.  In this case, I took it from another passenger who left it on her seat when she boarded her flight.  At that moment, I felt a lot like the vagabonds in the city who smoke other people’s discarded cigarette butts.

I grab an empty table, kick up my feet and spread out my spoils.  I’m a mom to a toddler, so I eat fast.  The magazine reads even faster since today’s celebrities are all teenagers and I don’t recognize any of them. 

Once I feel properly indulged with bad food and celebrity news, the beast is placated.  I can then get back to my computer (with greasy fingers) and onto the business at hand.

Hey, we all do things we’re not proud of sometimes.  But if these moments can be used to get us back on track, then I say embrace it.

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