Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nature's RESET Button

Feeling frazzled?  On the edge of a breakdown? 

This morning I came in to work at 9am and when I looked at the clock reading almost 11am still feeling like I hadn’t really started my day, I heaved a huge sigh. Frustration. A coworker who hadn’t finished her work the day before came in so she needed the computer, which disrupted my get-the-day-started flow. It’s ok – she’s new. But once I finally did get started at 9:55am, I took some pictures of this adorable baby and plugged in the camera to load them into the system as I usually do. Instead of showing up on the screen, the computer just kept showing that little blue circle spinning and spinning. No pictures. 

What really worried me was that the computer automatically deletes the pictures after they are downloaded, so I wasn’t sure where in the process it got stuck and if it meant having lost those pictures, I would have really been a mess!  How would that look: “Sorry I lost those pictures we just took – will have to take them again.”  Not super professional. Plus, what guarantee would I have that this wouldn’t happen again?  On the verge of a breakdown, I wheeled the cart back to the staff lounge, camera still plugged in to the USB port, and called tech support. The computer kept spinning that blue circle the entire 15 minutes I was on hold. No, I can’t leave a message for a call back, I wanted to tell the recording, because I can’t do anything until I resolve this camera/pictures issue. 

So I waited and waited and a nice guy in St. Louis finally came on the phone and walked me through backing up the pictures, which were not lost – thank goodness! – and restarting the system. He also suggested that I shut down my computer between rooms, every time.  Every time?  Have you ever done my job, sir?  I nearly asked him. When I walk into a room, I have no idea what I’ll find: mom breastfeeding baby, doctor or nurse in the middle of a check-up, labs, a room full of visitors. If I shut down the computer each time, I’ll be forever logging back in!  Plus, this was not a good time to mess with my routine.  Ok, I told him, ok.  The clock was edging toward 11am and I still had barely started my day!

When I hung up with the support call, I was in no shape to go right back to it. I needed a reset because now I – not just my computer – was on the edge of a system breakdown.
We all have those moments. And no matter how big or small they seem, it’s always a good idea to take a little time to decompress, breathe deep, restart.  The tree outside the window with its shady grass was looking more and more appealing. I shut down the computer, grabbed my water bottle and my purse and walked right out there to sit myself on the ground next to that tree, breathe, call my people and vent, and get a fresh start on the day. 

This little 10-minute pause re-routed my whole day. I was able to pull it together and finish up my work refreshed and sane. No breakdown necessary.

Next time you feel the need to step away, count to 10, or sit under a tree on the shady grass, take a little time to give this gift to yourself. It might not solve all your problems, but it will put some things in perspective: the monsters you’re tackling and fire-breathing dragons you’re slaying might just end up looking a little less fierce, a little smaller than you thought, a little less daunting than you had imagined.  What you gain by pausing so outweighs the few minutes you sacrifice to do it. It’s nature’s reset button: use it.

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