For months my colleagues have been upset. No need to go into details because, well, really, who cares about the problems at work. The details aren’t the story anyway. The story is a few days ago I went to bed bummed from weeks of absorbing negative energy.
See, my energy filter is non-discriminating. It lets the negative in at the same rate as the positive. Most of the time I can rid myself of the bad stuff before it builds up, but sometimes it comes on so strong, and with such volume, I cannot. This has been the case lately.
When too much negative hits me, I get exhausted. I am old enough now I recognize this is happening and when it does, I go to bed.
Shutting off the world, and my body’s reaction to it, works better than anything else.
And yesterday, when I awoke after ten hours of delightful, world-blocking-out sleep, I was detoxed and refreshed. My positive attitude had returned and with it came a wonderfully positive idea to solve the problems at work.
The idea energized me and I was completely consumed in getting what was in my head out.
I feverishly typed away, stopping only long enough to reflect and marvel, then got back at it.
My problem-plagued colleagues were all like, what is she doing?
“Not now,” I said to them. “When it’s done you will really like it.”
I spent five hours like this. And I had a blast being completely engaged in the problem-solving process.
Occasionally, while on my writing spree, I acknowledged the slightly nagging thought that ideas are only good if they can be enacted, and that those who are in the position to enact this good idea have this uncanny ability to discard the positive in favor of, well, what I can only describe as more Simon Legree-like management methods. (Simply put: Use them up, spit them out and get more.)
It is, of course these contemptuous methods that have created the very problems I was trying to solve.
But I put aside the knowledge that those who could, wouldn’t, and I carried on. I wrote my four page manifesto, “Communication is Leadership Initiative.”
It was nothing short of management brilliance.
(When I shared my notes with my Management professor husband he even agreed. He is a good husband, after all.)
And because I wrote this masterpiece at work, on their computer, and it still needed polishing before public consumption, I naturally saved it to my flash drive. The plan being when I got home I would spend the afternoon perfecting my masterpiece and upon its completion I would bring it to work the next day.
Great plan. Or so I thought.
But, unbeknownst to me, the flash drive gods had a different plan.
In the one short hour between saving the document at work and arriving at home, my flash drive committed suicide.
All my files were irretrievably lost.
My work. My genius. The positive solutions. Gone.
I sat there. Stunned.
Why was this happening? Why now? Why? Why? Why?
The amount of self-pity I felt was staggering.
“I absolutely cannot write that over again,” I said to myself.
So I did what I do when I need emotional support – I called my husband.
The only solution he could offer was for me to put the flash drive in the freezer for an hour. “It can sometimes work for hard drives,” he said.
With no other viable option, I put the drive in the freezer.
An hour seemed an eternity. And the chances of it working improbable.
I needed to distract myself. So I began packing for our upcoming trip to Boston.
And as I ironed my clothes I felt this emotional shift take place. I can’t go as far as say I started laughing, but I did begin to see the silliness in the whole episode.
An hour in the freezer didn’t help the flash drive, but it sure helped me. My husband created a ruse that redirected me and in that time I came to see how the lost work on that dead flash drive left me not with a document encouraging a leadership style for others but defined my OWN leadership style based on respectful communication.
My efforts showed me that even in the face of contempt, my instinct, what drives me, is the belief that love, care and respect are an endless resource that can always be applied to human interaction.
I never would have thought, nine hours ago when I was energized to begin my project, where it would end up. I couldn’t have imagined the lesson was for me. But now, I am more energized than ever.
Disavowing scarcity in favor of abundance is always energizing.