We all have bad days. We all have days where something goes wrong and it sends us completely off-kilter. Or, those days when you’re reminded of something that just totally sets you off the track. Or, better yet, those days where you can’t even pinpoint what’s put you in a bad mood, but you are, and it shows. Either way, we all know what it’s like to have a bad day.
For part of last week, I’ve been stuck in that mode. Wednesday was an emotional day for me. It would have been my dad’s 56th birthday. While that would be a reason to be sad on its own, the kicker was that it’s the 10th anniversary of his last birthday with us. Ten years ago. Ten. A decade. That’s almost half of my life. Talk about a buzz-kill.
Either way, that realization made me crabby. I don’t blame folks for avoiding me that day. Anyway, I was talking to a friend mine, Mike Davelaar, about it later on. Mike does a lot of volunteer work with youth, and if I ever need a kind word of encouragement or a little bit of perspective, I know he’s just a phone call away. So, after a few nasty days I gave him a call while driving home. We talked for a while, and he offered some great insight.
One of my big concerns about my bad mood during that time was that it was incredibly obvious. The folks who interact with me on Twitter and Facebook could easily tell I was in a not-very-happy place. It wasn’t fair for me to let them see me in such a foul mood, right? Mike’s thoughts were that this was just another level to the transparency we preach to the rest of the agriculture community in regards to our outreach work.
If we want to show the world that we are human, shouldn’t we be comfortable sharing our human emotions? I’m not saying every detail, nor all the depth of your feelings. But acknowledging that we all have days when we are a little sub-par or not quite up to capacity is part of acknowledging our place in society.
My pain and frustration that week didn’t make me mean or a grouch or a pariah. It made me human. And while it isn’t necessarily a good idea to publicize all of your heartache to your Internet network, you also don’t need to put up a false, sugary-sweet front where nothing is ever wrong. Life gets hard sometimes, it’s only realistic for us to acknowledge the unhappiness publicly at times.
Besides, sometimes you just have to let the crabby out to get to a better mental place. I work hard to maintain some level of optimism and cheeriness in my life, but there are just days where the “grumpies” will get you, regardless. Allow that for yourself. So you can end up more like this afterward:
Thanks, Mike, for reminding me that we’re all human, and our individual reputations won’t be tarnished by the occasional bad day (within reason). And thanks to everyone else across my social media channels who took time to offer kind words and encouragement during an expected period of crabbiness. You helped, even if you couldn’t necessarily tell.