A Sticky Note

Now I don’t believe that God is in any way mean, punitive or prone to schadenfreude, but he/she/it certainly had a good laugh on me a few days ago.

I don’t know about you, but it makes me really happy when things go well for me. When I’m running at a high level of love, kindness, and patience, when I do what I do with skill and efficiency, and am an asset to those whom I’m doing it for. It makes life way more fun for everyone involved.

But every once in a while, when my estrogen patch is wearing thin or I have had too much or too little chocolate, I wander into Nasty Karma Land and it really sucks.

So here’s the great cosmic funny that ol’ what’s-its-face pulled on me.

I was going about my business, working hard at my work, trying to do my best. Feeling a little edgy maybe, a little estro-low perhaps, but clipping along fairly smoothly with my project for work.

My client (I’ll call her Boss Lady), whom I am working on this project for (website redesign), forwarded an email to me from an important business colleague of hers. Suddenly there was another party impacting the project.

A series of back and forth emails ensued. Nothing earth shaking, nothing difficult or particularly challenging.

At some point, however, this colleague—I’ll call her Third Party Lady—said something that kinda rubbed me the wrong way. In retrospect, it was a perfectly innocuous, acceptable and appropriate comment; but somehow I took it personally (some would call that ego), and I let it get under my skin.

I continued to work and stew, and then suddenly—impetuously—like a tweener on Red Bull, I popped off an email to Boss Lady making a witty, yet snarky, comment in reference to Third Party Lady. I thought it was clever and true…

. . . and private.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, as it may be, the comment was made in a reply email to Third Party Lady instead of a forward email to Boss Lady. (Note to self: It is sometimes necessary and appropriate to make private comments, however, they should always be sent in a new correspondence thread. Oh, and try to be nice.)

Note to selfImagine my surprise, and Boss Lady’s too (she never even saw the email – nope, it went directly to the person whom I was saying snarky things about), when Third Party Lady emailed back and nailed my ass for the snippy comment. By nailed I mean, she came back with a simple, honest, professional yet very sharp nail, which made me feel about the size of an amoeba in my heart.

You’ve heard the term “sinking feeling”? I had that.

Ohhhh boy howdy, was I in a sweaty pickle. I racked my brain for how in the heck she could have seen that comment. My heart rate soared. My pits did their rain dance. How in the holy molé did I get myself into this? I am a wielder of positive energy, a woman on a mission to bring more love, a good-karmaholic! How could I let myself slip up so badly? I’ll tell you how…

I’m a human and I do that sometimes, that’s how.

I was still mortified none-the-less. At first I was so freaked mainly because I was so busted. Then, as I considered my spirit, I felt like I had just taken a giant leap backwards into personal growth purgatory.

With my heart in my throat and my fingers quivering, I wrote a heartfelt apology. I was so dismayed and nervous that I sent it with the subject line: “Applology”. Yes, you read that right. Then I wrote a second one to Boss Lady. In the middle of writing that one, my smart phone yelled,

“Hey dummy, its Boss Lady calling!” Deep breath.

“Hi.” I answered, feebly.

“So, I don’t understand what happened. What was she talking about, ‘snarky comment’?”

“Boss Lady, I am so sorry. I am so embarrassed… blah, blah, blah…” I stumbled all over myself explaining and applologizing.

She was very gracious and kind. I probably would have fired my ass.

Turns out, Third Party Lady is a highly esteemed professional in her field and has been a longtime supporter and champion of Boss Lady’s company. Not that her position should make any difference. Disrespect is disrespect no matter at whom it is aimed. What matters is that I not only offended a valued colleague, but by association, I cast a very unsavory light on Boss Lady and her business as well. Oh, the pain of it. Breathe…

Goooooooozzzzz, frah bahhhhhhh (as my sublime friend Starwalker would say).

A tiny stone cast into a pond makes many ripples that keep moving out and out. That’s a lot of energy from one little plop. One little snarky comment—lots of trauma and stress. One teensy knee jerk—lots of negative energy touching…well who knows how many folks, ultimately. I guess it will depend on how forgiving Third Party Lady decides to be. My hope is that the intent that I put with all my heart into that apology letter will be some kind of alchemy for a happy outcome.

For the last five years or so I have meditated in short snippets as a part of my daily yoga practice. I love the little moments of peace these brief meditations bring throughout—especially when my hamstrings or gluteus are about to explode after a particularly challenging set—but I wouldn’t call it deep or focused meditation (except to focus deeply on surviving the pain without throwing up).

Of late, though, I have been trying to spend more time in a deeper quiet place. When I go to there, my prayer is to understand more fully my purpose for hanging out on the planet, to know how I can fulfill my greatest desires, and be a blessing to those that I encounter.

So naturally the first thing out of the gate would be to commit some goofy blunder like this one.

It’s called contrast, and it’s one of the most effective gurus I’ve yet to encounter. Let me tell you, this girl doesn’t have to be told more than about three hundred times before she gets something.

This old dog can learn new tricks.

Enlightenment is close; I can feel it. No joke, just the universe—the constant teacher—making sure I have a proper education.

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  1. Oh Kathy,
    I laughed out loud…..a lot. You are so gifted in so many ways. Thank you for sharing what is in your head. I love it.

    • Thanks Di – I love your laughter, so I’m glad I caused more! We ate roasted brined whole chicky with gobs of roasted root veggies and garlic tonight. Alas, no one to drink my port with… Mike not being a sweet wine guy and all…

  2. Well, dear Kathy, I too survived my boo boos. Reading your most recent blog post again has set me aright. Good thing I brought a big bucket too . . . I think I am gaining a lot with this dip in the big sea of posible outcomes.

    Keep on writing my dear Kathy, you got the stuff that makes me read a book over and over again, savoring the glorious tidbits of shared laughter and wisps of wisdom that always seem to emerge.

    XO Starwalker