Anyone who is breathing and maintaining operational body temperature has a bad day now and then. How we manage those bad day does matter, doesn’t it. And it matters especially when our children are watching, and, of course, they are always watching!
Against the Wall
I’m proud to be a member of the National Speakers Association. I remember a story about the great Cavett Robert, one of the key founders of NSA. He always preached doing your best, no matter what, and he always practiced his message.
I remember someone sharing a story about their first-hand observation of Cavett Robert during a speaking event. He was sick and running fever. It was shared that, before he was introduced, Cavett was resting his face against a plaster wall, just to catch a little coolness. He then went on to deliver his program, just as he had promised.
I said to myself, “I sure hope I don’t ever have to do that.”
Well, it happened to me just a few years ago. Perhaps you’ve had an experience something like this.
I was scheduled to train teachers at an education service center in Waco, Texas. I got to my destination, checked into the motel and grabbed a bite of dinner. I even went to bed early so I would be extra sharp for the next day.
About an hour or two into my sleep, I awoke to VIOLENT bouts of vomiting and diarrhea that went on all night: Food poisoning. (If my wife had been with me, she’d taken me to the hospital, for sure.)
A New Watermark
I tried to soothe myself by saying, “This is BAD, but I’ve experienced worse.” No way; this was a new watermark.
Fortunately, it all tapered off about 6:00a.m., so I decided to regroup and give it a shot. I was so weak and dehydrated, it took me forever to shave and dress. Fortunately, it took me about 40 minutes to drive to where the client was, which gave me a chance to chug a 32-ounce bottle of Gatorade. That allowed me to walk into the facility without looking like a drunken man. But I was so weak and sleep-deprived, I could hardly stand.
I leveled with my client, Gwen, and we decided to give it a shot. They brought in a stool for me (a God-send). It was a rocky start, but you know the rest. As they got into my presentation, I was able to feed off their energy. They helped pull me through, and we all made a good day of it.
Like a good pitcher in a slump, we don’t always have our best stuff. But if we keep pitching and stay in the game, things will change.
Most importantly, don’t ever forget precious eyes are watching us.
A nationally recognized child and adolescent psychologist and speaker, Dr. James Sutton is the author of The Changing Behavior Book: A Fresh Approach to the Difficult Child. He is the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network, a popular internet radio program supporting young people and their families, and every month he publishes The Changing Behavior Digest, offering tips on managing difficult children and teens. Both resources (and others) are available at no cost through his website, http://www.DocSpeak.com.