Riding the Wave One Choice at a Time

by | Oct 27, 2023

Yesterday, I got out of bed and immediately opened my computer to send an email to cancel a call for later that day. I was not in the mood. 

I immediately got an email back saying it was too late to cancel..she could make an exception, but I didn’t want to be that person. I was trying to figure out a nice way to respond, “FINE,” when my phone rang. It was Amy, calling to go on our walk and talk. I hit the cancel button. I was not in the mood. 

At that point, the dog came up, staring at me as he does, whining for his walk. I was not in the mood, but I couldn’t not walk the dog.

I angrily tapped out the email saying I’d be there for the call. I redialed Amy and told her sorry for being late. I trudged out on my walk, warning Amy my “balloon” was full of crankiness, and she said, “Let it out!” 

I did for about five minutes, and then we were back to our normal brainstorming and bantering. I was building up a sweat, and Steve (the dog) was eating every random scrap of food he could find on the walk…the mood started shifting for both of us.

I got home, knew it was a red lipstick fun earrings sort of day, and put them on: mood improving. 

Went to get my tea. Steve had hurled up the neighborhood street smorgasbord all over the floor. Mood, with the potential to plummet…maintained. 

I got on the first of the back to back to back calls I had that day, part of what was causing my original mood. My colleague asked, “How’s it going?” 


Let’s face it. That’s a loaded and potentially exhausting and mood-busing question these days. 

I took a breath and quickly assessed the mood trajectory of the day. It had started off hellishly low and was slowly working its way up to mildly acceptable. Choice by choice. Step by step. Reaction by reaction. 

How would I choose to respond?

“I delivered a really powerful and fun keynote a few weeks ago which featured Rick Astley, me in a silver unitard cameo, and a room full of 150 women embracing their bold as just a few highlights. Want to hear about it?” 

I mean obv. 😉

I then listened to my colleague who had a rough day of it the day before, but by the end of the call, we were both laughing and scheduling the next call to catch up because we felt so fired up. Mood: energized. 

Next came the call that I had tried to cancel with my coach. She asked what was going on. I told her I wasn’t in the mood, but here I am. She asked what I had going on in general, and I proceeded to list off a bunch of cool stuff I’ve been learning and progress I’ve been making on some projects, and she said, “Do you realize how much you have to celebrate?” 

My response: “Do we ever?” 🙄

Mood after the OG call that had originally set me off was completed: fired up, feeling accomplished, feeling the momentum. 

I woke up yesterday done, tired, and spent. My initial choice was to throw in the towel, to cancel calls, to hang up on people. Perhaps a mood a lot of us are feeling these days. That mood came really close to sweeping over me and taking me out. Then what would have come of my day?

No walk, no calls, no celebrations, no connection. (One could argue no dog puke…)

Instead, I crashed on the couch hard at the end of my day. I was exhausted, tired, spent, and done. Yet, there was that undercurrent of exhilaration from handling the day as I had. The undercurrent of connection. The undercurrent of gratitude for the people in my life. 

The wave of wallowing and overwhelm, combined with an invite to my own pity party, almost took me out yesterday morning. 

Choice by choice, I rode that wave. Response by response, I rode that wave. Connection after connection, I rode that wave up instead of letting it take me out. 

There are some stormy waves out there these days. Choice by choice, step by step, keep riding your wave the best you can. 


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