I have a teenager.
Please respect my privacy during this difficult time.
Okay, moving on.
He informed me the other day that I say something “super annoying” to him.
I was just thrilled that it was SOMEthing, and not several things.
Hey, you take the time to celebrate the small miracles in life…
I took the bait and asked him what it was that was super annoying.
“When you tell me that I am the captain of my own ship and how I choose to sail that day is up to me.”
How dare I place accountability for his day on his wee little shoulders, right?
I casually asked him why that annoyed him so much.
He sat there for a good five minutes before saying, “I just don’t like it”.
That didn’t give me much to work with.
After pulling a conversation out of him like prying flat Legos apart he told me that sometimes he just doesn’t want to have a positive attitude.
Join the club, I thought to myself.
We had a nice follow up conversation about how our attitudes determine our days and how they truly affect those around us regardless of intention.
This open and honest conversation with my thirteen-year-old made me think about myself.
It made me think about my coworkers.
The people I spent the most time with.
The thirteen-year old within me wanted to agree that accountability for my mood IS hard.
I don’t always feel chipper.
I don’t always want to spew glitter at the walls.
I don’t always have it within me to do it.
However, the forty something year old in me knows that part of accountability is not spreading those days to others.
How often do we enter our workplace and think, I just don’t want to be here today?
You can love what you do and enjoy your mission, but there will be days where you are just not feeling it.
This doesn’t make you a craptastical employee.
(I made that word up. It amuses me.)
This makes you human.
What would slide you down the scale would be if you took that mood and smacked all of your coworkers with it for funsies.
In fact, it happens all of the time.
Just as I tell my teenager that he is in control of how he navigates his day, it isn’t far-fetched to say that I give myself the same pep talk from time to time.
I admit, sometimes my “ship” sails nicely down calm waters serene enough to hear a faint banjo in the background.
Sometimes the ship has a hole, I am screaming “Mayday! Mayday!” and people are walking the plank without prompting.
The accountability portion is taking those “mayday” moments and focusing on what IS going right.
Okay so the “ship” has a hole.
How can I patch that sucker up and keep sailing on?
Sure, sometimes it is easier to complain, growl, and bring others to the pity party table for one, BUT what does that truly solve?
It creates a day that you can’t get away from.
So, I get why my son finds my ship example annoying.
Especially on days that I am not feeling very smooth sailing-ish.
I also know that the days it annoys me are probably the days I need to be reminded the most.
Take care of your ship, people.
Shine that sucker.
Mop the deck.
Bedazzle it if you have to.
That ship will inevitably meet another ship throughout the day.
It’s your responsibility to share the waters of attitude respectfully.
Come on Captain.
You’ve got this.