I’ll Be Sick For Christmas
This year for Christmas, Santa brought my family a stomach bug. Instead of waking to little feet excitedly running down the stairs to tear open presents, I rose to the sounds of my son vomiting - at 4:45am. This was after my wife spent all night rushing back and forth from the couch to the bathroom to be sick. Obviously, this wasn’t how I pictured our morning playing out.
Still, despite everything, I had a pretty good Christmas. Yes, there was the rude awakening, the need to pause after opening every fourth or fifth gift so someone could get sick, and a family who spent more of the day asleep than awake, but in the end, we made the best of the situation and didn’t allow images of how the day was supposed to go ruin what good there was in how the day actually went.
In the spirit of full disclosure, let me assure you that I am not always so Zen with my attitude. On the contrary, I tend to build things up in my head and set unrealistic expectations for experiences – only to be let down and disappointed when those experiences do not live up to my lofty expectations. I do this with vacations, parties, gifts that I give, conversations I have, and more.
The holidays are no exception to this rule. In fact, I love the Christmas season more than any other and I set my expectations way high this time of year. How high? Let’s just say that I can really relate to Clark W. Griswold.
This is why my “make the best of the day and keep a positive attitude” outlook on Christmas was a refreshing, and surprising, development. Instead of making the situation worse with a poor attitude, I remained upbeat and retained some Christmas cheer for my sick family.
It’s Easy To Be Happy When You’re Not Sick
Now, you may be thinking, “It’s easy to say you had a good Christmas and kept up your holiday cheer - you weren’t the one who was sick!”
You’re right, it would’ve been a lot harder to remain positive had I been the one rushing to the bathroom every 15 minutes, but that’s the lesson here! I wasn’t the one who was most affected by the day’s unfortunate turn of events, so it was my responsibility to take care of those who were. That meant helping to see to their physical needs by making sure they were keeping their fluids up and were comfortable as they rested. It also, however, meant that I had to try to salvage what I could of the holiday.
The stomach bug would pass, but the memories of this Christmas would remain. I wanted to make sure that when my family thought back to this Christmas, they would say, “Wow, that was a rough year, but we made the best of it and had a good day despite everything.”
Back To Work
If you provide a service to customers, then this lesson in making the best of a bad situation, and doing what you can to guide those most affected by that bad situation through it, applies to the work that you do.
Your customers pay you for more than the products or services you provide. They hire you for the guidance and leadership you can offer – in both good times and bad. It is during those bad times where you can really shine and show your true value, because that is when your customers need you most.
Help a customer through the good times and they will be thankful. Help them through the bad times and not only will they be thankful, but they will remember who was there for them in their time of crisis.
My Merry Christmas
Looking back on this holiday, I expect that my family will remember the sickness, but I know that is not all we will remember. The time that we spent together simply watching movies and playing board games between naptimes was pretty awesome, as was the fact that despite the turn of events, we didn’t allow it to ruin our day. Gifts were still opened, smiles were still on our faces, and joy and love still flowed through our home. It was still Christmas.
I hope your holidays involved 100% less puke than mine did – and if they did not, I hope you were able to make the best of the situation still have a very merry Christmas.