Yesterday I decided to buy a case of steaks from a guy working for a meat delivery service who was driving around our neighborhood. I’d seen the truck before, his story got me, he had organic meat available, and the price per steak was amazing. I didn’t have to commit to any sort of regular service, and he assured me that if I was unhappy for any reason, I could call and he’d come back and let me pick out any other selection I’d like. The guy wasn’t pushy; I felt okay about it all.
After telling my husband about it, I began to think I may have been a bit suckered by the original story about why the prices were so low (his fiance or girlfriend was having a c-section the next day so he was trying to unload as much as he could before then). However, the steaks were tasty and everyone enjoyed dinner.
Fast forward to this morning. The initial high had long worn off; I wondered how I could have been so stupid. Yes, I may have gotten exactly what he said it was and his story may have been true. However, it may have been total BS and the meat could have been some regular old variety of beef (or worse). My head spun with all sorts of horrible possibilities; I felt worse and worse, embarrassed and ashamed. What did the friend I was with at the time think, not to mention my husband? How could I have been so stupid???
With my head replaying the events and feelings of shame and embarrassment growing, I wanted to crawl back into bed. I clearly had poor judgment and should not be allowed out of the house alone. How could I be trusted with anything? What was the next stupid decision I was going to make?
I eventually dragged my butt to my yoga mat to do my regular morning routine; I started the DVD and got moving. Though I wanted to stop, I told myself I should at least get it done. No reason to add another notch to the “I can’t do anything right” stick before the day had even started.
You know what? After about 10 dreadful minutes, I started to feel better. The ocean of shame and embarrassment started to part; other thoughts came in as my mind cleared.
First off, I hadn’t been totally irresponsible. Yes, it may have been a BS story and somewhat of a rash decision. However, I had seen the truck and heard of such services before, as well as looked at all of the steaks before deciding to buy. I also made sure nothing smelled funny, nor did I get a “the hair is standing up on the back of my neck” feeling when talking with him (and while feedback online I looked up after the fact wasn’t great, most of the poor feedback was on pushy salespeople or rubbery, tough meat). We all made it through the night without food poisoning. While the organic nature of the steak may be debatable, the steaks themselves seem fine.
Second, even if the rest of the steaks turn out bad and the money is wasted, it’s okay in the big scheme of things. No, I may not be able to get the money back, but I was thoughtful about how I paid him (cash, rather than giving more info with a check or credit card). I didn’t sign up for anything and I can use this as a learning experience to do more research before saying yes in the future. I recognize I look for the best in people and can take things at face value (which I love about myself). With that said, a reminder to use an extra layer of discernment can be helpful sometimes.
The third and fourth things that came to mind are probably most important: when I stay in the shame and embarrassment place (which was uncomfortably familiar — I’d lived here for years when I was struggling with eating disorders and alcohol and was taken back to that place this morning), I’m the one holding myself there — it’s a choice. And my morning self-care routine is mission critical for me.
My husband hadn’t made me feel bad about my decision, nor had my friend. I was the one worrying about what they might have thought and lambasting myself over and over. No one else was. (And that’s not to say there aren’t times there may be feedback from the outside about decisions. However, it really struck me that whatever I was saying inside could be the most hurtful or helpful).
Getting my butt going with my normal bit of exercise helped stop the downward spiral (I see I could have fallen really far, if I’d let myself). Instead, the day has been another interesting bag of fun rather than being totally unproductive, full of eating garbage, and with lots of yelling at my kids and myself before deciding the rest of the week was going to be terrible (had I stayed in shame and embarrassment). I’m really proud of myself for shifting my head around. Heck, I’m even getting a blog post (and laugh) out of the whole thing. Several years ago this wouldn’t have been the case at all. While my self-care routine is helpful when I wake up feeling good, I see it’s mission critical to do on days I wake up feeling bad — it can stop me from a tailspin.
Anyway, a reminder that doozies, mistakes, and poor judgment will happen sometimes (and it’s okay — it doesn’t mean we’re terrible human beings failing at life). Hopefully we can take the learnings, get a laugh, and keep on with the self-care. We’re doing fine.