Dear stupidity, thank you next!

mental skills Jan 15, 2019
Photo by Rich Knecht

I knew the moment I looked at the clock, with those seconds converted to points, Indie qualified for the 2019 AKC Agility Nationals! I was ecstatic and near tears as this was yet another unexpected dream realized. We both ran back to her crate for her jackpot, bouncing for very different reasons.

As always, Indie was likely unaware of this human goal and would have been even less thrilled had she known it meant another lengthy road trip! At seven-and-a-half, she was just in it for the love of the game, the Nutter Butters and becoming a more entitled veteran with every run.

Months later, the standings confirmed our qualification and I blocked off the week in March for the big event. Weeks after that another email arrived confirming that Moxie qualified for Rally as well – would I take two dogs? Wheee!!

My love of big events is well known. Yet, I am seldom as dumb as I was this month as I missed the agility entry deadline. Yes, you read that right, the person who was so looking forward to running at nationals missed the effing deadline. #wtf #crushed

I know how I did it now: the Rally deadline is Jan 23rd and I confused the two, thinking I had time – oh, how we always think we have time! Ugh! So there I sat, at work (obviously), near tears over my mistake.

Bounce back? Or just go on with it?

I don’t believe in glossing over moments like this with all the spiritual platitudes like, “It wasn’t meant to be,” or, “it happened for a reason,” or “something better is coming.” Yes, I believe in those things, but not before processing. While minuscule in the greater context of life – and I truly get that – letting go of any dream needs to be processed. Maybe because this all could have been avoided with a simple reminder set in any one of my calendar devices. I will need to go through all the phases: sadness, disappointment, anger (at myself), embarrassment, shame and the loss that this is likely a chance gone forever for this dog.

We all get to process first, and we all process differently. Obviously, I will get over this quickly, but I’m going to allow myself a moment to actually feel the thing because it’s personal to me. Eventually this will just become an anecdote of a time I was an idiot, but for now it’s a major disappointment.

For others, it’s making a handling error in the ring that costs you a run; getting dumped in conformation that costs you the points; misreading the schedule and missing your class … (Note: ALL of these things have happened to me in the last quarter!) Regardless, life goes on according to its own rhythm, and with time comes perspective.

Watch your mind

What we say to ourselves in these moments matters. Our self-talk is critical in how we process as well as how we move forward. I’m currently feeling stupid for such an avoidable error, but none of my friends would call me that (I mean, probably? Ha!). Or said another way, if I call myself stupid, then I will believe my thoughts, then I will become them, then … well, that’s where disappointment becomes wallowing.

To constructively bounce back is to take a moment to process WITHOUT putting the moment on replay. What we think about, we attract and I need (and want) to move onto my next run, my next trial, my next chance to succeed. Replaying the mistake won’t get me there.

Gratitude will always help me bounce back faster as it puts the world back in perspective. Life is about moving forward and having the guts to step to the line again and again. “The honor goes to those in the arena,” as the quote goes. So … thank you, next.

Wanna get these sent to your inbox?

Trade me your email addy and I'll send you the latest news and updates from our team. Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. I will never sell your information, for any reason.