Notes from Colleen’s Desk: Meltdown Moments and Checking Out Intentionally

Yep. I had a complete meltdown last week.  While I can speak somewhat humorously about it now, reflections on that moment – truthfully, several days of reflection – are painful.

If there were a perfect time for a meltdown, last Thursday evening might have been as good as it gets, given I was already scheduled for a 4-day weekend. As such, I could step away from my unexpected meltdown moment at home and pontificate – intermodal travel style via plane, light rail, ferry and car – as I ventured north to visit my youngest son. Lots of alone time to beat myself up, figuratively speaking.

I just read a digital email blog from an industry group as I was bemoaning my own vulnerability and bad behavior. The gist of that writing was something to the effect of “showing up, inspiring others, being changemakers, fighting for justice, and taking action.”

All good things to do – and most of you know that I am definitely a doer – until one behaves badly and negates all the good one might have accomplished.

I’d like to suggest a different tactic: checking out intentionally.

God had a good thing in mind when He created and strongly recommended a day of rest. All work and no play is a recipe for disastrous meltdowns. Eventually.  It happens to the best of us as we take on a wee bit too much, work incessantly, and forget our humanity. We become undone.

The SOREDI staff is an amazing, passionate team and we are prone quite frequently to multi-tasking and working a bit while also on vacation. And sometimes that is what needs to happen.  But it is not intended to be the norm. It is truly hard for us though to intentionally check out.

I fully expected to participate in a zoom meeting or two while traveling on the ferry, catch up on reading that was long ago set aside while on flights and the light rail. Alas, I did not. Instead, I read a romance novel of sorts (gasp!) and took several naps.

I have nothing terribly enlightening or witty to share beyond my admonishment to acknowledge your limitations and take a long beach walk with a buddy.  A little sand in your toes will do you good. Really good.

Here’s my list of pointed reminders may be fruitful for list-people (like me) that need a little guidance:

  • -Acknowledge God’s amazing grace and mercy.
  • -Sweep up your messes, particularly if you break something.
  • -Make amends quickly with the ones who buffeted your behavioral breakdown.
  • -Reassure your dog that you are okay.
  • -Forgive yourself.
  • -Give yourself permission to unapologetically and intentionally check out.
  • -Refresh and reengage with a smile, knowing your spark will return.


Keep trekking,

Colleen Padilla, Executive Director

Trail Name: Spark

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