I walked my dog while listening to "The Gifts of Imperfection" this morning, and the part I'm on is titled "cultivating self-compassion." Good stuff. After dog walking I went to Target to get:
1. Things Tucker needs for his Beauty and the Beast costume
2. Something for our family for Christmas (shhhh!)
3. Snacks and community service project stuff for Girls on the Run today
I got a phone call in the store, and decided to answer, although I didn't recognize the number.
The call was from the nurse who is going to evaluate my mom for PERS long-term care coverage. We had scheduled an appointment for this Thursday, and I needed to change the date and time. But since I couldn't find his number (although I thought I'd put it down somewhere), I had to call PERS directly yesterday to have them ask him to call me.
He started by identifying himself, and then said, "Yeah, PERS wants to know why I'm not in touch with my clients directly. They were surprised that you had to call them to get in touch with me, and must be thinking "what's going on with the nurses in California?"" I told him I'd misplaced his number, and then asked if we could change the date for the evaluation. He wanted to keep it on the same day, and I told him I needed to do the next week if possible. He said, "They really want to get this evaluation done soon, so I don't know that pushing it to next week is such a great idea."
So while we're having this conversation, my mood is plummeting, because all I can hear in my mind is, "You always screw things up. You ALWAYS screw things up!" And when he said rescheduling wasn't a good idea, I countered with "I think I'll just withdraw the claim if it's causing so many problems for everyone." (This was said seriously and with a ton of discouragement, not sarcastically. I don't get mad; I get sad.)
Then he backpedaled, becoming more open to options. I explained that my best times are morning and early afternoon, but my mom doesn't get up till noon or 1:00. I didn't add that I have clients 2 days a week (in the afternoons), Girls on the Run 2 days a week (also afternoons), and that WE'VE ALREADY DONE THIS EVALUATION, SO WHILE I GET THAT I HAVE TO DO IT, I DON'T REALLY WANT TO! So finding a time that I can get to Sacramento and have her evaluated is difficult logistically.
We agreed to next Thursday at 11:00. And said goodbye. That's when the shame started washing over me. I was in the middle of Target with nothing in my basket (but still with the list of what needed getting) and just wanting to cry. Leaving without shopping wasn't an option, so I started pushing the cart. I felt awful for putting Bill the nurse in a bad situation. And I know that my husband would never have lost the phone number. Now the very familiar refrain of "I try so hard, and it's still never good enough" started up. But then I started thinking about the "practicing self-compassion" stuff I'd heard this morning. I also thought about just doing "what's inside my hula hoop." And I considered asking the question, "What's the truth here?' Here's what I came up with:
1. It is perfectly reasonable to change an appointment.
2. Sometimes people misplace phone numbers.
3. Bill's job or how he's perceived is not my responsibility.
That is my experience with practicing shame resilience today.