A couple days ago a long time client called me twice and hung up both times before I could answer. I immediately called back because I thought it was my phone doing the hanging up and said “Hey there! What can I do for you?” to which my client said “Sorry, I called the wrong Heather.” My first reaction was to say “Alrighty then, have a good day” and then cordially hang up. I call the wrong people all the time. I have also been known to accidentally include clients and friends in group texts to my children in messages like: “Come unload the groceries”, or “please get the house clean before I get home at five-ish”. I blame stuff like this on my bad vision and a fast paced life. I know my client well enough to mostly understand it was a dialing error. Seriously, no big deal. Right?
But about 45 seconds later my ego caught up with me and screamed “WTF! What do you MEAN the wrong Heather? I’m the absolute right damn Heather! Surely you KNOW this after all these years!”
For the record, my ego is about five years old in maturity level, so I was able to observe this irrational, full blown temper tantrum building inside me. I felt taken over for a minute and had this overwhelming desire to throw my body down on the floor, kick my legs, pound my fists and hold my breath until someone, namely my client, told me I was the right Heather.
Imagine me calling my client back “Um. Hey there. Sorry to bug you, but I just needed to make you aware that I am actually the RIGHT Heather, so you should probably admit you really meant to dial the WRONG Heather but dialed the right Heather instead. There is no RIGHTER Heather than ME. I feel like we should set things straight so that you don’t make that mistake again. You’re welcome. I’m always here to help.”
Quite frankly, it’s a miracle I do any business with anyone because that is exactly the kind of thing I do all the time when I let my over sensitive ego take over. Although, typically I would have not had to call my client back. Had my ego been in her full on A-Game, a beat would have not been missed in the original conversation, and my voice would have changed to a flirty/silly/smartass tone and replied “Oh contraire mon amie, you have reached the absolute RIGHT Heather. You must be confused” thereby deflecting any emotional harm with sarcasm so that things wouldn’t fester to the point that the next time I talked with that client I started with “Hi There. This is the WRONG Heather. So I probably can’t help you.”
Which is pretty much what I did. Thereby making myself the totally wrong Heather for said client.
The fact that I’m actually writing about a casual, six word sentence tells me I have some serious work to do in terms of taming my inner five year old brat girl. The fact that I can’t fling stuff that should not MATTER out of my mind like I do dust from my house is extremely annoying.
That’s of course a terrible analogy for me personally. Dust bugs me so much. But over the last few years I have not been as willing to personally take care of it on a regular basis. There is other shit I would much rather do. Instead I mostly just stare at the accumulating dust and scowl at it until I’m annoyed enough to ask someone else to do it. Unfortunately, the other members of my family are SURFACE dusters. They aren’t bothered by dust like I am so they dust just enough to appease me and this knowledge festers: dust behind the t.v., on the blades of our numerous fans, behind the couches against the wall, or along the baseboards. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the dust and literally start grinding my teeth. When this happens I know that eventually I’m going to have to make time to do the deep cleaning or I will end up in the dentist’s chair, which is waaaaay worse than dusting.
If any of you have or have had a five year old, when you asked them to do something seemingly simple like “please pick up that ONE toy and put it away” did they fling themselves down into a tantrum in complete rebellion? Did they exhaust themselves over the IDEA of picking up the toy, expending in their anarchy fourteen times the energy it would have taken to pick up the toy?
That’s me a lot of the time. I’m about to turn fifty three but I still sometimes react to things that people I care about say and do like a five year old which will then lead to a whole bunch of agonizing over-thinking and expenditure of energy that could be completely avoided if I would just shrug that shit off.
So maybe that IS a good analogy in that I tend to fester on silly thoughts until I’m so damn tired of them that I am at last good and ready to fucking dust and get on with more important things.
I could tell when it was time to ‘do the dusting’ by the seemingly small miracles that nudged me toward clear headedness:
- A long run on my (dusty) treadmill where on the wall, among many other things is written in my very own handwriting “You can decide to make yourself miserable or strong. Both take the same amount of effort and energy”.
- A timely Instagram tag from my fourth born, 19 year old son, who had no idea I was stewing on something as silly as a wrong dial: “Let go of overthinking. All is well. It never worked for you & all of your greatest accomplishments, ideas, solutions came from the state of joy, peace and clarity. You’re worthy of the best life has to offer. Choose higher frequencies. You’re worthy.” –@mindssetofgreatness
- A delightful and soothing conversation with someone for whom I AM the right Heather, causing me to realize I can not be the right Heather for everyone. That would be exhausting and very time consuming. Understanding who is in my true circle of influence has taken a lot of painful and careful soul searching. We can not be all things to all people all the time.
It’s possible I never was the right Heather for my customer but was blinded by my own ego or emotional attachment and simply believed I was important. Or maybe at one point in time I WAS but because we both changed so much over the years we are no longer right for each other. That happens all the time in business and in life and I know it’s time to accept and shrug this perplexing reality off like my skin shrugs itself anew every seven years.
That of course makes a whole bunch of damn dust.
For the record: were my client to read this self-soothing, sorting out blog post, I would be called an ‘overthinking gooberhead’. Sometimes even when you’re the wrong Heather to someone they can still know you pretty well.
Though this could simply be the Right Heather writing to right herself.
For five years I worked with someone else called Suzanne and I was always known as “the other Suzanne”. She just retired and at her Zoom party, I said, “Now I’m the ONLY Suzanne!” Luckily, everyone laughed. It didn’t bother me that much tbh, but people used to send me emails meant for her all the time and then apologize but at least I got to find out interesting stuff that was happening in other departments!
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