Always have a plan b and when you need to execute it, try to stay calm

Stressing out the past few weeks has really done a number on me. Despite the paperwork which clearly indicates, “I should be fine, financially,” I’m not. Plan B was supposed to be if things hit the fan, which they weren’t supposed to do. My backup was just that, my backup. It was not, “The plan.” So on Friday, I took a sick day because, mentally, I couldn’t keep it together. Having a Plan B is one thing; following through, another. Feeling miserable the entire day, I slogged through a ton of paperwork, figured out how to pull it all together and then started.

Next week, I’m taking a few days vacation to finish up the work I have to do. I’m feeling a bit better now, and will be fine in a few days, before I head back to work. I miss it already, even though I was there Thursday. When work is awesome, when the people you interact with are fixtures in your life, unplugging can be a challenge on it’s own. However, when you’re stressed to the max and feel like you’re drowning, you have to hit the pause button. Figure things out, and then resume.

Why it’s not about me, and it’s been hard to stay calm

Yesterday, I had to tell my twelve year old son I wouldn’t make it overseas this month and that it would be July, more than likely, when I come for a visit. Hearing the disappointment in his voice hit me like a ton of bricks, and unfortunately, Plan B is where I don’t end up visiting this month like I had planned. It’s one thing to understand, intellectually, that I’m experiencing, “First World Problems.” It’s another entirely to feel the emotional roller coaster of missing your children.

The big lesson in all this has been to have a better Plan B in place, and also craft a safety net. I don’t have the kind of family I can call up to bail me out; if I want options in life, I have to make them. So far, I’m the black sheep of the family in many, many ways. Often, I ignore the advice I get from my older brother. A week ago, I chatted with him for a while on the phone, and he agreed, my situation sucks. He also confirmed, “You need to execute Plan B.” That helped. I know that we don’t get to pick our family, but between him and my dad yesterday, offering a hand…it feels good.

I love my job, I love the people in my life and I will do better going forward. It hurts to share even this much but for the past month, ever since I knew I’d have to pull the rip cord on my backup fiscal strategy, I’ve been depressed. Knowing I can’t see my kids for another few months hurts; any parent understands.

For whatever reason, there have been two Goodrich boys each generation the past three. My dad was one of two, I’m one of two and so far, my boys are the only two for this generation. While generations past, my surname came from England, I’m an American, through and through. The idea that I leave my progeny better off than I was is part and parcel of what being American means to me.

Today, I’m not writing this about work, about me, or about my challenges in life. I’m writing this so that maybe, just maybe, my boys understand why I can’t be there with them for a week this month like I had promised. I’m sorry. I know how to solve this for the future, but the reality is, that’s months from now. I’ll Skype more often until I see you again.