COVID19 Work

Day 59: Rough Day

May 13, 2020

Yesterday was . . . not a good day. I was thrown into a work situation (not related to call) and in retrospect, attending multiple planning meetings on my call day was a bad idea.

Also, while it is silly to blame my failures on personality type, I will note that:

  • Upholders DO NOT like having large ill-defined projects suddenly thrown at them without consent
  • Many Enneagram 3s probably have trouble just staying quiet during planning meetings when it would be better to just KEEP ONE’S OWN MOUTH SHUT AND JUST WAIT A HOT SECOND

Yeah. It was a rough day, and half of what was rough is that I feel I could have handled things better. Some features that are often advantageous can also be . . . bad. Especially when situations start to rapidly evolve from the norm. The current crisis has definitely brought me more clarity on that.

SO, what can I do? For the most part, I am not sure I have control of what gets thrown at me . . . it is part of my job, especially the GME one. And I cannot control others’ personalities, either. But I have 100% control over my response and how I handle things. If anyone has a good reference (book?) on how to overcome some of the above, I would love the recs. As much as I’m looking forward to reading Marie Kondo’s Joy at Work, I’m not sure she is going to have all the answers.

Well. Onward and upward. Today has to be better! I have ~3 hospital consults to start the day and then *hopefully* some time to catch up on other GME-related things. As much as I try to compartmentalize, sometimes I can’t entirely do it.


  • Barre Legs (shoulder continues to improve but I know I am not ready to get back to upper body work)
  • Headspace (I need it today!)

Ooh, and something to look forward to: Josh and the kids (yes even G . . . it was messy) prepped blueberry scones last night to bake this AM! Hooray! I miss my beloved Starbucks call treat.

Organize365 Update:

Day 2 was notable – we cleared off kitchen counters! I admit I left some key items (bananas . . . coffee maker . . . very frequently used cookbooks . . . medicines that are taken every morning) but I mostly followed her directive.

Here are the cleared surfaces!

Don’t hate on my (rented) formica countertops 🙂

That was fun! 2 days down, 98 to go!


  • Reply Emily May 13, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Your counters look great! (and for what it’s worth that material looks easy to clean) Hope you enjoy your blueberry scone and today goes more smoothly.

    • Reply Gwinne May 13, 2020 at 8:08 am

      Say more about this cleaning program….

      I had to do Strengths finder test for work and it explained so much when I also saw some colleagues answers….

  • Reply Irene May 13, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Are you trying the Beachbody Barre Blend? I finally gave in and tried BOD after your reviews of the 21 day fix and have also done a few on the Barre Blend work outs and liked them. I really can’t fit in every day work outs until I can reliably get up before my kids so am not following any specific program but trying to roughly get in a mix of cardio and strength (but probably not doing enough upper body- I hate having my upper body crazy sore when I need to lug my 2 year old around the rest of the day.

    Hope today is better! Yesterday was not my favorite either and I probably could have done better too.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 13, 2020 at 8:14 am

      I haven’t tried barre blend but I totally would! This is the Barre Legs workout in 21 Day Fix (it’s listed under extra bonus workouts). It’s not too hard but does make me shake so I figure it’s doing something 🙂

  • Reply Julie May 13, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Recommend Dr. Katrina Ubell’s podcast (even though it is called weight loss for busy physicians it is mostly about thought modeling, urge response and how to modify one’s responses to work, parenting, relationship, life and food situations). She’s a pediatrician turned life coach.

  • Reply chelseamcatmath May 13, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Curious… are you or your co-worker the Enneagram 3? I’m guessing you were referring to yourself…

    I’m a 1 and my DH is a 3 and I feel like understanding that about ourselves/each other was huge for our relationship (I know this is only tangential to what you wrote above). We are so a like in some ways, but man, there are some ways that we approach the world very differently!

    I think it would be interesting to hear an Enneagram/ personality type episode of BOBW. I would guess that Laura was a 5, but I had you pegged for a 1 also, so I’m probably totally wrong!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 13, 2020 at 9:34 am

      I am definitely not an Enneagram expert, but have gotten 3 on most quizzes I have taken and do feel it describes me, for better or for worse. I often get 1 as my “runner up”.

      I like systems and order but am actually not much of a perfectionist!

      • Reply chelseamcatmath May 13, 2020 at 11:03 am

        Having done a bit of a deep dive on this, the “perfectionist’ label for 1 is a big of a misnomer. It’s more like “to make more perfect” than “nit picky and obsessive” (though 1s under stress can definitely be nit picky and obsessive). The other name for the 1 is the Reformer.

        The big difference between 1s and 3s is that 3s are motivated by external praise, recognition and reward where 1s are motivated by an internal desire to make things “right” or “better”. So a healthy 1 is a super hero who is out to make the world a better place and an unhealthy 1 can’t submit a form because it isn’t exactly perfectly “right’. A healthy 3 can conquer the world and is incredibly accomplished /productive and an unhealthy 3 is obsessed with what other people think and will do anything to get ahead.

        I suppose the reason I thought you might be a 1 is that you seem to have (and get hung up on) a mental model of *right* that you work very hard to achieve, sometimes to your detriment (which totally resonates with me). I’m not on their payroll (though maybe I should be, lol), this is a pretty thorough side that talks about all the different types:

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 13, 2020 at 12:14 pm

          That description makes 3 sound quite diabolical 😱 I need to delve into this more …

          • chelseamcatmath May 13, 2020 at 12:48 pm

            I really didn’t mean to make the 3 type sound diabolical! My DH is a 3 and he’s a great guy – he’s extremely motivated and productive – but (and he would readily admit this), he really, really thrives on gold stars. And I just… don’t. On the plus side of being a 3, he is very practical and *much* better at prioritizing what is truly important, whereas I get caught up on some mental model of how things *should* be that may or may not be realistic or reflect my actual priorities.

          • Sarah Hart-Unger May 13, 2020 at 9:17 pm

            I love the insights. I definitely would like to learn more! And thank you for the clarification!

          • Mary May 14, 2020 at 6:28 am

            Oops. I meant to leave my comment below here, but it somehow ended up under Laura!

    • Reply Laura May 13, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      Ooh, a 5? Interesting. I will have to go check that out!

      • Reply Mary May 14, 2020 at 6:17 am

        I really wouldn’t worry to much about what the enneagram “says” about your personality. It’s not an evidence-based test of personality. If you want to see how you fare with a robust and empirically validated psychological test of personality, read up on the Big Five. I know lots of people like the enneagram, but it’s akin to those “personality” quizzes you’d find in a magazine and like astrological predictions, it’s right for some people some of the time, so people tend to give it more weight than it deserves.

        • Reply chelseamcatmath May 14, 2020 at 7:29 am

          Well, like other personality “tests” such as Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies (which both Sarah and Laura talk about a lot), the 5 Love Languages, Meyers-Briggs, etc. etc., I would say the Enneagram has value in so far as it can prompt self reflection and discussion for some people. I was not trying to promote it as being the end-all-be-all of personality typing or as being scientifically validated (which, as you point out, the Big Five is). I just find the whole personality thing entertaining and was curious if Laura resonated with the Enneagram 5 description at all.

  • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly May 13, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Have you read Crucial Conversations? There’s a book and also a class. I took it in person but there may be online options. There are a few big things I took from the class that have really helped me in these sorts of things. #1 is to pause before reacting and #2 is to find the “shared circle of meaning” e.g. we both have the same goal…at some level…and that is how we can work through challenging situations.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 13, 2020 at 10:47 am

      I need this class!

      • Reply Beth @ Parent Lightly May 13, 2020 at 12:28 pm

        I really liked it! I use it in my personal and professional life all the time. I’m taking it again with my team this year (hopefully).

  • Reply RKK May 13, 2020 at 10:15 am

    As a fellow 3, AMEN. I have been in that situation SO MANY TIMES! One book I would recommend (that is perhaps is not conventional) is ‘How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With your Kids’ by Carla Naumberg (a social worker.) Yes, it is aimed at staying calm and not spinning out of control with your kids, but the lessons it taught me about my triggers and how to manage them was invaluable. Also it is SHORT, relateable, an easy read, and super practical. Highly recommend as a handbook to life.

    • Reply Nan May 13, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      I loved this book too! A fun, easy read with great information and strategies too!

  • Reply CBS May 13, 2020 at 10:30 am

    I am so jealous of your counters! I have about half that number of cupboards and aspire someday to completely clean countertops but don’t think it’ll happen in this kitchen unless we get rid of everything and subsist off takeout.

  • Reply RKK May 13, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Also I will add about the ‘3’ conversation started above (that commenter Chelsea handled very diplomatically and generously!)
    As a 3 myself, I find that 3’s often get pigeonholed as status-seeking obsessives (which Chelsea did NOT to above – thank you!). I am a 3 and I am motivated mostly about my impact and legacy on the world – I want results and I want to get things done, so i can leave the world a better place! (And if i can get some gold stars for it, all the better 🙂 ) I do find that listening to podcast conversations with the different types helps to bring some depth to the profiles available online. Also of note – 3s can and do adapt their personalities to who their with, so they will seem more likeable. I don’t think that’s a 1 trait.

    • Reply chelseamcatmath May 14, 2020 at 7:21 am

      Yes! I really admire my 3 husband’s ability to read situations. He’s a professor so he works with lots of different “types” of people each day: great students, struggling students, administrators, colleagues, and he’s been successful because he does that extremely well. Caring what people think is not a bad thing! It’s what keeps society running. I my not “care what people think” but that’s also lead me to dead ends where I’m moralizing over something that literally no one cares about (probably even me), and I would have done very well with a big dose of caring what other people thought.

  • Reply Coco May 14, 2020 at 1:31 am

    i love clean counter too. clear counter, clear mind.

  • Reply Marthe May 18, 2020 at 7:04 am

    Thanks! She’s nice to listen to, although I’m not a physician.

    • Reply Marthe May 18, 2020 at 7:05 am

      That was meant for the Kantrina Ubell suggestion….

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