Stay Calm. Make Pancakes.

A BA Woman

BA Women's Words

October 16, 2019

Each week a BA Woman contributes to our BA Women's Words—a bloglette posted on Friday mornings where we tackle gendered issues to advance the educational, personal, and professional development of women who seek to make a difference in the world. 

Read on for EmpowHERing words by confident women living dynamic, complex lives. Have something to explore, share, declare, or celebrate with us?
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It was midnight and I stood in my kitchen, donning sweatpants and cozy socks, making pancakes. As I ate a semi-burned stack, I wondered what in the world I was doing. How did my day end up here?

In short, I made a mistake at work earlier that day and couldn’t shake it off. I missed a vital email from my boss, which requested a time-sensitive update on my projects. I didn’t realize this email was sitting in my inbox until about 8pm... when she emailed me again with the subject line “URGENT” for a status update, as she needed my work to support hers for a big meeting the next day. Cue the panic.

The realization I was responsible for my own undoing (and that of my professional reputation) quickly led me through the the sibling emotions of blame and shame. I told myself: “You idiot, why didn’t you open the email sooner?!”, and “You pride yourself on professionalism and reliability! You deserve the pain of your career imploding because you’ve failed to live your values!!” Yes, that happened.

After an hour of panicked working, I got my boss what she needed. But I also couldn't stop unravelling. I googled how to recover in the face of professional disaster. Here’s what I learned: Stay calm. Make pancakes. An important life lesson if there ever was one.

Scrolling through blog after blog, career woman and life coach alike advise this: do not panic; mistakes happen; take responsibility—and take it a day at a time. So, I had to let that sink in. I wasn’t terrible; I was human. I needed to take a breath and accountability, but also to tell myself it was going to be okay—that I’m okay—and get some sleep in order to get back to work in the morning. So, panic work submitted, I did just that: I took care of me. I put on my coziest sweats, Nina Simone playing in the background, and whipped up a batch of my favorite breakfast-for-dinner.

In that moment, I felt downright BA. The blame and shame was flooded out by the powerful combination of hard work and self compassion…. my cozy socks and me, enjoying an unplanned midnight snack.

Stuff might get hard, and stuff will get messy. But that’s okay. Not if, but when you make mistakes, here’s my advice: Stay calm. Make pancakes. You’re more than okay.

Eating midnight pancakes,

A BA Woman

A BA Woman is a member of our community who has a perspective to share, ideas to spread, and words worth hearing. She's tenacious, compassionate, and lifts as she climbs. She's totally BA. She could be anyone—her words are relatable because she gets us like no one else.

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