So I've been working on the same technical issue for about 2 weeks now.  

If you really want to know, what I'm trying to do is build a prototype website, running on Apache Tomcat, that uses PKI certificates to pre-authenticate the user so that they don't have to log in, but can just proceed, pre-authenticated, right to the site.  

It hasn't been going well.  The documentation for the software and components I'm using to do this isn't the best, and it's something I'm dreadfully unfamiliar with.

I told my friend Amelia about this and she said, totally helpfully:

"I like potatoes."

Which, I can agree with.  Potatoes are delicious, and clearly can be really good company on the couch, when you're watching say, a cooking show about how to prepare potatoes.  (Ghoulish, I know, but stick with me, I was upset.)

Anyhow, so for the past 9 days, I've been trying to steadily make this thing work.  I had one problem after another, but finally got to the point where I thought that maybe, just maybe, I had this thing licked.


Around the end of the day I summoned my boss over to my desk, and proceeded to entirely lose my shit about it.  I told him, and several other higher-ups in the company how hopelessly, irrevocably, totally, galactically, nay, cosmically, fucked I and thus we, were.  I said that all these other project dependencies downstream from my figuring this out were about to slide to the right, more like death-march to the right, like a soldier on a grim, hopeless hike, heading to his eventual death, while carrying a 50 pound sack of potatoes.

Well, maybe not in quite those words, but that was the general gist of the idea.

This did not in fact result in my immediate dismissal.  Nor did men with butterfly nets come to collect me from the premises for a thoughtful time-out in a padded room.

What did in fact happen was that my colleagues and superiors rallied around me, offering advice and support, and assuring me that as long as I was just doing my best, not to sweat it, and that we'd get there eventually.

I felt immensely better, and went home, convinced that tomorrow would be the day I would slay this terrible thing.

The gem of gratitude from all this was my reconnecting to an essential truth.  It's okay, and even helpful, to be upset, and to express that upset to others.  It has purpose.  It helps evoke human connection.  It helps you chase the gnawing brain weasels out of your head kitchen so you can concentrate on making dinner.  (I recommend some nice potatoes.)  There's a Pixar movie that teaches this exact same lesson, called Inside Out.  It's really, really great.  You should go see it.

I'm glad I had a meltdown.  I'm glad that it's okay for me to do that.  I'm glad it's okay for you to do it, too.



AuthorMako Allen
Categories365 Gratitude