How to Enjoy The Sh*t Sandwich

Every job - especially teaching (and most jobs require some teaching, so guess what? I’m talking to you!) - has a sh*t sandwich. A sh*t sandwich is a sandwich that you have to eat to do any job. It’s the crappy part of any situation.

Guess what? I hate going to meetings. But it’s part of the sh*t sandwich. Meetings happen. I don’t like meetings. There is no proactive trick I can do to avoid meetings. (Sure, I could rock out a positive mind frame and choose to be present over perfect - but I won’t get ahead of myself.) Sh*t sandwiches exist.

The introverted custodian has to talk to people saying “hi” to him. The outgoing politician has to do paperwork. The justice-driven lawyer has to wear a suit and tie. Sh*t sandwiches.

So, here’s the trick. Enjoy your sh*t sandwiches. Do the tried and true Dialectical Behavior skill of ODP (Observe - Describe - Participate).

  • OBSERVE that sh*t sandwich. (“I see that I have to go to a meeting.)

  • DESCRIBE that sh*t sandwich. (“Alas! A room of people I don’t want to talk to or see.”)

  • Determine how you will PARTICIPATE in it. (“I’m going to turn this into a game. I’m going to be radically positive and accepting. I’m not going to take what is being said overly seriously because I am CHOOSING to take MYSELF super seriously.”)

Don’t listen to the crap. The only way out isn’t through. The only way out is taking a bite of that sh*t sandwich. Yum! Once you stop denying or covering up the fact that the sh*t sandwich exists, guess what? That sh*t sandwich gets all tasty because you are adding so many more delicious, authentic ingredients. Hello, creamy self-love! Hey there, tangy radical acceptance. Oh hi, peppery joy and humor. Yum indeed!

Until next time,

Joel & Jessie

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Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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