There are plenty of “words to live by” in this world. Of all the sayings and phrases out there the one I’ve chosen for my life is and will always be “you gotta do what you gotta do.” That’s my official motto. I’m not sure when I decided on this way of life but it’s been well over 20 years. I think that it means many different things to many different people, but when I hear this phrase it elicits a particular story that I want to share with you. It’s perhaps one of the most embarrassing stories of my life.
A number of years ago my websites went down for a prolonged period of time. And when I say prolonged I mean they were literally down for over a week. I’ve told this story more than once to demonstrate a few points, but the story I’m about to tell you has never been shared. When my sites went down I was so stressed that I didn’t eat. Some people cope with stress by overeating. At this particular time I dealt with my stress by starving myself because I was glued to the computer the whole time.
Needless to say I lost anywhere from 10-15 pounds that week. I was also severely dehydrated. It was just an awful week and I sincerely hope I never experience a week like that again in my entire life. But here’s the real story:
At the beginning of this dreadful week I knew that I had plans to have a big steak dinner with some of my high school buddies. When we get together we go big and tend to eat quite a bit. This dinner had been planned for a while. There was no chance I was getting out of this thing. While it wasn’t on the front of my mind I couldn’t help but to think if this website issue persisted that there was no way I would go to this dinner. I remember thinking this on a Monday and the dinner was on a Friday.
Right around Thursday night I was still crazy stressed but amazingly my sites came back online. My stress levels were way lower and I began to focus on that steak dinner. I was super excited. Only one issue. Was a steak dinner the right kind of meal to reintroduce my famished and dehydrated body to after this week of hell? The answer was clearly no. But that was the last thing on my mind.
I drove into New York City (about an hour drive from my house) and proceeded to have one of the biggest dinners I had in a very long time. I felt fine. No ill effects. Well, not yet. Of course in the middle of my drive home, right as I’m on the highway I feel one of the worst pains in my stomach that I’ve felt in a while.
I knew exactly what was going on. It was awful. What in the world was I supposed to do? I remember being kind of close to my mother in law’s house and I planned on heading there. The issue was I didn’t think I was going to make it. And I was right.
To make the long story short, I pulled over on the side of the highway (mind you it’s like 11pm), ran into the grass, and did what I had to do. I had no toilet paper, no wipes, no nothing. As I got back into my car I was completely motionless and drove the entire way home with both hands on the wheel with this blank stare like I’d just seen a ghost.
After I pulled into the driveway and went inside the house, my wife asked me how dinner was. I remember saying, “don’t ask, you don’t want to know.” I ran straight up the stairs, took off my clothes, and got into the shower. I then explained the story to my wife. She threw away my clothes, I then put a set of wipes into my car and I tried to forget the incident ever happened.
Do what you gotta do
What’s the point? There are plenty of times in our lives when we have choice. In fact 99% of the time we have a choice in the matter of what we are going to do in any given situation. But I happen to believe there are certain circumstances where you “gotta do what you gotta do.”
This example is a funny one, yes, but here’s my point. Never, ever, be ashamed of doing what you need to in any given situation, at any given time. Sure I’m embarrassed by this story but boy it could have turned out a hell of a lot worse.