A Steady climb up stress mountain – Carrie Carter Writes

It was one of those weeks. Without even going into details, you know exactly what I mean. A crappy Monday that progressively got crappier each day.

My cat would not respond to me nor eat her food, and this was a cat that would steal saltine crackers from your hand. She required an emergency visit to the vet.

I made a mistake in my data for work. No, a mistake implies one. I made 44 mistakes, and had to issue corrections to frantically make the 5:00 pm deadline, but I got it done.

The next day a technical glitch in the office informed me my numbers did not upload. The square on my computer monitor informed me I was in read only mode and can’t do anything.

I went back to the document, a bit befuddled on how I switched to read only mode when there it was, glaring at me from my computer screen, a typo. How did I miss that? Thank goodness the upload failed. With a clickety-clack of my keyboard, the number went from 10.52 to 10.25. Done. All I needed was to close out, reopen and click “stage.”

“Numbers failed to upload.”


Frustrated, I reached out to my boss to see if he had any insights on to what was happening.

“Your numbers are there.”

Oh good. They staged the second time.

Only they didn’t, they staged the first time, with the typo. I didn’t notice (I can’t look at the uploaded numbers), my boss didn’t notice, but the proof-reader noticed. You do not want to force your boss to work late in order to issue a correction to your mistake. It’s a bad feeling.

The next day my boss sent a meeting invite to the team about mistakes and corrections. Everyone knew this was directed at me.

I missed the meeting.

I saw the email invite to it, too late – after it happened.

We’ve all hit that point at work where the urge to grab your favorite coffee mug, your keys, and walk out without saying a word, and not come back on Monday, or Tuesday, or, well, ever. That Friday afternoon, I had hit that point.

With a few deep breaths, I finished my work, and used logic to talk myself in to returning next week.

Next week would be better.

I hoped.

But there was something at home that would make all the work tension fade away, forgotten until the day after Labor Day.

The Advanced Reader Copy of Whiskers Abroad: Ashi and Audrey’s Adventures in Japan was delivered! Years of work would suddenly materialize in my hand as a real physical book.

I burst into the house, immediately in a better mood than when I left the office.

“Any packages delivered?” I asked my husband.


My shoulders sagged. I didn’t know if I had it in me to wait one more day.

I texted my publisher, “no book delivery today.”

“But Amazon said it was. They sent me a picture.”

She showed me the photo, a photo of a cardboard box in front of a white door, white siding, and a sign to the left that stated “beware of dog.”

I didn’t have a dog.

Or a white door.

Or white siding.

My heart sank. My package had been misdelivered and who knew where. I didn’t recognize the door.

My husband sprang into action, declaring he’d go door to door to find it if he had to.

Fortunately, he didn’t have to. The publisher texted the address the delivery driver left the package.

We walked across the street (across the street I said, which means I didn’t even remember what my neighbor’s door looked like! What is wrong with me?) and fetched the book.

Unable to wait until I got home, I tore into the package and showed her the book.

I glanced at the dog sign.

“Do you have cats?”

“Two,” she said and waved at the sign, “I’m more of a cat person. The sign is there to, you know.”

I did know.

I thanked her for keeping the package save and returned home. She promised to buy a copy.

I sprinted home.

In my hands was the book.

A bit surreal.

And all the week’s worries forgotten.

P.S.  My cat was fine by evening time, and her blood work came back showing she’s a healthy feline. We suspect she ate something she should not have.

Whiskers Abroad celebration
Celebration time!

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