“If you don’t think life is funny, then you don’t get the joke.”
Getting stern, unfriendly, and cold when you’re stressed is a common pattern in human behavior. You get this feeling like no one knows how exceptionally important this task is right now and you need to convince everyone of it’s difficulty.
However, these difficult times are when character is most visible.
If you’re under a time crunch, how do you treat the barista at the coffee counter? When he/she asks you how you are, do you take that extra couple seconds (just a couple) to return the question AND listen for the answer?
Or are you outwardly appear grounded and cordial, but you know it’s just a front when you’re judging everyone (including yourself).
See this as a sign. An opportunity to step back and look at this situation in your lifespan from a bird’s eye view. Even if you look and say, “This is the most important [fill in the stressor] of my life,” does that mean you have to be tightly wound to get it done?
Compare a ballerina and the energizer bunny. The dancer is working unbelievably hard, every muscle of her body in action, yet she does it with grace. The energizer bunny just looks ridiculous and isn’t getting very far.
Are you acting like the energizer bunny or the dancer? If it’s the bunny, find the humor in your behavior. Get some perspective and see that this situation–not the actual act, but your character in performing it–is the true challenge.
Smile. This is your life. Live it with humor and grace.