We all feel it —
That GAH! feeling,
when something we planned didn’t happen or
something went wrong.

The schedule got off.
What we expected
didn’t come to be.

Even the best plans go awry.

So. Yeah.
When “GAH!” happens,
How do we respond?

You know, most likely,
the GAH! is not as bad as we think.

Let me explain.

You know the phrase, “The best laid schemes of mice and men…”
We use the phrase to say to ourselves,
even well-laid-out plans get screwy.
And we console ourselves,
as if to remind ourselves that we’re normal and

It’s okay…all is not lost. 

By the way, the phrase doesn’t originally come from Steinbeck’s book
(Of Mice and Men).
It comes from Robert Burns’ 1786 poem, To a Mouse.

(Stay with me here…
It’s all going to tie in…)

The plowman in Burns’ poem overturned a mouse nest.
The poem is about the plowman’s apology to the mouse.
(fyi, you can find the interpretation of the poem’s old-speak here)
And, yes, the plowman went GAH! Really. Over a mouse nest.

Do you want to know what the poem is really about?
(say yes)(“Yes”)(okay, I’ll tell you)

HINT: It’s not about the mouse.

a little ol’ mouse caused the guy to pour out oceans of emotion
(a.k.a. GAH!)
sadness, despair, and despondency.
Wow. He got a little bit too emotional, don’t you think?

Guess what? (I’ll say it again.)
It wasn’t about the mouse.
(It rarely is.)

It was about the farmer’s state of mind.
His EMOTIONS and FOCUS were already tainted
and the mouse was simply there.
(And he, the mouse, got the emotional foo.)

(I’m finally getting to the point.)

The GAH! (frustration) is not usually about the mouse (the event).
It’s about the MEANING that we give the event.
I’ll say that again:
The MEANING we give to the event IS the event.
(Repeat after me: It’s n.o.t. the mouse.)

Writer. Artist. (Creator.) >>>
Think about it.

Don’t blame the mouse.
Don’t get caught up in the mouse.
Don’t let the mouse suck up the blame
for all of the emotions pouring out in a frustrated GAH! moment.

Find your focus.
Redefine your GAH! to its right size.
(Tell you what. Simply forget the mouse.)

Put a more positive spin on the meaning of the GAH! event.
(Put it into perspective.)

(important. listen. think. reframe)

Just move ahead and create.
(I’m talkin’ to the both of us.)