Monday, March 30, 2015

Real Life Practice

Today I got the call.  I haven't totally processed it yet, but indeed, my instincts were correct.  No dice, they want someone more experienced.

That is likely code for "man you really blew it but it'd be rude to say so..." and I saw it coming.

Does that soften the blow?  I don't know.  I'm telling myself that it softens the blow, but what is the truth?  That I'm crushed?  That I'm struggling with self doubt?  That I believe I'm trapped in a substandard job and reporting to a petty dictator who changes the rules as I go?  Or does it mean that better opportunities are waiting, that this wasn't the right time right now?  That I still have important lessons to learn?  That my current employer needs me more than before?  That given a bit more time, I will be even more valuable to my next employer?  That somewhere over the rainbow, there are bluebirds flying?

So, it's time to practice resilience.  Again.  I've gotten quite good at it, actually.  Lots, and lots, and lots of practice.

The truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle of the extremes.  I am not dying from the rejection, but it stings.  I do not feel thrilled with this result, and nor was I dying for yet another character building life lesson.  I do not feel diminished to nothing, but I feel the rejection, and I'm shaken.

I have lived through enough of these ups and downs in my life to know that it's true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (or, if you prefer more original sourcing, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" - whether you prefer Kelly Clarkson or Nietzsche it works for me).  I could have died many times, and I have lived, not because I am better, but because, well, I did.  Yes, I have fought hard to regain my life, both after cancer and after divorce, and yes I'm proud of the work that I've done, but some of it is pure luck, and I know that.  I am alive and okay, so I'm lucky.

But all of this unintentional and unasked for practice has built up some really, really good resiliency skills.

Tonight I've kicked off my shoes.  I'm writing it out.  As luck would have it, another gymnastics mom was on schedule to take Katherine to gymnastics, so I have two hours to myself.  There is an episode of The Good Wife that I haven't watched yet.

I don't know yet where this will land, but I'm going to be okay.


How to be resilient:

1)  Do your best.  That way when it all comes crashing down you have some integrity to fall back on.
2)  Look at all of the crappy things that have ever happened to you.  Realize that you lived.  Know that if you survived them, you can survive whatever disaster you're in the middle of.
3)  Figure out what you're grateful for.  Tattoo it on your brain.  Repeat it ad nauseam.  "I have a comfortable home, and incredible daughter, and good health.  My friends love me.  I have a great education and a good network...." and so on.  When you run out of big things, aim at the little ones.  "I'm glad that the trees are bursting into blossom, that I got up early to go on a run, that I got caught up on the laundry this weekend."
4)  Do a little self care.  Yesterday I had my first pedicure in almost a year (? is that when? I can't remember) and today I got my brows done (painful, but I like the results).
5)  Get out and sweat.  Seriously, work it out.  Pant.  Sweat.  Gasp for air.  Feel the burn.  It'll distract you.
6)  Repeat.  Over, and over, and over, until something changes.  Your mood will change, and you won't care so much, or life will change, and it will become irrelevant, or just enough time will pass that the wound will become a scar.  Scars are hot, right?
7)  When you're sick of repeating because it is tedious and it's not fucking working then you have to keep repeating.  (This is a good time to add a bit of wine, if it doesn't prevent you from getting up early the next day to sweat it out.  Run hard.  Run until you think you're going to barf.  That means you're getting close.)

Somehow, this works.  If it was easy, people would be more resilient, and we all see how they are not.

But I am.  I have nearly perfected resiliency, despite my best efforts to avoid it.  But hey, it's not a bad skill to have.

So I've got that.

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