Friends, the sad truth about life is that there will always be winners...and losers (as helpfully illustrated by my family when Warren and I lost our bet at the race track. Sure, it was only a dollar but the loss still stung). I remembered the above smug little faces last week because I felt like a major L on the forehead loser. In the space of 24 hours I experienced one panic attack, three semi-brutal rejections, and a general distaste for life as a whole. The world can be a pretty smug/mean place, sometimes. For the past few days, I've been compiling a list of helpful hints to help me survive my next (for it will certainly come) bout of failure/rejection/loss/shame/guilt/etc. Here's what I came up with:
Confession: I am a wallower. When something bad happens, I retreat under the covers and don't come out until I've polished off a season of Party of Five or Friday Night Lights (please tell me I am not alone). And then I go into a major shame spiral about my wallowing. So next time, I'm just going to let it hurt. Just like this cake did when Warren dropped it two seconds after this photo was taken :) Because that post-failure sting can be instructive. It means that you actually cared.
One of my favorite things about life is seeing all my old, dear friends grow up to become wonderful, loving adults. This past year I have been particularly delighted to catch up with friends from every era of my life--childhood, college, post-college, and grad school. It's amazing to see how much we've grown, and how much we've stayed the same. Friends With History (you don't have to explain anything about yourself because they already know and love you) are the best.
This can also be categorized under "Be Social, Even If It's the Last Thing You Want to Do After Falling Flat On Your Face, Emotionally or Literally." Even if you, like me, are not a huge people person, it makes all the difference to find a group that is totally okay with you letting your freak flag fly. Plus, anyone who is on board with a good old fashioned ugly sweater party is okay in my book.
Especially if that something is very low stakes and kind of (okay, insanely) ridiculous, like curling. Yes, that fake sport with sweepers. Turns out, it's a real thing here in Michigan. Plus it's totally mock-able and infinitely fun. Warren and I wanted something to get us out of the house this winter. Last year I chose cake decorating so Warren got dibs on this year. Well played, sir. Well played, indeed.
It doesn't have to be something as big as cuddling with a manatee (which was truly amazing), but after my next failure, I want to be more open to the world. Being vulnerable brings nothing but good, as Brene Brown's beautiful book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead explains. Even if it hurts a lot in the beginning. I can't feel amazed when I'm too busy trying to feel cool, disengaged, or angry, which are my normal reactions to bad things. That's totally not cool. So next time, I'm going to keep my guard down. Good things might happen.
And if all else fails...
No, duh, right? So, in short:
It is hard to believe we were in blissful Key Largo just a few weeks ago but looking at the above photo helps me pretend that winter is long, long gone. A girl can dream...especially when it's 10 degrees in Michigan. TEN! Anyway, what are some of your coping mechanisms and/or life mantras? Help me build my arsenal :)