I won't lie to ya. Last night was one of my lowest moments in recent memory. I was deeply discouraged.
A lot of it was my own silly fault. I shoulda' listened to Michael. When we found out Narcissism Meets Normalcy was ending, Michael knew me better than I know myself. He knew I'd hit the new challenge head on. "Take some time to relax," Michael told me. "Consider it a vacation."
But did I listen!? Not on your tintype!
I worked harder than ever, determined not to lose my faithful readers and fretting about money. Every waking moment I was spinning and strategizing, branding and designing, writing and social media-ing til I crashed last night.
Suddenly, everything came tumbling down round my ears. The big picture hit me. So many bad things have happened in such a short amount of time.
It all started in late July when my 9-year-old laptop crashed. Luckily, I had semi-current backups but for several days Michael and I shared his computer until he set me up with a spare 7-year-old PC we had knocking about.
Then my grandmother died and the relatives who "honored her wishes" to exclude my side of the family from everything are haunting my websites. That's right. I see you.
Then during the Big Storm, yet another branch fell off our beloved old crabapple tree. Oh, I know it's rotten to the core and the apples are wormy, but we love that tree.
Then Michael's blood pressure started yo-yoing so he's popping nitros.
Then I found out I have to have a wisdom tooth extracted.
Then the car wouldn't start.
Then the blog ended.
Just too much. One misfortune after another snowballing until last night the snowball crushed me.
It wouldn't be so bad if I could just cry. Oh, sure, I'm a big ol' crybaby for other people's misfortunes or if they play The Star Spangled Banner. Like Connell says in Meet John Doe, "I'm a sucker for The Star Spangled Banner...I like what we got here."
But last night I wasn't much liking what we Thompsons have gotten lately. Yes, sirree, bob. I was just plumb exhausted and discouraged.
That's when I remembered the bounce-and-blessings approach. Basically, you let yourself hit rock bottom...then bounce using gratitude for your blessings to springboard yourself back into being "cheerful and loving-like." (My Fair Lady)
But you can't do it until your emotional feet hit the bottom or there's nothing to kick off against. That's how my Great-Uncle Sanford saved himself from drowning. He was a little boy living at the Children's Hospital. All month long, his torso was enclosed in a hot, thick, horrible full body cast in a futile effort to cure his severe scoliosis. Once a month, the casts were cut off and the growing children with scoliosis were allowed to run and swim before their new casts were put on them.
On this particular day, all the kids were swimming in the hospital pool and somehow, Sanford got forgotten when everyone went back inside. There he was, at the deep end of the pool...and he couldn't swim. But he could think. So he decided to hop his way to the shallow end of the pool. He took a huge breath of air, sank to the bottom of the pool and jumped. Each jump brought him closer to shallow water.
That's the bounce approach! But instead of using the bottom of the pool, use your blessings to bounce yourself into a cheerful frame of mind.
For example, sure, my laptop crashed but it lasted twice as long as most laptops. Through it I met my husband and all of you by pounding out NmN for five years on that laptop. It did right by me. I didn't lose any vital data nor our wedding and honeymoon pictures. And we already had an extra PC in the wings for when the laptop crashed. Blessing!
Yes, Grandma died but she was 92 and had been ready to go for a long time. She didn't suffer much and was at peace when she passed. Since we're still waiting on the Rapture, well, if you have to go, that's the way to go! You see, Readers, "she really had a wonderful life." Blessing!
If the apple tree had to split, it couldn't have done it more politely. It fell on the lawn, towards the street, away from the house and all power lines. The apples even stayed on the branch when it fell, bless their wormy little hearts. Blessing!
We're a little worried about Michael but sometimes his BP is just tickety-boo. Textbook perfect. It only spikes at certain times of the day and/or after eating. How weird is that!?! Blessing????
My wisdom tooth and I, well, we had a good run. I guess it was inevitable to lose it since I can't fit my toothbrush back there to brush it. My other teeth are healthy, healthy, healthy thanks to Dr. Pucel and all those sealants he put in when I was little. Blessing!
Turns out, there was invisible corrosion on the car's battery contacts. Thank God for a handy husband. Michael got the Impala going again, just as he always does. Blessing!
Maybe even losing the blog is a blessing in disguise. It's a kind of psychological purge. Instead of dragging 460 articles filled with confusion, anger and snarkiness behind me, I get to start fresh. To draw a line in the sand and like Star Trek's Jean-Luc Picard say, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!" Blessing!
And so, thanks to the blessings-and-bounce technique (and watching rather a lot of My Name Is Earl), I bounced and laughed myself out of drowning in the deep end of discouragement and back into being cheerful and loving-like.
Try it sometime. It works!
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