Falling and failing and rising

When you put yourself out there, when you work, when you have kids, when you run, when you build, when you create, when you challenge, when you try at anything, you set yourself up to win but also to fail. Enjoying the exhilarating ups and enduring the gut-punch downs.

We all do it – we all experience the highs and lows to a greater or lesser extent. Some people are magnificent, truly admirable at not allowing themselves to be knocked down. I aspire to someday being that person who brushes off setbacks like tiny drops of mist at the end of a morning run – irrelevant, mildly annoying, mostly unnoticed.

But I’m a long way from there. I can be pricked by the smallest interruption, the tiniest incision, by a “one of those days” day. A badly worded email, an unexpected phone-call, a casual comment at a meeting. A big decision – not personal, just business. But personal to me.

Analyzing everything. What could I have done differently? Why did that person say that? Does it really mean what I think it means? How can I fix it? Why is it happening? Am I somehow failing?

And although I know I’m not, I need time to wallow, to be miserable, to question, to let the self-doubt take over. I need to talk to my husband, to rant, to cry on his shoulder. To wail to him I might be a useless person who is dreadful at everything, and wait for him to tell me I’m not. To threaten to quit. To let him know that I’m not ready for silver linings or bright sides or picking myself up. Knowing that will come, but not yet. Some wallowing is allowed – some is necessary.

Then. Hours later, or perhaps the next morning. The sun comes out. Or the universe sends a sign. Not a real sign. But something I can knowingly and willfully interpret as a sign. An orchid on my office window that blooms suddenly after months of barren stems. A message, a conversation, an e-mail, blue breaking suddenly across the sky, a song on the radio, a hug from a child at just the right moment.

And I pick myself up. I dust off the mist. I start to walk, assessing the damage. It feels OK. I start to run. The fighting talk starts. Not out loud, but loud in my head.  I’m alright. I can do this. I can do it another way or a better way.

Office Mum: Runners

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17 thoughts on “Falling and failing and rising”

  1. The power of those interruptions to haunt eh? The inability to reconcile them with pure logic and rational thinking. The time needed to let them pass. And most of time they do, hopefully. I’m still blushing over a chronically handed meeting from three weeks ago. I’m the only one beating myself up. Thank Christ for the last series of Borgen for getting me through it.

    1. the next day was a better day – thank you Sara, and yes, totally agree, sometimes we just have to process or analyse or break it down before picking up again

  2. Being human is such a mixture of emotions. I don’t think we ever stop having these moments, but maybe in time we bounce back a little easier.
    I used to take any form of criticism so much to heart. I am not sure if I have developed a thicker skin or learned to deal with it better, but I don’t seem to take as long as before to feel better.
    At least on one level you know you did okay, even if you needed time to get over the remarks, email, or memory of whatever might have inspired this post.
    tric recently posted…If we shared a coffee it would be here.My Profile

    1. I would love to think I can develop a thicker skin (metaphorically) – I’m on the way to it I think but I’m guessing it’s not an overnight fix…

  3. Sometimes it is important to be able to feel those feeling, to be able to allow them to flow unchecked for a time before allowing yourself to move on, this isn’t a negative thing, it’s part of who you are and for that reason embrace it x
    Life on Hushabye Farm recently posted…Find Your VillageMy Profile

    1. thanks Elizabeth, that makes sense to me – and it would be unsustainable to stay upbeat all the time 🙂

  4. Gorgeous blog beautifully capturing the ups and downs, the self doubt that most of us have. I’m a firm believer too in allowing yourself the space to have the little down and doubt and then picking yourself up again to move forward and replacing that negative self talk with all the positives that can silence or at least lower the volume on the negatives. You know deep down that you are amazing!

    1. thanks for the lovely comment Dearbhalla – that’s it, I totally agree, we need to allow ourselves to wallow a bit when it all falls apart – whether that’s for five minutes or five days. I’m back up now!

    1. There’s no button is there. I did decide on November 1st to just be a bit more zen about everything, and to shush the inner critic – it’s actually working a little!

  5. I’ve come back to read this tonight because I had one of those (f**king) days, and I remembered this post encapsulated the feeling as well as helping me remember I’m not alone. This plonkerishness too will pass.

    And that concludes tonight’s edition of dipping into the blog annals of others for a drop of restorative calm 🙂

    1. I am sorry that you had one of those days, and I’m glad that dipping into the blog annals of others gave you a drop of restorative calm.
      Onwards and upwards, and other platitudes 🙂

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