Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Day a Piece of Plumbing Made Me Crack



One of my most-read blog essays was one centered on falling down. Back in November, I wrote Stronger By Falling and it’s message came back to me this week. I fell hard in the last 24 hours. The stupid thing is, a tiny piece of plastic is what did me in.


It’s January 2017- you’d think some larger crisis would have toppled me into the sobbing heap I was last night. Heaven knows there’s plenty to pick from and I know of others who are fighting hard internal battles. But no.


I was unable to stop a bathroom sink from dripping.


Go ahead and laugh. I’m hoping someday I’ll be able to but right now it’s all too raw. Things are too tenuous for me to get back on that bike yet. I’m sitting on the ground, supported by one hand as I hold my head to stop everything from spinning.


You know how it is: you set yourself to a task and you are met with one setback after another. You keep struggling on with your goal in sight. You tell yourself it’s OK and attempt to adapt to all the things you didn’t anticipate and couldn’t foresee. You remind yourself it’s not THAT hard. However, something that looked like it would take a few days (the drain was only a portion of the project) stretched to a week, then 2 then...over a month.


Maybe other things in my life played a role in my downfall- things I didn’t think were bothering me. It’s like when a real cyclist isn’t in top condition and is thrown off their game so a bit of loose grit they’d normally fly over cleanly sends them flying down to the ground. When things like fear, worry and doubt sit on your shoulders for too long, it takes a toll. I’ve had my share of those feelings trying to crack my optimism lately.


I did learn many things during this process and I met someone in my time of need who offered some kind words and legitimate assistance.  What a wonderful feeling that was- to not be laughed at and only talked to respectfully. My wavering confidence was bulwarked. I really thought I finally had it and crowed with proud delight when I believed I’d finally conquered this. However, when I went to show off my handywork to my husband at the end of the day, I discovered a sad, soggy newspaper announcing another failure on my part. Cue: Mental road rash.


At that point, reason was gone and full-blown helter-skelter thoughts took over and I wanted nothing more than to hide- to hibernate. Waves of self-recrimination began slamming over my head. Failure in this. Failure in that. Failure in that other thing, too. Can’t do anything right. All I do is make expensive messes. Why can’t I be better. I’ll never succeed. I should just quit. I should just throw everything I’ve ever touched away.
And yet...another day dawned today. I’m working on regaining my perspective. Things aren’t quite as bad as I’d thought. I hope I’m not quite as bad as I thought. I’m still on the ground so I can’t be sure. Yet. But I do think I’m strong enough to pause, take stock and look at my plans again.

The bike is sitting there, waiting for me to stand it back up again.

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