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Monday, October 29, 2012

Disappointment



We all experience disappointment from time to time. A rejection letter from an editor, not getting the promotion we wanted, being turned down for a date, our favorite team losing the World Series.

How we deal with disappointment reveals our character. A rejection letter can do one of two things. It can galvanize us into sending our manuscript out again—“I’ll show that editor/agent”—or it can stop us in our tracks. How could someone say my baby is ugly? We can wallow in self-pity and dejection, determined not to get hurt again. That cute guy makes up a lame excuse not to go to the prom with us. (Hey, it’s a new world. Girls don’t sit around waiting. We can ask guys out.) So, what do we do? Sit home and mope or go with a friend and have a great time? When that job we wanted goes to someone else, we can double our efforts to make sure The Powers That Be recognize our worth or bad mouth the person (not nearly as talented as we are, of course) who got the position—or quietly look for a job with another company.

Then, there’s the Detroit Tigers. The euphoria I felt when they became the American League champions—sweeping the Yankees—started slipping when they lost the first game in San Francisco. Okay, I said, they’ll come back in the second game. My optimism waned with each loss, but I didn’t give up hope. They’ll do it in Detroit. Only they didn’t it. You know how guys yell at the television during football games? Well, that’s me during baseball. The groans, the moans—you’d think I was giving birth. I could blame the refs (only their bad calls sometimes helped my team). Blame it on the nasty weather. What happened to the high 70s while the Tigers were in Frisco? Besides, the wind carried one Tiger ball right into the stands for a homer. The play-by-play announcers certainly blasted the players enough. Blaming the manager or players doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me feel like a grump—which is why I didn’t write this post last night. I’m trying real hard to keep thinking “better luck next year”—it's not easy.

For the players, I can’t imagine how disappointed they must be. Notice, I didn’t say devastated. Devastated is when you lose your job or fire destroys your home. Devastated is what the people on the East Coast will be when Hurricane Sandy takes away everything they own, leaving unimaginable destruction in its wake.

There’s a lot of truth in the adage that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Some days, don’t you want to say, hey, I’m strong enough? So, we writers will keep subjecting ourselves to rejection by sending out those manuscripts. Someone will eventually recognize our brilliance. <g> We will apply for positions in the hopes that we’ll land the right one. We won’t let one guy (who wasn’t good enough for us anyway) stop us from asking another to the prom. We’ll have high hopes for next year for our favorite team. Or, maybe, we’ll use our disappointment as fodder for blog posts.

How do you deal with disappointment?
 

12 comments:

  1. I eat some chocolate. It always has a soothng effect. But it was a bummer for the Tigers. Detroit sure could have used the boost of a series win but hey, they made it to the series, so that's an accomplishment. I guess in any disappointment, I try to look for some positive, which often isn't easy but it helps.

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    1. Chocolate the miracle drug. Cures all.

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  2. Great blog, Diane. Disappointment in any situation is no fun. I'll admit my first reaction is often to look for blame. The weather, the editor, my family. . .but, guess what? Nine times out of ten, I'm the only one to blame for failing to meet a deadline, for letting petty distractions take away my writing time, for not using my time wisely. So I've learned over the years to make my priorities attainable, work hard and focus on the goal. If I do my best with what time I have, then I'm happy. Did the Tigers do their best in the World Series games? I'm not so sure, but I do know they swept the Yankees for the ALC. They should be be proud of that achievement and move forward. That's what I do when disappointment comes - and eat chocolate, like Lucy says.

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    1. I do the same, Loralee. Look for blame then look at self and the lightbulb goes on. Shoulda woulda coulds. Isn't hindsight great?

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  3. Great post...and right up my alley, except I'm sort of on the opposite side of the fence. I was rooting for the A's against Tigers. (Sorry) and rooting for my REDS against Giants (boohoo). Talk about disappointment. The Reds take two from the Giants in their stadium, then all they have to do is go home and win ONE out of three. They couldn't do it! OMG. I was SOOOOO disappointed. I laughed about you shouting at the screen. I was on the TWRP retreat with my friend, Kathy, and I was swearing at the screen. She was amused. However, I'll admit, I was THRILLED when Tigers swept Yanks. At least the Cards and Yanks didn't make it to the series.
    Back to writing...if rejection doesn't make you determined to become a better writer, you shouldn't be writing. In life, if dealing with disappointment in general doesn't make you grow as a person, you're doing something wrong.
    And, yes...there's always next year!

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  4. I work too early to stay up and watch the games, but the Tiger game results are one of the first things I check when I get up in the morning. And I've been yelling at the sports announcer for the past week! But then, life goes on. The things that disappoint me aren't going to change life as we know it. Like Lucy, I dig into my chocolate stash, take a deep breath, and get to work.

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    1. Ah, chocolate again. You guys are onto something.

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  5. At least in this last loss the Tigers were able to get the bats going a little bit. Enough to get on the board. Hard, though to be swept. (Unless our team is the sweeper!)

    Yikes, Alicia, they had television at the Retreat? Not in North Carolina!

    But to answer your question, Diane, I'm like Loralee when I get a rejection/experience bad luck. "must be the universe is against me". NOT! It all comes back to what doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger.

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    1. Hi Margo,

      Yes, we had tv's in our rooms at the ranch. Kathy and I stayed at a LaQuinta the night before the retreat, so I watched part of that game, and, unfortunatley, all of the fifth and final game (at the ranch). But, I didn't turn the tv on again all weekend...too much other fun stuff going on. :-)

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  6. BTW - Absolutely LOVE that graphic up top of your post, Diane.

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    1. I couldn't believe how well it expressed my feelings. LOL Now, if I could've found one thunking her/his head against a desk (or wall) it would have been me.

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