Thursday, September 26, 2013


"Success has been and continues to be defined as getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down."

Who hasn’t been knocked down in the book of life?  Sometimes bad things happen:  you lose your job, your spouse leaves you and your children, your health is compromised, and you lose a loved one prematurely in an accident or whatever the case may be.  Often there are no explanations for the trials in our lives, but there is always a lesson to be learned.

In thirty-nine years, the universe has handed me what I like to refer to as more than my fair share of sucker punches.  For example, loss of my hearing by age four <JAB!>;   a mentally ill mother who beat me bloody, bruised and hurt me to my deepest core <POW!>;  a very aggressive stage two breast cancer diagnosis at fourteen weeks pregnant <KERPOW!>; the sad, slow, degenerative death of my father <GGGGGG-GOISH!>,the harsh reality of massive life down-sizing post-cancer <pull…the…rug…out!>;  the sudden, instant death of my mother <BAM!> and now another *minor* health bump that will redirect my very near future plans.

Should I be bitter?  Should I be a cynic?  After a few rounds in the ring with forces stronger than Muhammad Ali, you bet I could be angry and miserable at the world.  However, I am not.

My lesson learned (and learned and learned and learned and learned yet again, oh, and for added measure learned again) is that my personal success will be determined by being knocked down and getting back up again (and again and again and again and again and again…….).  Honestly, what else would I do?  Why would I give up?  It is my choice to lay down defeated, or instead, get myself right back up and hope no one really saw that fall.

I remember mapping out my life my senior year with my high school bud, Karen:  We would both wait until age 30 to be married, we would both own red convertible BMWs, I would be a doctor, she a physical therapist and we would have THE life.  The reality, for me, is that I married at 22, had my first child by 24, I ended up in the legal field and now reside in consulting, AND I have yet to own a BMW or a convertible.  Furthermore, I spent many of my twenty-something years planning my life out to the most finite of details (all but the bathroom breaks, people).  I literally mapped it out by year, by age and some other irrelevant planning details.  Recall my previous posts that touch on those wild curveballs of life?  Um, yeah.  Master planner or not, there are side-winders that threaten to de-rail you off your very pathway on a precise, yet irregular, basis.

In any event, as a parent, I now witness the moments of impact for my children in their own treks through their young lives.  The balance of being a super good momma, by providing my children with my advice to foster their own lessons learned and not being a smothering helicopter parent, is super fragile and immensely easy to tip.  Providing guidelines to your child on how to handle the unfairness in life is a must and watching them employ your advice is empowering for both you and for them.  However, when life still throws up vomit in their face and knocks them down, it is increasingly difficult to watch your child get back up and dust herself off.  However, what else should I teach my children to do?  Of course, they need to stand back up again and this time, even taller.  What other choice is there?  The world is a vast place and there are an awful lot of boxing gloves waiting to take that sucker punch!  Lead by example, I say.

There will always be nay-sayers who say you cannot do x, y, or z.  Shouldn’t we be programmed to automatically respond with:  “Well, here is x, y, z and for that matter, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, m ...? “

There will always be instances of life going a full 180 degrees opposite of what we expected or how we had planned.  Shouldn’t we take a deep breath and simply embrace the different view? 

Perhaps, like my own journey through life, yours will be (is) chock full of speed bumps – some harder than others.  I personally tighten my own seatbelt, holdthe safety bar and release giggles amongst the “Yahoooos!” and know that I will fall down again in  life.  However, you can bet your last dollar that I will rise again (even if it means rolling over onto all fours first and going vertical with a grand groan)!

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