Tag Archives: setbacks

Making a Comeback … On a Tuesday …

30 Nov

It never occurred to me that I could lose it … but I did and now I’m just coming around to finding it again.

Sort of …

I’m at square one.

It’s hard to be a storyteller and not quite be able to tell stories. But it happens and you get sad about that. You hang onto what you got and try to ride it out, which is where I found myself these last few weeks, clinging onto that surfboard during the big wave. And it was in the midst of that ride that I wiped out.

I lost it for a minute there … but I’m resurfacing, catching my breath. It’s hard taking a tumble. You feel beat up and worn down.

Takes a lot determination to try again, to see it through, to finish the goal, to be who you said you’d be, to accomplish what you said you would, takes a lot of something to be anything really.

Doctor. Architect. Lawyer. Teacher. Engineer. You follow the course and eventually with enough steps in the right direction. It happens. You reach the point where you are doing what you set out to do. You are it. The goal, reached.

Storytellers’ journeys are not that linear, or at least my sidewalk wasn’t, I was zigged and then zagged. It’s a roller coaster road. I’d been successful before, but with this new project everything was harder than I thought it would be. No connections, and low budget, means a lot of grit and hustle while I figure it out.  I failed to finish one of the biggest story-telling projects on my list, so I needed a minute there to regroup. I’d been working on it for a while when things fell apart. My subjects changed their mind and then I couldn’t find people who wanted to be part of the story.

So, I’m back to square one, looking for subjects and collaborators with the multitude of parenting and Wish Factor adventures that have followed me along the way. It was hard to regroup after this one. But I’m inching my way back. I took a step back from the project and found a different creative outlet … for just a minute.

And that helped.

I bought a camera.

I had no idea what ISO, aperture, or white balance was, I didn’t know about all the gadgets or tricks, but I learned quickly. Still learning. During this little creative growth adventure, I learned to rebound through an alternative way of telling stories. I admire a lot of picture-taking peeps and the way they communicate through what is captured, either black or white, or color. I like to see the story through the lens. It’s a different way of telling a story and I’ve enjoyed the learning process so far. It might help me with my original project. I learned to find what to center, what to keep in, what to leave out. I’m learning what perspectives looks best and what I want to feel when I see the picture, whether it’s the kids, a game, or the landscape. I want to feel the feeling. Just like with words. And I’m liking the new outlet.

These bits and pieces have been helpful. Building confidence and gaining voice back serves as a building block for a comeback, because after all … a setback is nothing but a comeback in disguise, and mannnnn was it hidden there for a minute. Incognito. But I’m working my way back.

I’ll be picking up that other project, looking for other subjects to interview and getting the story told.  Takes a minute to start the engines and build up steam. But once you start typing away on the keyboard hope finds a way of sitting next to you, ready to be your co-pilot again. I got to remember that.

So, thanks to my buddies for checking in on me.

Buen Camino ….





With The Help of DayQuil, NyQuil, and Ricola I See A Lot of Checkmarks.

31 Aug

Those calendars days stare at me. They lay there bare naked, no checkmark. They mock me. Damn it.

I started off so well. I was bionic and I crossed off each day in victory — overcoming the lazy I-don’t-want-to-workout early stages of training. The calendar marked my awesome daily athletic progress with large checkmarks. I got an enormous sense of satisfaction marking those days off. But now … now I’m just a regular body filled up with DayQuil, NyQuil, Ricola Cough Drops, and empty calendar days.

Image via Durtbagz.com

The flu is a bastard.

Sleeping about three to four hours a night for the past few days kicked my ass. My enthusiasm for triathlon training went down hill. The sad thing is I didn’t even have the flu this week. It was my kids. That children’s Advil and Tylenol work their magic for about four hours and then it’s over. The crying, the bad moods, the coughing, the congestion, and the mucus set off the night shift alarm, and I’m the supervisor.

However now, not only am I the supervisor, but I’m also a patient. So, I’m all about the over-the-counter medicine traveling through my body. Vicks Vapor Rub, bring it on. Tea with honey and lemon to comfort my body, yes. Thai shrimp soup, spicy to sweat it out, most definitely. I’m trying all methods to make this 37-year old Guat body recover as soon as possible so that I can return to my exercise mode. When training for a triathlon, you need every day, well at least I do. I’m 37.

I look like crap and feel pretty much the way I look. No mineral makeup to cover up this mess. The flu is in my blood and seeing the three calendar days without check marks burns me out. Stupid virus.

Why? Why is it that whenever you decide to get all jazzed up about an event or adventure there is always something that gets in the way? The flu. No babysitter. Sprained ankle. A flat tire. Your period.

All these little impediments momentarily stopping you from succeeding. Don’t they — the Powers That Be, The Universe — know that the race itself contains plenty of obstacles that challenge your body. You don’t need any extra rings of fire. You don’t need anymore downers.

You really don’t.

But nevertheless it happens and you just have to lace up the shoes and move on. There’s nothing that can be done about those three check-less days. There’s nothing that can be done about the 72 hours I lost. They’re gone. I can’t look at the calendar without wincing. But at least September is coming up and I don’t have to look at the month of August. It mocks me.

But September is a new page on the calendar, and all I see is checkmarks in my future. With the help of DayQuil, NyQuil, and Ricola I see a lot of checkmarks.

Giddy up!



Some Air is Still Left in the Balloon

21 Jan

Ever walk into a room and someone just sucks the air out of your balloon? You’re having a good day, you got enough sleep and then all of a sudden everything is your fault. At home, at work, at the supermarket, even at the bank.

A red balloon on a ribbon

Image via Wikipedia

At home, you walk into the living and finally sit down after scrubbing toilets, scouring showers, mopping floors all morning, and surviving two kid birthday parties you sit in peace watching Law and Order. You take a slow sip of your favorite fermented beverage and exhale. Then all of a sudden your mom walks in all hot and bothered, slamming keys on the table, and saying serota this serota that. You sit and observe as she slams a casserole on the table.

“I dropped all this food in the car because of you!”

You squint your eyes and look amazed as you realize your Superhero powers of being in two places at once.

“Your aunt sent this food to you and it spilled all over the car. All over. On my sweater, on the seats, on the rugs. Ugh! Make sure you get it back to her.”

“I didn’t ask for it.”

“This is your fault, you know. She sent it to you because apparently you like it so much! It’s all over the car.”

She slams the dish on the table, grabs some paper towels with hostility, drops keys on the floor simultaneously, picks them up as she walks toward the door, slams the door, baby wakes up crying.

Whissshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Balloon deflating

You’re sitting at your cubicle at work minding your own business, typing away. When your supervisor sits next to you with her hot cup of coffee. As she approaches your desk she trips and spills part of her hot beverage on her and the rest on your surge protective plug strip which sparks a few and doesn’t protect any surge.

“Damn it. Why is your rug like that!”

Your amazed at how you can both work a cubicle and be an interior office decorator.

“My computer is down. My files weren’t saved.”

“Well I guess you have to stay late to make up the lost work. You should always save your work. Damn it. I burned myself, too.”

“Did you, now.”

Whissssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Balloon deflating.

You’re in the produce department of your favorite supermarket. Checking out the various apples on sale and hit the Honey Crisp. Ahhh they are the best for pies, for peanut butter, for pancake toppings, for eating alone. Juicy, crispy, taste-bud savory. You walk over and reach for one at the same time as another shopper. You touch the same apple, but you think she will remove her hand, but she doesn’t. She raises her Gucci sunglasses with her finely manicured hand and says…

“I was here first.”

You look at the pyramid of apples and furrow your brow.

“Are you kidding, me?”

She yanks the apple away from you and in the process a tidal wave of Honey Crisps come rolling off the display.

“Look at what you made me do!”

You do a double-take in awe of her wife-beater mentality.


You’re waiting in line at the bank, because the ATM is out of service. You haul your kids out of the car and attempt a quick in-and-out trip to deposit some funds. You approach the teller give her the check. You try to keep your kids from running amuck as this transaction takes place. The teller takes the check and puts it through his machine and waits. The machine is not reading it. The line gets longer. Impatient customers await. They tap their foot, smack their lips, sigh, and shake their heads. The teller continues putting the check in the machine and then finally pulls it out, entering it manually. As he strikes the keys, the computer makes a funny noise. He looks up.

“My computer is frozen. Something is wrong with the system. It was working fine earlier. It must be the check.”

“C’mon! Hurry it up, my meter is running out of time! Man! Some people should just stick to ATMs.” A tall suit and tie man with slick hair and a Mercedes Benz key chain stands there with his hands up in the air.

You look up. Glare at him, then look back at the teller.


After ten minutes with the one teller you finally deposit a measly $75.  You struggle to put your kids back in the car. It’s hot, you’re tired. You’re kids are hungry and cranky. You really need some chocolate. STAT! You find a Kit Kat in your cup holder, melted. You sigh. As you put on your seatbelt, you look up and see a cop giving a ticket to a white Mercedes Benz.

You smile.

Some air is still left in the balloon.