Monday, February 10, 2014

Disappointment - yikes!

Hi everyone,

Well, I've held off posting for a week or so because the word that kept coming to mind was...disappointment! I'm not sure why that is stuck on replay in my mind, but since it is, I thought maybe someone reading this needs a little encouragement.

The thing is, we all go through disappointments - yearly, monthly, weekly, daily...sometimes hourly!! It's how we handle those disappointments that will affect how we feel physically and emotionally.

For example, the cool fence you see in the picture is the one I mentioned last spring. I love how it looks, but was totally disappointed about the lack of customer service from the landscaper. One of the $10 plants (luckily not a camellia!) died shortly after planting. I suggested a small credit to my credit card so that the landscaper wouldn't have to drive all the way here to replace one small plant, which was on the end anyway. He assured me twice, in writing, that he would come and replace it. Alas, that never happened and I had to get rather stern about at least getting a copy of the lifetime warranty for the fence. The result? I simply won't use that landscaper anymore, nor would I refer him if asked about the fence.

That's a pretty simple disappointment, isn't it? It took several hours of my time to finally get it out of the way, but overall, nothing to get too uptight about. Just a disappointing experience with a service provider. Those kinds of things happen often enough that I knew to just dismiss it when it was over.

But what about when it's a disappointment about your health? Some of you know that my husband had tongue cancer 7 years ago (key word...HAD!) and he has suffered ramifications of the radiation several times since then. The most recent incident involves his jaw totally locking for some odd reason. A month into this stressful situation, he is finally able to get his mouth open about 3/8", but still can't eat his beloved scrambled eggs in the morning. He is, once again, on a totally liquid diet. Huge disappointment. Most days he has a good attitude about it, but some days, it's just too much, ya know?? Yeah, I bet some of you DO know because maybe you've gone through something health-wise that is just as disappointing - or worse. 

And speaking of health issues, my blog posts apparently caught the eye of an attorney's office a few weeks ago. I got what appeared to be a heartfelt email from a woman about how it would be so kind of me to post about raising awareness for mesothelioma. Indeed, I have no doubt that awareness is something that would help those affected. Something just didn't feel right, though. When I researched the information from her signature line, it appeared as if it was a thinly veiled way of soliciting clients for an attorney she must work for. ARGH. I am sometimes so disappointed by the human race. When I tried to get a straight answer, I got a very obvious one - she quit responding to my emails, which told me all I needed to know. Again, not a big deal...just... disappointing.

Last week, I was reading evaluations for one of my workshops and one person's comment was quite negative. Even though the overwhelming majority (all other participants, as a matter of fact!) were very complimentary about how helpful the program was for them, that one comment left me feeling...guess what ...disappointed in myself! I wondered what I could have done to reach that one person, when in reality, I should have looked at what I did right to reach all the others so that I could repeat whatever that was ;-). Although I always take evaluations to heart, I got over that one pretty quickly. There wasn't any constructive feedback to help me improve, and since others thought it was great, I had to let it go.

And having just worked on the paperwork to take to the accountant for tax season, I'm reminded that disappointment can certainly come in the form of monetary issues, can't it? I had a good year last year, as did my husband...but neither of us had quite as good a year as the year before. Disappointing? Yes. But oh, we are so blessed. We have our home, our cars, our general health, our four-legged critters to keep us company, food in the pantry, heat or air at the touch of a thermostat, and work we both love. How can disappointment linger when there is so much to be grateful for?? We know the peaks and valleys of being self-employed and we recognize when things are going very well along those lines, as they are for both of us.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, we will all face disappointments coming from a myriad of directions. How do we handle them? How should we handle them? That's different for each of us, isn't it? But one thing I'm fairly certain of is that we each need to make sure those disappointments aren't dragging us down and stealing our joy day after day after day. 

Recognize them? Yes. Deal with them? Sure, the best we can. Then take a deep breath and move on, because life is going to move on anyway, whether you are moving forward with purpose or mired down in the muck of disappointments. 

Find things to focus on that bring you pleasure and nurture your soul - and that take your mind off the disappointment, at least for a time. Flowers, animals, your kids, friends, a beautiful breeze, a good book, a sweet-scented candle, a warm blanket, a piece of rich chocolate ...whatever it is that brings you sure you find a little of that every single day. And be in the moment when you find it, so that - if you need to - you can recall that pleasure to help you deal with whatever life throws your way.

And if I can help chase your disappointment away, just drop me a line. Or if you've found a way that really works for you and might work for others, let me know that, too!


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