I have no reason to be down right now. In many ways, I am still high from Memorial Day Weekend and the Sister Hazel Hazelnut Hangout. But as is usually the case with moments of blah, all it takes is one little thing to set off that emotional chain reaction.
It’s not unlike that Lego castle we’d try to construct as kids. You set up the hodge-podge combination of hand-me-down Lego blocks and recently purchased ‘generic’ blocks – which never quite fit with real Lego’s – and you start building. You lay out what is, for all intensive purposes, a foundation and work your way up. Block after block, the walls and overhangs and corridors all come together. It’s just about then, when you think you are putting the finishing touches on your masterpiece, that one side gives and part of your brain child comes crashing down.
Why? What happened? Damn those cheap Lego wannabe’s!!!! Whatever the reason, all we know is that it sucks. So we sit there and deliberate and try to figure out what went wrong. We focus our energies on looking at it eight ways from Sunday and asking ourselves “what if’s”. We reengineer the structure assuming different variables, and we make assertive and infallible statements as a result of our analysis. “I bet that wouldn’t have happened if I used only REAL Lego’s!” We become masters at justification, and we rewrite the history that exists in our small, personal worlds.
The funny thing is that in the end, it doesn’t matter why it fell. What matters is that we’re ultimately left with two choices. Put away all the pieces and call it a day or regroup and start over. We lose site of what we accomplished and the fact we got as far as we did. We forget there is still a large part of our castle that is intact, and one mishap does not render the rest of our work useless. We overlook that even though one or two pieces with which we build are flawed, they do not make the entire body of work flawed, just normal.
I can’t control the fact that my company is about to go through another round of layoffs. I understand that I am going to trip up on the same professional and personal frustrations from time to time. I acknowledge that painful memories will at times creep up from the recesses of my brain and remind me they are there. That’s life. That happens. It’s not always weekends on the beach with friends, food and Ken Block strumming away on his guitar <still awesome every time I think about it!!!>
What I can control is the choice I make when a piece of my castle comes crumbling down. For the better part of the last two years I was too consumed with the analysis of the fall, and all too tempted to pack it up and call it a day. Since December of last year, however, I have learned to keep building and rebuilding, hopefully learning from my mistakes along the way. And I have tried to remind myself that even though I am down, I know an up is just around the corner. It always is.