Just after Valentine’s Day in the second semester of my freshman year in college, my boyfriend and I broke up and leaving me feeling a bit down. It just so happened that one of his fraternity brothers, Chico (AKA Michael Cherkesian) had just broken up with his girlfriend. So, Chico and I decided to meet once a week for a coffee at the Rathskeller in the Indiana University Student Union and there we formed the “Lovers and Losers Club.” Our motto was “when you win you lose, and when you lose you win!” We drank coffee, shared a fattening snack and became good friends – we are still in touch on Linked In! It was also the beginning of my learning a great life lesson about winning and losing.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks here in Can Do world! First, my sweet dog Chippy, my one and only office colleague, is no longer here, making my office a mighty lonely place. I also received word that I did not get either of the two jobs I had been a finalist for. One was a tougher blow than the other. I really wanted that job!
Three hits – Pow! Pow! Pow!
The result is that I have been more than a bit down the rabbit hole for the last few days. And, more than a bit at a loss for direction because I have been working with clients on a short-term project-based status for the last few months as my interviewing for these two positions played itself out. Then, this week it felt like, OOPS, now what? What is the Can Do Diva to do?
And, I felt SO sad. Dog grief is very real and really painful. When we lost Zoe, two and a half years ago, we still had Chippy. Now there are no furry family members here. It is a shock and a BIG adjustment after over 13 years. We will get a new doggie next February, after our vacation! In the meantime, I need to find a way to fill the huge lonely hole that used to be Chippy, sleeping on my ottoman, snuggled against my bare feet.
In the 2009 acclaimed movie, Up In The Air, George Clooney as lay-off expert Ryan Bingham, tells the man he is giving the pink slip to, “Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it’s *because* they sat there that they were able to do it.” …that in dealing with change and adversity, one is actually preparing for greatness. Cold comfort, yet filled with wisdom!
Before I could get around to changing the world, I needed to get out of the hole! So, I took today off – just played HOOKY!
This morning I watched the final episode of the Jon Stewart Show that I had DVR’d last night. Then I went to the library and just wandered around for a while. When I left there, I drove down to Belle Haven Park by the Potomac River. Today is a cloudy and cool day – a delightful break from the 90s and horrible humidity of the last few weeks. I sat at a picnic table with my notebook and started to think about, and organize my ideas about, “Now What?”
I was not ready to do anything today. I just sat and wrote and brainstormed. Then I sorted and organized my ideas so I can remember them (!) and find them later. My plan is to leave them alone, in the notebook, to simmer until Monday.
I left the river and I drove up to the mall and wandered through a couple of stores, grateful for the stimulation of colors and the collection of “stuff” that is Home Goods. Slowly, the rainbow of colors and textures brought some creative juices back into my tired brain and it started to wake up. My final hooky event was to get a big bowl of triple chocolate and salted caramel frozen yogurt and smother it in chocolate sauce! YUMMY! That is when I remembered, with a big smile, Chico’s and my afternoon snacks at our meetings of the Lovers and Losers Club so very many years ago.
I felt a bit like Rip Van Winkle, emerging from a deep sleep, pulling myself back into my skin – my world – my reality. The situation has not changed: the dog is still gone and those jobs will not be mine! But I was able to regain my perspective. And, I realize that being me, here, today it is pretty wonderful. I have many awesome friends, colleagues and family members, and so very much to be grateful for.
As I end this mellow day, I know that even without Chippy, or either of those jobs, I can still change the world. And I will, starting Monday!
Care to join me?!