My husband is a Green Bay Packers fan. So this past Sunday night after putting the kiddo to bed, I crawled onto the couch with him to watch a little of the game, saying I’d go to bed at the end of the third quarter.
Well, by the end of the third quarter, I was as glued to the television as he was. It was just so interesting to watch. At the beginning of the game, the Atlanta Falcons were psyched with home field advantage and a winning attitude. They were so confident. Then a vital Packers player got hurt, and they took immediate advantage of that weak spot. It didn’t look good for Green Bay.
To say the least, my hubby was in a crabby mood by the time I was able to watch the game with him. But then the strangest thing happened. Green Bay made a really good play. Then they made another awesome play. Next thing we know, the Falcons made a big mistake.
And just like that, the morale of the game shifted. Packer spirits grew and Falcon’s self-assurance dwindled. It seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.
I see the same kind of thing happen with my writing. I get a review where the reader pointed out all these details that could’ve been better, and I duck my head with that, geesh yeah, I messed up there. Then an editor finds all these glaringly obvious mistakes that a person would think should be caught even before the rough draft was written. My morale plummets. My drive to tell more stories shrivels, and I ache to hide away somewhere safe and warm and eat ice cream.
Then a nice word comes along unexpectedly. And like an April rain shower, the grass immediately turns green. I lift my face, glance around. Everyone is smiling, the sun is shining. Yep, birds are singing. And I want to write again. I’m actually eager to revise a manuscript.
Maybe that makes me bipolar, but I say it simply makes me human. It’s just so easy to be dragged down or lifted up. At this point of the blog, you’d think maybe I should say finding that happy medium would be the ultimate goal. But nope, I think not. I say, embrace both the ups and the downs.
(warning: Linda is now going into preach mode now)
I’m reminded of the middle grade story, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days by Stephen Manes. Tired of always messing up, the main character decides to become the perfect person. After stumbling across a book in the library, he tries to follow the rules of perfection, only to realize perfect people did nothing but sit around properly and drink tea all day. Turns out perfect was boring.
If you never made any mistakes, if you never failed to reach your goals, if you messed up more than once, then those moments when you finally do it right, when you finally get what you’ve been striving for won’t be so utterly amazing.
You’d have a dull, humdrum existence without some kind of failure.
So just remember, next time morale is down and the world looks foggy and grey and miserable, it’s times like this that will make those sunny days even sweeter.
Green Bay won their game on Sunday, and the victory was so much better than if they'd started off looking good.
Here’s to the good…and the bad. Happy Wednesday.