I called my sister today. She asked, “So what’s up?”
“Nothing,” I replied. And almost at the same time we both said, “That is a nice change! Isn’t that wonderful!”
We chatted a little bit about everything good in our lives and then my sister said, “This is terrible, but it makes me wonder when it’s going to end.”
We’ve had that conversation before, several times, over the course of our lives.
It reminded me of when we were teenagers and we’d lay in bed at night, talking, as we drifted off to sleep. I remember one conversation in particular. The night we discussed how great our life was. It seemed like all of our friends had major challenges and struggles, and we couldn’t really even think of any small ones. We had it pretty darn good. Almost perfect. Nearly too good to be true. And even though we were teenagers, we both knew how good our life was. (I believe we thought it bordered on perfection, marred only to a tiny degree because we’d been blessed with twin brothers who were overly…rambunctious, you could say.) One of us wondered when our fairy tale was going to end.
Turns out, 1986. (When our dad died unexpectedly in a plane crash, we lost everything, our widowed mom moved the family to Utah and our mother returned to work to support her five teenagers she was left to raise alone.)
It was glorious, let me tell you. But not in the way you might think.
“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.” (Vince Lombardi)
That experience knocked us to our knees. But our mom led our family in a comeback that changed my life forever and prepared me for my unexpected life, and my divorce, better than I ever could have imagined.
So in 2009, when my unexpected life hit and I got divorced, when I not only got knocked to my knees but felt as if my legs had been amputated at the knees, I knew a comeback was required; that somehow, some way, I was going to rise up again. I was going for the glory. I had to–because of the way I’d been raised, and for my children.
That’s one thing I’ve learned: No matter what knocks you down, no matter how far you fall, it is possible to come back. It is glorious to come back. In fact, there’s nothing like a comeback!
“There’s nothing as exciting as a comeback – seeing someone with dreams, watching them fail, and then getting a second chance.” (Rachel Griffiths)
Comebacks are real.
And while you’re making a comeback, don’t forget to note what you’ve learned because, “If you’re going to go through hell…I suggest you come back learning something.” (Drew Barrymore)
In other words, don’t waste your experiences. We’ll all get our feet knocked out from under us (multiple times throughout our lives, probably.) And when we think we’re down for the count, we have two choices: stay down or get up. (It can be a bummer that there are only two options. I remember in the midst of my unexpected life experiences in 2009 that neither of those options were my ideal and I SO wished there were more to choose from! But there aren’t.) The additional options come AFTER we pull ourselves up, after we work through the hardship, misery and pain, AFTER we don’t quit and decide to try again.
That’s what makes a comeback what it is.
Glorious glory. Courtesy of our unexpected life and resulting from things we possibly brought upon ourselves (aka. things that can be considered our failures) through choices we made and occasionally, from nothing we did. It really doesn’t matter how they come to us, it’s what we choose to do with them that counts. Our comeback.
“Our greatest glory consists not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” (Oliver Goldsmith)