Tuesday Toss-Up

What Do You Do When You Fall Off A Horse?

A few weeks ago, my daughter was riding horses with a friend and trying to learn how to jump. After a few misses and a couple of almost-got-its, the horse had enough and unceremoniously dumped my daughter on the ground. As I saw her falling, my heart stopped, I held my breath and ran for her. But, before I could even get halfway there, my daughter popped up, said something like, “Well, that was rude,” and got back on the horse. She didn’t even dust herself off first.

She’s totally my hero.

And she did manage to get the horse to jump with her later that day.

My daughter’s a lot like me (remember how your mother used to say, “I hope you get one just like you,” and that was supposed to be a curse?). She’s persistent (stubborn), opinionated (hard-headed), passionate (moody), quick-thinking (reactionary) and tender-hearted (sensitive). Just like me…you can imagine how that goes in our house sometimes. So, it might have gone either way with the horse. She might have been discouraged, having been dumped on the ground after struggling and failing to jump the horse, and given up. She might have gotten mad and given up. She might have taken some time to consider what had happened and waited to get back on the horse. Instead, she got right back on the horse, as all the good theys say you should (as in, “they say you should get right back up on the horse after you fall off,” or “they say you should have a little hair of the dog that bit you,” or “they say you should always cut the head off a zombie to make sure it’s dead”).

Recently, I got some feedback for my novel-in-progress that was, shall we say, less than stellar. But the giver of the feedback is truly an expert and I can’t deny, as much as I’d like to, he’s on the money. It’s so tempting to give up (that’s my reactionary side talking) but I won’t (stubborn, hard-headed side). The question is will I jump right on the horse or take a little time to dust myself off?

If I jump back in, maybe it’ll ease the pain of rejection under loads of work. Then again, maybe giving myself time to mull things over would allow me to start again with a clearer head…unless that “time to mull things over” goes on forever…which, with me, it might.

I guess I should take a page from my daughters book.

Sometimes I think our kids teach us more than we teach them.

How do you deal with set-backs? Do you get right back on the horse or do you take some time to dust yourself off first? What do you tell yourself when you’re tempted to give up?


4 thoughts on “What Do You Do When You Fall Off A Horse?

  1. I recently saw, then shared, this wisdom on Facebook: Life isn’t about weathering the storms, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. My choice is to embrace being thrown… while sipping Chardonnay at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.

    1. I love that! Our challenges (or how we deal with them) make us who we are. I love the images of dancing in the rain and sipping Chardonnay in Paris…though I’m more of a Cabernet girl myself ;).

  2. I’ve learned I have to give myself a moment to think things through first. Not about whether or not to get back on. That’s a given. But if I don’t know what I did wrong, or if I did anything wrong at all, then I might end up in the dirt again, dusting myself off once more.

    As for what I tell myself when I’m tempted to quit…I don’t really tell myself much of anything. I just put one metaphorical foot in front of the other, and if I tell myself anything at all, it’s that this isn’t a race. Writing exists outside of failure and success. It’s just something I have to do. Yesterday was the closest I came to ignoring that, but between your post, Kait Nolan’s post on entitlement, and some words of wisdom from someone I greatly respect who reminded me that writing, for me, is like breathing, I’m doing much better and I’m back on track.

    So, I guess a thank you is in order. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Awesome!

      I totally agree with the putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes we just have to keep our head down and keep on going until we pick up steam again. But I do believe we’ll pick up steam again.

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