Keep Yer Chin Up, Babe

Two Thursdays ago, I fell down the stairs.  Really!  There I was, happily carrying a discipline slip to the Deans on the first floor (yes, filling out those blue cards does fill me with a sense of justice).  I was wearing my favorite orange heels from Talbots.  Dressed impeccably (bien sur!), I was sure of winning Best Dressed Teacher for the day at school.  It was a wonderful day, beautiful weather.  And, I’d just received a note from an editor, asking for more!

Yes, it was a lovely day. Until my heel went out from under me on Step #1. It hit Step #2, slipped again and then (oh, misery!) slipped on #3. At which time my butt hit Step #1 and I threw my hands out, flailing against the cascade of events that was Ruining My Day. 

No dice.  I slid down three more stairs and ended up with one leg folded under me on the stairs (the trailing foot couldn’t catch up). That foot curled into a strange question mark in its oh-so-pretty shoe.  One hand was strained from trying to stop the “A is for Alice, who fell down the stairs” moment.  Nah, Richard Scary.  That girl’s name is Susan.

When it was over, I had a sprained finger and (this makes me feel so small) sprained Big Toe.  Today, nearly three weeks, later, I am in a pair of normal shoes.  My toe still hurts.  So does my finger.  But I am better, and I am on my way back to the healthy, snarky Mermaid we all know and love.

So, you ask, why am I telling this story?  Because, when it’s all over, Keep Your Chin Up.  Yes, it’s been hard to wear sneakers at work.  It was hard to creep to and from the train, up and down the stairs at work and home, to depend on other people.  It was hard to get a rejection after I’d made the re-submit and was waiting for the contract I was positive would be in the mail the next day.  How could I miss?  How could I miss that step?

And how does one go about recovering, both from a missed step and a rejection?  My plan for my foot is to keep moving carefully, and in sensible shoes!  Oh, that is a hard one to swallow, but it must be done.  My plan for my manuscript is a careful re-read, tweaking to address the flaws that seemed to stop this editor cold, and resubmit.

Which brings me to the question:  How do YOU handle those speed bumps in life?  Your illness or injury, or that of someone you love?  The surprise rejection of a manuscript you believe in?  What does it take to get you back on your feet or, in Mermaid-speak, back in the lagoon?