We all know feeling. We enter a competition but find we haven’t even made the long-list. We send off our novel, that baby we think is perfect, only to receive a thanks but no thanks letter. Dreams shattered, hopes crushed. How do you deal with it?
I’ve been putting some thought into this lately (for those who’ve been regular readers -yes, my chapters fell off the charts 24 hours before the professional reviews were given out. I know I said it wouldn’t matter, but I’m human. It hurt.). I’ve come up with a few alternatives for getting over that stomach crunching whack of disappointment. In no particular order –
1. Get drunk. I don’t advocate this. I’ve only ever been close to drunk once and it was an experience I never want to repeat. How can people purposely put themselves in the position of not knowing which way is up? No. A glass of red to lift the spirits maybe, but not drunk.
2. Throw things. A good option if you’re made of money, but things have a habit of breaking when you throw them. This was Dynamo’s favourite tension reliever when he was little. If I put him in his room for some misdemeanour, he’d throw a toy or two across the room, damaging the wall and/or the tossed toy. One day I told him that I would take away any toy he threw for three days. As I shut the door, I heard him say “You’ll have to take my whole room!” Then he went berserk, throwing anything he could lay his hands on. I let him throw until he’d slowed down a little. Then I walked in with a garbage bag and cleared his room of every toy except his cuddly bedtime dog. He didn’t do that again. But when I think of throwing something I always remind myself of that occasion and ask myself if I really want to act like a three-year-old?
3. Write a really rude letter to the person/people who handed you the disappointment. Tell them exactly what you think of them. A great stress reliever, as long as it’s never sent to the addressee. The best idea is to write it, then tear it into little tiny pieces or set it alight and watch it burn. Of course, this is a waste of paper and not environmentally sound, but it does help!
4. Take it out on those around you. Yes, if you want to make your life even more miserable, this is a great option. Spouses ( or should that be spice?) and children just love to be yelled at for something they had absolutely nothing to do with.
5. Go for a looooooooooooooooooooooong walk. This is the option I took on Saturday (yes, I finally got some exercise). I didn’t set off intending to go for a long walk, but as I went I realised I was beginning to feel a whole lot better, so I just kept going. I saw parts of the farm I haven’t seen for years, stamped out all that frustration and disappointment and came home with a sore knee to keep my mind off other things.
So, what can you add to the list?