Misfortune and Setbacks. We’ve all been there. Something happens that is totally unplanned and we have to deal with it. For me, that something was Sunday, December 20.
I thought I was taking advantage of the nicer Wisconsin weather for December by walking my favorite walk down to the river, which then I would extend and go to Downtown Mission Church, the church I have attended for the past few weeks. I had walked 2 or 3 other times and as I said it was my normal walk with my dog in the warmer months. It’s a round trip of about 3 miles.
Church was great. Pastor Charlie’s sermon was inspiring. I was happy to spend time before and after the service getting to know more people in the church community.
Misfortune and setbacks happen when you least expect it
I walked across the bridges and started across a parking lot I had crossed many times before. I chose to take a bit of a short cut across a parking divider and my boot caught.
Cue misfortune and setbacks. I fell. Hard. After a minute or two on the cold, hard parking lot, I got up to my knees. My phone survived the fall so I pulled it out and called my husband, Bill. Yes, 911 might have been more appropriate but it was Bill I called. He was across town but he said he could come right away.
While I waited, I thought I would cautiously stand up. I could do that, so I tried one step. I couldn’t do that. All I could do was stand and wait. People drove by and walked by, no one asked why I was just standing there. But I didn’t ask for help either and I wasn’t bleeding or crying.
I called Bill again. He had started driving but he was still 10 minutes out. 30 degrees is warm for December in Wisconsin. There was nothing to lean on. So I stood and watched people drive by and walk by. When he finally arrived, I signaled him to move the passenger side to my left side and then get out to help me in. Long story short. We drove straight to ER where after initial assessment and later x-rays, we learned I fractured my pelvic bone. The physical therapist appeared to teach me how to walk with my walker and we went home.
Lessons from misfortune and setbacks
You will experience misfortune and setbacks. No one is immune. You may lose a job. You may get sick or injured and it will impact your work. You may have financial issues. You may have family troubles.
Whatever your misfortune and setbacks, you can wallow in them or learn from them.
- Discover what went right. My injury is a pain and it happened right before Christmas but it could be worse. I didn’t break my hands, arms, or wrists, which as a professional resume writer, is the worst thing. I work from home and already feel well enough to be able to meet with clients.
- Ask for help if you need it. Many people are more than willing to help. Once I let my networks know, I have had offers to help and people who concretely offered help or just empathy.
- Celebrate the small victories. It’s only been a week but I am already more mobile. Today I put on my own socks! Do what you can and don’t wallow. Whether it is job loss or some other type of misfortune or setbacks, celebrate the wins. For job seekers, celebrate every network contact, celebrate the interviews, and when it comes, celebrate your new job! I celebrate when I hear one of my clients landed by posting the graphic to the right on Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Forge on! Use the misfortune and setbacks as motivators to work harder, dream bigger, and learn more. Don’t get stuck.
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