Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dealing with Disappointment

I think I was more nervous then my son. I even felt like throwing up.

They called the runners up. Not him. It was okay. He could still get first and the scholarship, too. It would be okay.

He fidgeted with his suit in front of cameras and hundreds of people as the announcers paused.

His face fell when they named the winner. I wanted to run up and hug him and tell him everything was going to be alright.
It was a quiet drive home.

Disappointment happens to everybody. But it's not the winning or the disappointment that defines who we really are.

It would have been nice to see my son win. He's worked through a lot (he has autism). But winning never makes him who he is on the inside.

I think as writers, it is easy to get discouraged. When we start, we think all we have to do is write a quick story and everyone will love it. We'll get an agent in a week, we'll be on the best sellers list (because Mom thinks it should be). But we learn there is more to this journey than that.

There is work. Hard work. Revisions, edits, finding agents, writing more books and yes, the occasional chocolate binge. (Which I was just told can be good for you! Yay chocolate.)

But we should not let the disappointments (or the successes for that matter) define who we are.

My son is doing great this week. The award ceremony is in the past. It has changed some things for him (going to a different college), but he is happy and full of excitement for the future. It didn't define him or destroy him. He is continuing to be awesome!

I hope this writing journey finds us all where we dream of, but if not, it's okay. With every door that closes, another one opens.

How have you dealt with disappointment?  Do you think it was for the best?

Have a great week everyone! Good luck with the writing/reading/ laundry cleaning/ whatever! ;) 


Jamie Burch said...

I admire your son's winning attitude and ability to move on to the next opportunity. Sounds like a wonderful kid.

This is a great reminder not to dwell on the past but to move forward. That's what I'm learning to do.

Hope you're having a fantastic week. It's almost Friday!

Take care,

Sara B. Larson said...

I'm sorry he didn't win, but what a great lesson to learn. I know he'll do amazing at whatever he puts his heart to. And so will we. It might not always happen the way we hope, but that's part of the journey I guess, is trusting that as long as we're doing everything we can, things will work out the way they are supposed to, even if we don't always know what that is.

February Grace said...

This is such a beautiful post, and a reminder that sometimes what seems like the end of everything is just the beginning of the course upon which we truly find out what we're made of. The beginning of something more.

I am in awe of you, as a woman, a writer, and a Mom. I salute you, my friend.

And I know from experience too, it's harder to watch your child's disappointment than to suffer your own, so huge hugs to you there too. Glad he's doing so well and looking ahead to college!



Patti said...

It's hard to watch your kids not meet their goals. My son lost his provincial championship game when they were expected to win.

Disappointment is a hard part of life. I'm hoping it will make success that much sweeter.

J. A. Bennett said...

I think every writer is disappointed when their work gets rejected. But that doesn't mean rejection has to define us. We can keep working, keep improving and never give up until we get there!

Angie said...

Disappointments can be so hard! I've had to learn over and over again that there is only one true source of happiness, no matter what else happens in my life.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I think it's harder for us to see our children disppointed than if we were dealing with disappointment for ourselves.
But I do think striving for goals and not reaching for them and dealing with it, shape our personalities and character. It's tough though.

Jessica Bell said...

Sorry to hear about the disappointment. But everything happens for a reason in my opinion. It means there are bigger and better opportunities to pursue! Yes?

David P. King said...

That's disappointing, but at the same time, it's a crossroad - you can either let it define you or you can transcend it. Same applies to anyone who wishes and works hard for success. Keep being awesome! :)

L.T. Elliot said...

He--and his mother--is incredible. Disappointment is hard, more so when it's your child. But you're right, we can get up and face it and charge onward. I'm so glad to know he is and that happy successes are in the future. For both of you.

Nichole Giles said...

It's so, so hard to watch our children have their hearts broken. And I know well how that feels lately. In fact, I think you wrote this blog just for me. Disappointment is such an important (if miserable) part of life. You're right. It really is part of what makes us grow. Thanks for the reminder.

Mary E Campbell said...

So sorry he didn't win, but that's awesome that he didn't fall apart. Disappointment is a part of life and the way we deal with it shows our true character. I'm still trying to teach my oldest to not have a meltdown with every disappointment. Good luck to your son - he sounds like an awesome kid.

Susan Fields said...

That's too bad that your son didn't win the award, but it says a lot about him that he handled it so well. This whole writing journey is packed with disappointment, I just keep hoping someday it will all be worth it.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Lovely post! It is so hard, as a parent, when your child does not win. I expect that your reaction of grace helped him have that same reaction. One door closes and another true. :)

J.R. Johansson said...

My heart broke for both of you when I read this. Disappointments can be so hard, but they are also just a part of the path. We wouldn't end up in the same places further along without them. They open up new opportunities for success. That's the only way to see it. Love this post!

Elana Johnson said...

This is such a powerful post because it touches on so many things. It's hard for us as parents to see our children go through disappointment. We want to take that from them, but to do so would be to rob them of living.

Such it is with publishing. There are so many places to find disappointment. It's only if we let ourselves get stuck in those places that the disappointment becomes a problem.

Thanks for the reminder.

Elliot Grace said...

...I admire your son's courage. He's maturing into the type of leader we need around these parts ;)

Disappointment can be viewed as failure, or as inspiration to push a bit harder at one's goals, to want it even more than the day before. It can add just the right amount of fuel to gain future success.


MTeacress said...

I'm impressed by everyone who has a disability and yet continues to climb as far as, and farther than most of us. He may not have gotten this award, but he's got a bigger one coming his way. :)