Unslumping

Chances are, if you have a child, you have read Dr. Seuss.

If you have read Dr. Seuss, chances are you have also read Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Maybe it was even a gift to you upon graduation, or a gift you gave for graduation.

Whatever the case, we all know that unpleasant bumps can drop a person into a slump.

This leads to the need for unslumping.

Last week was the occasion of several unpleasant bumps–a few figurative and one literal. My fearless daughter ended up with a nasty concussion from one of the bumps. Gymnastics is a fearless sport. So is ice-skating, my daughter’s other love, to which I will cautiously return her after the doctor’s all clear this weekend.

We did not make it to the Chalk It Up festival this weekend. Traveling after a head injury was not going to work, and even if I could go, my daughter had planned to help me. This was going to be a big moment for her. And if I left her behind, it would be like putting up a big neon sign declaring that her concerns were secondary to Mommy’s hobby.

That, of course, will not do.

When she had to go to the emergency room, her big brothers stepped up to say they would not go anywhere without her, either. If she stayed, we would do the same.

My kids are primary to my existence. No art, festival, trip, or anything else even compares to them. They are, after all, my life’s work and masterpiece. The rest is filler. Fun filler, most of the time, but filler.

So, we stayed home. My middle son went to the gallery for classes, and for the first weekend in a long time, the rest of us did chores while my daughter watched TV curled in a blanket on the couch.

As you can see, if you are keeping notes, I removed my last post.

Sitting in the emergency room contemplating the possibility of brain damage and broken facial bones from a nasty six-foot-fall-face-plant, everything else seems trivial. The past is past and it needs to be left there by everyone–including me. My focus needs to reach forward and concentrate on what is truly precious to me: the family I brought into being with my husband.

I called the festival and excused myself. I knew this would probably leave a former friend, turned work-stealing-enemy,  thinking I lacked the nerve to be in her presence. I also knew we would lose the money spent on our hotel room.

Pride would take this as a failure, but pride and ego are just a nuisance.

Next weekend there is another festival. There are more comicon events to work at, and I have some submissions in for local galleries–not to mention lesson plans to submit for art classes. Life goes on.

One weekend, one festival, one or two people giving me headaches over perceived issues–who cares?

I will throw this out to anyone in need of perspective: if one or two people have a problem with you, just remember there are nearly 7 billion people on the planet. You would have to write down the percent of people with whom you have a problem using decimals and scientific notation–there would be too many zeroes, they are so insignificant. Focus on the ones who love you, and the ones you love. They are probably in equally small number, but not because they are unimportant–because they are so improbably unique and wonderful.

How do I unslump from a bad week?

I remember I am unbelievably fortunate to have four really amazing and healthy kids.

Everything else, as they say, is peanuts.

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A picture from before the fall. Right now she looks as though she lost a prize fight, but is healing nicely. No broken bones, just a concussion, but still very scary.

(P.S. All of the extra rest paid off and Nicole is feeling like the Queen of the World, which is as it should be, because she is awesome.)

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