Husband: “Do you think the Hawks high-five each other after they make it through the hoop?”
Me: “Yes, because I keep finding feathers on the bottom of my shoes.”
This was the conversation my husband and I had as we looked not at a bunch of freakishly tall people on our TV screen, but at the driveway outside our family room window.
The Hawks* are not a basketball team – at least not a professional one. (No jerseys.) They are a family of birds that live in a 5-million-year-old tree that butts up to our driveway.
And what they’re “making” through our basketball hoop is one colossal mess.
The Hawks used to aim their many pot shots just a leeetle to the left of the basketball hoop — exactly where I parked my van. But it became difficult to drive, peering through stuff that would not wipe off because it had the consistency of wet cardboard and malt-o-meal cement. So, I moved the Hawks’ favorite target (my van), unintentionally forcing them to find a new one.
We now play basketball in our scuba gear.
The birds and their repeated bombardments on a sole area reminded me of a conversation I had with a writing friend who, at the time, felt she was marked with a big red X that said, “Universe – please mess with me! And then give me a papercut between my toes!”
Though my friend had both personal and professional obstacles to overcome, the reality of repeated rejections of her manuscript was the “thing” that was causing her the most pain, along with a kind of writing paralysis. She felt, I imagine, like she had her own personal wildlife team constantly “slam-dunking” within inches of her head.
Got the visual?
Most people know, or know of, an individual or family that seems to get dumped on with one disaster after another. Good people. Great people. No matter what they do, say, or change, the catastrophe-bullseye remains firmly affixed. However, these good/great people learn to go forward, or at least how to shift…their way of thinking. Their frame of mind. Their sights on what’s important.
It takes a lot of grace. And focus. And work. And, sometimes a good dose of acting.
But then they get there.
I’m thinking of those people I know who somehow shifted their glasses from half-empty to nearly-full after a tragedy. I’m thinking of my writing friend and how she shifted her focus from rejection to that of progress made.
(I’m also thinking about my van and how I shifted it to a new parking spot. Boy, does it look better now!)
As writers, as humans, the bad “stuff” will keep flying no matter what we do.
However, just a tiny shift can help deflect the mess.
What do YOU do to shift your perspective when things get tough? As a writer, have you ever had a rejection turn into something wonderful? And, have any of you been dunked on by a bird (hawk or otherwise)? Please share in the comments. *(If you’re wondering why I’m capitalizing the “h” in Hawks, the answer is, Respect, brah.)
Find me on Twitter @amandahoving