I was watching Glen Beck this afternoon and he was talking about picking yourself up and starting over, and well, it got me thinking. A couple of songs popped into my head and they had the common theme of "when you get knocked down, get back up."
One of my favorite songs is Frank Sinatra's That's Life. And what a message it is. So true and sung with such strength and power. "That's Life. That's what all the people say. I'm flying high in April, shot down in May, but you know I'm going change that tune, when I'm back on top, back on top in June."
What a great philosophy of when I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race. How shocking that he's not saying, I found myself flat on my face, blamed society and sued the whole damn place. Another song comes to mind for me too. This one from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (yes I still love that movie). The song, From the Ashes of Disaster Grow the Roses of Success. It's all about learning from your failure and starting over again. Another great message.
Finally, the song that comes to mind is an Old Fred and Ginger tune with a refrain of "I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again."
What I find particularly interesting about these songs is that they're sung positively. The last two in particular have a really peppy tune indicating that this is a really good message. But it's a message we have shied away from. Life is hard and unfair. There will be times when you are flat on your face, dropped to your knees or knocked ass over tea kettle. Your life is not defined by how many times you get knocked down, but by how many times you get back up. If you get knocked out and decide to stay down, then you deserve to get stepped on by those who do rise again. People will reach out a hand to help you, but you have to take the hand and exert the effort to pull yourself up. Pick yourself up, dust yourself up and start all over again.
This is a hard thing for me personally to do. I over analyze everything and sometimes get to the point where I see so many negative possibilities that it's hard to move forward; but I was raised with the philosophy that the only person who can improve your situation in life is you. I have literally fallen off the horse and gotten right back on. I got bit by an ostrich that same day but that's a whole other story.
I write -- not just the blog but novels as well. I've never been published and the whole industry is really tough on the old ego. I wrote my first novel when I was 25 and I have to admit that it really sucked. But hey, it was 1991 and I wrote it by hand in a series of composition books. I didn't write another one until I was 30 and I had technologically advanced. This one started on a word processor and then progressed to a computer. I attempted to get it published but was inundated with rejection letters. A very demoralizing experience. I wrote another one a few years later, again I was rejected. I received some very nice and very encouraging rejection letters, but they were still rejections. But I didn't give up. At least not for long. I will continue to try.
My latest book is, I believe, my best chance for publication so far. It's a political suspense thriller where there is a plot to wipe out Congress and start fresh. Who doesn't want to read about Congress reaping what they've sown? But I'm still, in the eyes of the publishing industry, a first time author and it will be very difficult to get this published, and yet I've already started another novel. I won't give up. I can't give up. Being a published author is a dream I've had for most of my life and it is not one I will give up easily.
Hearing that something your poured your heart and soul into and worked on for months, maybe even years, is worthless in the eyes of the marketplace is one of those situations that will drop you to your knees. It's hard to hear once, it's even harder to hear over and over again. I once received four rejection letters in the same day. That was really hard to bounce back from, but I did.
What saddens me is that the message has changed from the get back up and try again, to a message that you can't possibly succeed so let the government take care of you. It's such a cruelty to so many people. Many of the American people need to relearn the lesson that life isn't fair and instead of dwelling on it you need to just suck it up and move on.
Failure is never an excuse to stop trying.
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