Gretchen Rubin

How I manage to make myself happier after a big professional disappointment.

I had a big professional disappointment this morning, and I have the sinking, almost sick feeling that I get when I feel that I’ve failed at something.

I’m trying to comfort myself with two catchphrases:

First: “The second opportunity is the better opportunity.” This is something that the Big Man always says: in career matters, if you don’t get the first opportunity you want, it’s always lucky, because inevitably the second opportunity is better.

Second: “Enjoy the fun of failure.” I’m very competitive, and also insecure, and I hate, hate, hate the feeling of failure. I’ve been reminding myself that failure is a necessary part of creativity, of risk-taking, of aiming high. If I’m not failing, I’m not trying hard enough. It’s fun to fail.

I can’t mope around, because I’m expected at the Big Girl’s school for her birthday celebration, and I need to pick up doughnuts for her class.

It occurs to me – eight years ago today, I was giving birth to a fragile four-pound baby who went straight to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a week. If on that day, I could have known that anything at all could cast a shadow on the eighth birthday of our healthy, beautiful girl, I wouldn’t have believed it. What could dim that happiness?

Okay, I’m starting to feel better now.

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