Taking Measurements

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr
Are you familiar with this quote? For the last several weeks it has been rattling in my head. It reminds me, first of all, that whatever troubles I may be having right now, they are nothing like the troubles of the brave generations that have come before me. I’ve not had to fight for my freedom, or against cruelty. I have never had to worry about having a safe place to lay my head at night, or where I can find sustenance. I consider myself blessed.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have my own challenges. Because everybody does, and while you are in the midst of them, it’s sometimes hard to keep perspective. For the last several weeks, I was in consideration for a great job. It was with a company I respect, doing the kind of work I am most interested in. The interviews went really well, and I thought I had an excellent chance of landing it. The decision point kept getting delayed, which was frustrating, but I was still very hopeful. I tried to manage my expectations, so I wouldn’t be crushed if I didn’t get the job, but the truth is, that’s not really in my DNA. I’m a dreamer-realist hybrid. I will always hope for the happy ending, and believe there’s every chance of it happening, but if it doesn’t happen, I won’t fall apart. I’ll deal.
Which turns out to be a good thing, because I learned late last week, I didn’t get the job. After being told I was the leading candidate, and everyone thought I was great, they had a late day reorg, and changed the requirements of the position. And, I have to say, I was really bummed and disappointed. But I can only move forward and hope that the next opportunity turns out to be even better, and that I will soon be employed again. Fingers crossed that it will be something I am really interested in, for a company I respect.
While that little dance was going on, I was also having some health issues. Went through a whole round of tests for various things, and some of them came back with less than optimal results. Without going into detail here, next week I will have to have a minor procedure to take care of one of the issues. It will all be okay, it always is, but can you start to understand why that quote is stuck in my head? Frankly, it’s a whole lot of shit for one cheerful, curly haired woman to deal with.
So, I can handle it a couple of ways. I can be a depressed, snarly witch, and wring my hands at the heavens bemoaning all that is not going my way. Or, I can suck it up and keep trying. I can appreciate my friends and family, who love me even when I’m not perfect, and my life is going imperfectly. I can try and have a little grace, and a lot of humor, and deal with disappointments and setbacks as they come.
Life isn’t comfortable right now, or especially convenient. But, I am so aware of where my problems would fall in the grand scheme of the world. I’m not sticking my head in the sand, or refusing to face facts, but I also know that no matter what happens, I’m probably not going to end up hungry or homeless. Everything else is pretty much gravy.
I don’t mean to be preachy here, that is so not my intent. I feel as if I am stating all of this rather inelegantly, but these are the thoughts I have been thinking. I guess it all goes back to my Dad’s rule of “Spit Backwards.” This is what he would tell us when we were on car rides as kids, complaining about things, as kids do, like being thirsty. It basically means, make the best of things, tough it up, and don’t bleed on the seats. Deal. And I would add to that, show some style while you’re doing it. Stand up straight, keep a smile on your face, appreciate all your blessings, and show your measure!
The end, for now


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