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Pick Yourself Up--Nobody Else Is Going To Do It

Story ID:5410
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Manhattan KS USA
Year:2009
Person:Nancy Kopp
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Pick Yourself UpóNobody Else Is Going To Do It

Ken and I waited all day Saturday for the Kansas State Wildcats football game versus Texas Tech. We settled down in front of the TV, hopes high despite the fact that we were definitely the underdog. Tech scored again and again, and K-State made penalty after penalty, punted what seemed like a zillion times and ended up on the low end of a 66-14 score. Our guys had dropped so far in one night, we could barely conceive that it happened. It must have been a very quiet flight home that night.

Five months ago, our son lost his job through no fault of his own. His company went through another downsizing, and even though heíd survived cut after cut the last few years, this time his number came up. He saw it coming and could do nothing about it. It was almost a sense of relief when the ax fell. He received a decent severance package and health benefits for a few months, but he was on the bottom rung of the ladder again.

Iíve been there myself. After the joy of looking forward to having our first child, my dream turned into a nightmare. She was born with a serious birth defect and died at seven weeks of age. Instead of standing by her crib, I stood at a gravesite. And it happened a second time almost four years later. Different problem, same result. I hit bottom emotionally.

But I learned something through those two heart-wrenching experiences. You have to pick yourself up and go on. Nobody else can do it for you. Itís not a matter of bouncing back in a flash and going on with your life. It needs to be done step by step with a determination from within. We might move two steps forward and then take one step backward during the process, but itís all right if we keep pushing forward.

I worked through my grief both times. People were supportive, and I was grateful for that, but I had to bring myself back into the land of a normal person again. For me, my faith proved to be a tremendous factor. Thatís not always the case for everyone, but personal values and convictions of other kinds can be helpful, too. And desire is of major importance. How badly do you want to overcome whatever your despair might be?

Our football team will work hard this week at practice, and next Saturday, theyíll run onto the field with heads held high, despite the hurt theyíll still be feeling inside. The coaches will give pep talks, but itís up to each player to apply it to themselves. If they try to see where they went wrong and work on correcting it, theyíll come back little by little. Each young man on that team has to pick himself up and move on.

As for my son, he had to do the same thing. He spent nearly five months searching for another job in a miserable economy, which felt like defeat in capital letters. But he persisted by networking and internet searches, updating his resume, going to interviews and looking forward rather than grieving over what once had been. Iím happy to say he began a new job today. He picked himself up and moved forward.

We all need to rely on ourselves during difficult times. Itís hard work, but it pays off.