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Do Better Next Time

Story ID:8647
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
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It was a bitter cold January evening. The temperatures had dipped into the single
digits (Fahrenheit) every night for two weeks. Although it was mid January, the snow
that fell Christmas day was still on the ground and had recently been covered by two new

I bundled warmly, grabbed the garbage and went outside. My breathe created a
cloud of vapor around my head. With each step I took, the snow under my feet crunched
like the sound you hear in your head when you eat a bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal.

On the other side of the cal-de-sac and at the end of the parking lot across
from mine, I tossed the bag of garbage into the dumpster.

Anxious to get out of the cold, I hurried back to our apartment. It was a careless
thing to do. My right foot hit an icy patch and flew out in front of my left. I was down
in the ice and snow in less than a second. My write hand instinctively shot out and
cushioned my fall.

It happened so fast, it took me a moment to figure out what happened.

Lying on the hard ice, topped with the freshly fallen snow, I assessed myself.
"Nothing broken I don't think." My wrist felt a little sore, but otherwise, I felt OK.

I lay sprawled in the parking lot and realized, I was in full view of all my
fellow tenants. I turned my head from side-to-side. Did anyone see me fall?

Quickly, I got to my feet, dusted myself off and walked home more carefully
than the walk before my fall.

The next morning my wrist was swollen and sore I was still whole.

It was another fall in life.
I've fallen many times: jobs came and went, a spouse died, mistakes building
an addition to my house, falls from ladders, mistakes while playing sports and writing

There are too many to mention.

Each time, I've gotten up, dusted myself off and moved on.

I hope no one notices, but they do. You have to own up to your blunders. People
do notice. Don't hide it. Get up, dust yourself off, admit you fell and do better next time.

Michael T. Smith