Drumroll, Please

I’ve discovered, over the past few months, that there are some things that help lead to successful outcomes.  But success isn’t guaranteed.  And even if one part of something — maybe the MOST important part — turns out okay, that doesn’t mean that YOU won’t take a beating throughout, and, rightly or wrongly, come out the villain in the end.

A hard, adult lesson I just learned is this: Hard work isn’t everything.  Sometimes, things just suck, even when you’ve worked really hard on something.

(This reminds me of a scene from the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)

He worked really hard, Grandma.

So do washing machines.

There are, however, a few things a person can do to help ensure a successful outcome — or at least, a less suckful one.  Please, once again, allow me to be a horrible warning to you and share the wisdom I’ve compiled:

Meredith’s Tips for Success:

1) Say “thank you.”  Say it often.  Mean it.

2) Automate whatever processes you can.  Delegate where you can’t automate.

3) Learn to live with less.

4) Carry extras.  Extra cash; extra snacks; a spare toothbrush if you think of it; extra band-aids, and underpants, and tampons and condoms.  In a pinch, you can often find an ATM or in some places, a taxi driver who will take your credit card; you can ask for a plaster/band-aid/whatever the local word is; you can call the hotel concierge for a tooth brush or use your finger in an airport bathroom.  But there are some things for which there is no really substitute, and when you need them, you need them.  Those things are tampons and condoms.

Don’t get caught short.

5) Pack only what you can carry yourself.

6) Be open and honest, even when circumstances discourage both.

7) Sit through the suck — the only way out is through.  Shortcuts will typically lead you right back to where you started and you’ll have to make your way through the worst of the shitswamp again.

8) Trust yourself to know the difference between people who want to help you, and people who want to take advantage of you — and don’t beat yourself up for sometimes mistaking the two, because sometimes the helpers and the con-men shift shape mid-stream.

9) Schedule time to cry.  Or scream.  And breathe.

10) Remember, hard work isn’t the only thing. As a wise mother-in-law once noted, washing machines work hard.  Sometimes, things simply are.  Being flexible; adaptable; understanding context and circumstances — that counts for Quite A Lot in making your way through whatever comes.

That’s all I got, folks.  Don’t forget the granola bar, the absorbent products, and the prophyactics.  I’d recommend a bottle of water for the road, too.

1 Comment

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  1. This one was just wonderful. And precisely along the lines of Your Aphorism (which is posted in my cube at work): Be firm. Be fair. Be consistent. Act confident. Be gentle with yourself. Avoid the Doritos at all costs.

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