Thursday, September 13, 2012

3 Lessons Learned from Disappointment

You may wonder what a refrigerator has to do with disappointment. Well, here's the deal . . .

We've had our fridge for around 25 years. Yes, it's been a good appliance and still runs, but Hubby and I wanted to get a new one. You know, the kind where you can get crushed ice and water in the door. How cool would that be? So during Labor Day we took advantage of the sales and bought one. However, it couldn't be delivered until last Tuesday.

We'd cleaned out the freezer and fridge so when they delivered the new appliance all that they would need to do would be pulled out the old and insert the new. 

The delivery truck arrived. The man came in, pulled out the old fridge and . . .  got out his tape measure. We'd already measured so we were pretty certain all would be well.

This is where disappointment enters the story. We didn't take into account the lip of our counter top nor the baseboards of our walls. Sadly our new fridge would not fit unless we modified our counter tops and baseboards. Yikes! We had to refuse delivery of our brand new, shiny refrigerator.

However, we went back to the store and picked out another fridge with the measurements the delivery man gave us. The replacement is a better brand and has more room inside, but, to say the least, we were majorly disappointed that we didn't get the fridge we'd originally wanted and that we had to pay more money for the one that will be delivered this Saturday.

Disappointment can really wreck your day in major ways if you let it. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "make lemonade out of lemons," well, that's what a person needs to do and especially a writer.

We writers tend to deal with disappointment a lot: from bad reviews to stinging critiques to rejections. But also writers are some of the most resilient people I know because we keep picking ourselves up, dusting off our manuscripts, and starting over. Here's three things that have helped me with disappointment.

1.  Consider the source of criticism. Is it someone whose opinion you respect and trust? If so, see what you can do to fix the problem. Otherwise accept that you have a differing opinion from the critique and move on. In the case of the fridge, the criticism was spot on. :(

2. Don't keep going over and over a problem without taking a step back and reassessing. Whenever I've suffered with writers block and can't seem to resolve the problem no matter how many times I've looked at it, it generally means the true issue happened near the beginning. Go back and read your manuscript to see where you started going off the rails. Or as with the problem with our fridge, we had to return to the store and buy a fridge that would fit. Now that's going back to the beginning. :)

3. Be grateful. I know you're scratching your head over this one, but seriously be grateful. A critique that makes your manuscript stronger is priceless. A different brand of refrigerator that is better than the first one we chose is something I'm grateful for. The extra expense, not so much, but the lesson learned of measuring baseboards and counter tops will never be forgotten.

So thanks to my old fridge and the new one yet to be delivered, I've learned more lessons in handling disappointment.

How about you? How do you deal with disappointment?   



  1. Reminds me of the line from the man in back in The Princess Bride -- Get used to disappointment. Ha!

    It's just part of the human condition, unfortunately. On the other hand, it makes us appreciate all those great surprises in life all the more. :)

    1. I've forgotten that line. :) But sometimes it's very true--get used to disappointment.

      Now the dryer died. Oh boy!

  2. Oh, I'm so sorry about the fridge Kathi. That would be a huge disappointment. I hope the next one will be better.

    1. Well you know the saying, the best laid plans . . . Now how does that go?

  3. I can so relate to this post. When we bought our refrigerator, my husband had to remove the baseboard. :)

    Happy ice making, Kathi!

    1. You know, since we've gone through this a lot of people have told me the same thing. I guess they're just making taller fridges now days. :)



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