Stand Back Up

Remember as a kid playing kickball and the high, home run came down hard in your arms, knocking the wind out of you?

Remember not being able to breathe for what seemed like at least 10 minutes?

I got that same feeling when I was told that, after eight years of employment, my company no longer needed my services.

It was a normal morning

Last Friday morning began the same as it does for most home-office workers.  Stumble out of bed, throw on sweats and shirt, brush the teeth, feed the dog, grab coffee and head to the office.

Same-old, same-old until 11 a.m.

Twenty minutes later, I hung up the phone, stunned and barely breathing.

For an instant, I was back on the playground, the ball bouncing off me.  I was sucking in air and clutching my belly.

Next, just like my sixth grade year, the racking sobs started.  Back then, the pain was physical.  It was this time as well.

When you’re the child on the playground, the noises of the game slowly come back into focus.  Your buddies help you to your feet, brush off your backside, maybe even walk you to the nurse’s office.

When you’re an adult and you’ve just lost your job–the one that was once a dream come true–the response has been the same.

My buddies have helped me to my feet, dusted me off and are walking with me wherever I need to go.

Stand back up

Child and adult–each stands back up.

Maybe you get to your feet physically or maybe it’s symbolically.

Either way, standing back up is all about attitude.

Kids don’t know any better.  They take a ball in the breadbasket and without thinking about whether it will happen again, they stand back up and jog back into the game.

We adults are more hesitant, aren’t we?  We have voices in our heads and doubts in our hearts.

We get the wind knocked out of us and lie awake at night asking ourselves if we’re good enough to play the game anymore.

Give yourself a time out

Give yourself a time out.  Focus.  Give yourself a pumped-up game talk and fist bump your hands together.

Let your teammates–your family, friends and support network–do what they do, which is support you.  Don’t try to be a one-person team.

You are good enough, healthy enough, worthy enough, to play the game.

You just have to stand back up and put yourself back in the game.  While you’re at it, go all-in.

Don’t let anything keep you down.

Stand back up.

Then share your story with us about how you stand back up.

Please enjoy the Sugarland video that prompted the theme of this post (outside of my layoff!) with thanks to my friend Lois.



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  1. LaDonna Coy says:

    Its been nearly twenty years and I’ve never written the story down, I’m not sure I’m ready to share it yet. But I will say it took me almost six months of crying myself to sleep every night before I heard that still small voice tell me, “you can keep crying like this or you can get up and live a good life, one that is an example of how its done.” I remember sitting up from my tearful posture and making myself and God a promise that I would choose to be that example – I would live the life I was given. I stood back up.

    It wasn’t always an easy road after that and I got knocked down again and again but holding onto that promise helped me to get back on my feet.

    Thank you for sharing the story. Your courage and openness are pure inspiration – an example of resilience and love in action — always.

    • Beth says:

      Dear LaDonna,

      I am so moved by your words. What incredible strength you have . . . my respect for you continues to deepen.

      The sad truth is that life isn’t fair sometimes. Sometimes we have to take the circumstances of a badly dealt hand and figure out how to bluff our way through until the cards begin to turn.

      Believing in good; that’s my answer. And learning to not allow myself to be a victim.

      Know that I’m thinking of you tonight and sending you blessings.

      Much love!

  2. Hi Beth,

    So sorry to hear your news. This kind of surprise is always hard to take. So great that you are sharing your story. I know you will help others who are going through similar challenges right now.

    It helped me when I started writing about what knocked me down. I also found that often there is a silver lining to our challenges. It may take some time to find it, but I’m sure, there is a new path for you. Always hard to see at first, but it may be just what you’ve been waiting for.

    I’ll be thinking about you and sending good thoughts your way.

    • Beth says:

      Hi Cathy,

      I’m so very grateful for the loving support I have from dear friends! I gave myself permission to be down for a few days, but that’s not my normal state of being, so I believe I’ve left that part behind.

      Yes, I am ready for the new adventure to begin. Of one thing I’m sure: I will be okay and so will other folks in similar situations.

      Knock us down, but count on us standing back up!

      Best to you!

  3. Priska says:

    Hello Beth,
    I’m sorry to hear the news thank you for sharing, I’d like to give a cyber cuddle.
    My story, if you click on my name you can read it. It’s personal and took courage to hit the publish button.
    One thing that I am learning in midlife is that were all vulnerable and it’s that vulnerability that connects us.

    • Beth says:

      Wow, Priska, yours is quite a story! You’ve raised an interesting point about the “down” side of always being up and positive. Very interesting indeed.

      Congratulations on realizing you need something more and for having the courage to take the necessary steps to help yourself.

      Yes, we are sisters in vulnerability. I’m proud to have that connection with you!

      Many blessings!

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