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Life is good

It’s been a disappointing day. My super-secret fun thing that was supposed to happen this morning (SWAT team barricade training) was canceled just before I walked out the door. At 4:00 am. After rolling out of bed at three.

And then I got a rejection email for Blind Fury.

But so what?

In the scheme of things, these are minor things to be upset over. Much, much worse things could have happened.

I could be the reason the SWAT team got called out at three in the morning, for example.

And despite my disappointments, both incidents brought positives. I got to go back to bed and get a full night’s sleep. A rarity these days.

The rejection had helpful, and even some positive, feedback. Sometimes hard to take, but always better than a generic “not for me” response. I even got a request for future work.


So in an effort to focus on the good things, because really, these are such tiny problems compared to a real bad day, here’s a small list of some of what’s good in my life.

  • I have an awesome family
  • My husband is gainfully employed
  • We’re healthy
  • Both cars are almost paid off
  • My computer works 😉
  • I get to write every day!
  • I’m alive

I could list hundreds of good things. I could go on and on. Under the avalanche of all the wonderful things in my life, those disappointments, inconveniences, and frustrations get crushed.

Reese’s peanut butter cups help too.

By tomorrow, the little knot in my gut will be gone, right along with the feeling that I suck as a writer and should quit now, and I will look at that rejection and be grateful to the agent who took time to not only read my entire MS, but to comment on what worked and what didn’t.

Life is good.

Photo credit: THUMBS UP © Andres Rodriguez |

Working the drive-thru

I got my first job just after I turned 16. After a month or so of applying at sporting goods stores with no luck, my dad brought home a McDonald's application. I had wanted to avoid fast food, but with no prior work experience, the retail stores wouldn't touch me.

Me at 16, thankfully not wearing the blue polyester McDonald's outfit.

Happily–yes, happily–the store manager hired me at the end of my interview and I started working part-time after school and on weekends. Why happily? Well, because it turned out to be an unexpectedly good experience for a couple of reasons. Other than the joy of making buttermilk biscuits at 0530, taking drive-thru orders, and stuffing Happy Meal boxes with the latest toy. 😉

To start, the restaurant where I worked was about 10 miles from home. I didn't know anyone. I made friends (and actually dated) without the stigma of my mediocre high school social status. (This was back when high school kids were still the main workforce for fast food restaurants.) I could just be me without any baggage or history. For this alone, that job was worth it. My confidence and social life were better for it.

McDonald's may be the butt of many jokes, but they excel at standardization and they hold their employees to a high standard. I actually missed out on a portion of my three-month raise because I had forgotten to wear black shoes twice! When I moved to California after six months of hawking burgers (which are not flipped, by the way, we used a clamshell grill), I finally landed a job at a sporting goods store, largely on the basis of a recommendation letter from my former McDonald's manager.

I've had several experiences where I didn't get what I thought I wanted, but it turned out being great anyway. I guess that's one reason why life rarely gets me down.

What about you? Any unexpectedly good first jobs? Or just unexpected results from something you thought would be bad? I'd love to hear.