No one can escape disappointment in life. Sometimes it walks right up to you and smacks you in the head. Other times it sneaks up from behind and little by little knocks at you until you fall down. The question is, what are you gonna do about it? How will you handle the bouncing back?
There’s a song that was recorded in 1944 by The Ink Spots, featuring Bill Kenny and Ella Fitzgerald. It’s called “Into Each Life, Some Rain Must Fall“. It’s lyrics say,
Into each life, some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine
Into each heart, some tears must fall
But someday the sun will shine
Here are some setbacks that I’m intimately familiar with.
Personal setback – trouble in paradise.
Prior to my marriage unraveling in 2003, I considered myself the luckiest girl in the world. Indeed, I had a wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters, a big, lovely home in an upscale community, and a dog named Jivery.
Needless to say, as things fell apart, I was sad. I wondered, “How did this happen? Why me?” There came no answers. Thus, after 25 years of being a part of a couple, I was now single.
As crazy as it sounds, I knew something good would come out of this. What could I do but put one foot in front of the other and take on the next phase of my life? Finally, deciding to honor my dream, I opened the Blue Moon Ballroom Dance Studio, in Bonita Springs, Florida.
Business problems put a dent in my resiliency.
Suddenly, I was a queen again. It made me feel like a million bucks to bring the joy of dance to so many people.
To begin with, I was fortunate enough to find great teachers and trainees. I had the support of a receptionist/accountant who was my right-hand (wo)man. And, some pretty terrific students.
Too bad the economy was doing so poorly. In 2007, when I really needed it to start getting better, it actually got worse – way worse. So much for the economy bouncing back.
And, so it came to be, the beginning of the Great Recession.
This is from investopedia.com:
“The Great Recession refers to the economic downturn from 2007 to 2009 after the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble and the global financial crisis. The Great Recession was the most severe economic recession in the United States since the Great Depression of the 1930s.“
In our 5th year, I had to give up. Feeling like a failure, I closed down and walked away from my beautiful studio.
Money problems tend to hinder bouncing back.
As I tried to regroup, I ran into a huge roadblock. Money – ’cause when you lose your business, you lose your income. Reaching out to contacts in the ballroom dance industry brought no leads for work. I’d have to get a job doing something besides ballroom dancing. But what?
Being a people-person, I came up with what I thought was the perfect solution. I’d be a great bartender. Taking the bartending class was a piece of cake. Finding a bartending job in your 50’s with no prior experience, not so much.
Soon, I had to give up my condo in Bonita Springs and I moved to Miami. I couldn’t afford to pay much rent there, but at least I was still in Florida. Having spent half my life there, it was definitely home.
In Miami, things went from bad to worse. I managed to find a few jobs, but none of them paid very well. In addition, I missed being a part of the ballroom dance community. The helplessness was overwhelming. It seemed like everything I tried was falling short.
Some good news.
But, not for long. (Without a doubt, it seemed like a long time, but in the scheme of things, it really wasn’t.) One of the ballroom coaches I knew opened a fantastic, big, gorgeous dance studio and wanted my help. Only one thing – it was in Cincinnati, Ohio. Oh, well. Watch me bounce back!
A sad footnote, my Jivery dog was 16 years old at the time and suffering from debilitating arthritis. He wouldn’t be able to make the trip to Cincinnati and he passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Sigh.
Going home is one way to bounce back.
Spending four years in Cincinnati was easy. I met lots of nice people and the studio was thriving. The only problem was that I missed Florida. I wanted to go back.
As luck would have it, another coach that I’d worked with needed a studio manager in Southwest Florida. I75 South, here I come!
Three years after Jivery passed I met and fell in love with Roxie. She and I made the trip home.
One cool thing about being back in Florida was that both of my daughters lived there. Obviously, that made getting together easier and more frequent. This worked out well until the 4th of July weekend in 2017.
Let’s go to the beach.
My daughter came to spend the weekend with me, so we decided to go to the beach. Because there was only one road into and out of the beach, we left early.
We were almost there when a drawbridge flashed its lights and brought down the arm to signal that it was going to open. Of course, we stopped. The car behind us did not. Well, not until it rear-ended us.
Pain and suffering in SW FL.
The pain from the accident made it impossible for me to continue at the studio. I had to take care of the back and neck injuries. Ah, c’mon. Not another challenge!
What to do when you need to bounce back…
You have to have faith that it’s only a temporary setback. Here are some of the methods I used to keep going during stressful times.
- Give yourself a good talking to. You can never go wrong with positive affirmations. Try any of these from the Dance Safari post, “5 Affirmations for When You Need Encouragement“.
- Dancing or listening to upbeat music like Swing, Salsa, Quickstep, or Ragtime is a great way to bounce back. Any music that makes you want to move will work wonders.
- Talk to someone, whether it’s a family member, friend, acquaintance, stranger, or a doctor. Getting things off your chest is a good way to get a clearer picture.
- Exercise is the best way to release some endorphins and get into fighting shape.
Fast forward to North Carolina.
After the accident, Roxie and I moved to Raleigh where I’ve been taking care of my 2-year-old grandson in the morning. In the afternoon I write my Dance Safari posts. I feel like I found a way to keep my foot in the door when it comes to ballroom dancing. Mostly, it makes me feel good to share what I’ve learned over the years. And, for that, I’m grateful.
Now, my goal is to continue to grow and improve this blog. I’m gonna do it, too. I was clueless about what I was getting into when I started. To be sure, it’s a learning process, but it’s one that’s very rewarding.
In the end, overcoming troubling times requires determination as well as gratitude for each step that moves you forward.
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