Keep Swimming: Key to Success
Written by
Hope A. Perlman
January 2012
Written by
Hope A. Perlman
January 2012

I'm feeling a little blue today, and it's not just because the 4th grader has lice.

Nor is it because I've cheated on my New Year's resolutions, because I haven't.

Nor is it because I'm fundamentally unhappy. I don't cut myself or take antidepressants or self-medicate in any particular way. (Check out Betsy Lerner or The Bloggess for more on those types of unhappiness. Though they have hundreds, if not thousands, of followers and readers, so why are they kvetching?)

It's certainly not because of my new iPhone4s. I love my iPhone4s. But even the iPhone4s can't keep a person feeling happy and successful. Besides, Siri got confused about which number to text the husband on when she discovered I had our NYC home phone number plugged into the Home slot on my contacts. So I had to delete it. Maybe that's why I'm a little blue. I had that number for 6 years. I didn't want to give it up. Who knows if I'll ever get a 212 area code again.

Okay, it might have something to do with the lice, because lice are a real bummer. If you haven't had to deal with lice, just pray you don't ever have to. Naturally, the 4th grader came to me with her itchy head just moments after the pediatrician's office had closed for the day yesterday. So I was left with my old remedy, the one I used on the 8th grader when she was in 1st grade. When I spent 27 hours picking nits out of her hair.

(Incidentally, if I were living in NYC still, I'd be sitting in the crowded home of the Orthodox Jewish Lice Lady, paying her whatever she asked for to pick the nits out of my child's head. But since I know of no Lice Lady in this area, it was Hellman's and Glad wrap and my Licemeister metal nit picking comb.)

Which meant I spent this morning washing the mayo out of her hair, and then going through it with the Licemeister. The pediatrician told me there's a new prescription lice killing product that "makes the nits basically explode" that I can use if my routine doesn't work. If only the 4th grader had come to me a half hour earlier yesterday, we might have had some interesting fireworks over here. Alas.

Of course this wasn't all bad, because it gave me an excuse to watch (listen) to Finding Nemo, which is a great warning shout about overprotective parenting and the virtues of independence.

But it's not all about the lice.

It's about the pots I'm stirring. Stirring and stirring. And nothing is coming of it all. I mean, maybe something is in the works. But maybe not. My latest effort met with sort-of rejection. Not total rejection, but semi-rejection.

It's time for a win. It doesn't have to be huge. But it does have to be tangible.

I'm tired of stirring the pots. I wonder if--no, actually, I don't wonder, I know--writing is very poor career choice for a person like me.

I have low self-esteem.

Yup. Tiresome as it is for me, and for my nearest and dearest, I just do.

So I take rejection, or partial rejection pretty hard.

I know I have to be all Chumbawumba and Japanese proverb about it.   But it's exhausting.

I collect pep-talking friends and professionals around me who tell me if I keep on stirring, something will come of it. Except maybe it won't.

I'm not sure.

I am unsure.

Oh dear. Spiraling down. Administer gin and 70s pop music.

And remember dear, daffy Dory from the movie: Keep on swimming. And sometimes a short-term memory problem is just the solution. Forget those little bumps.

Hey, Dory was blue, too.

Let's be friends

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