I spent the morning convincing myself that getting out of bed and going to work was a good idea. I discovered that when I don’t want to be very convincing, I’m not. I decided to nurse my fatigued body with the minimum amount of physical movement conceivable to still render me as “working” and “worthy of a paycheck,” and to drink my weight in anti-inflammatory tea. (It’s about as delicious as it sound, in case you were wondering.) And then I made the mistake of getting up. “I’m going to deliver these papers!” I dutifully declared to myself.
Not even three purposeful steps onto the tile floor, and I wiped out. I didn’t even have the split second to think to myself, “Oh crap, I’m about to fall.” I guess being full of tea increases the pull of gravity on a body… I know I ought to blame my short legs. And the fact that I blatantly refused to hem my pant legs. But my legs can’t help it they are fun-sized. And I can’t help it that I pretend that by keeping my pant legs long I will start to wear heels more often. But those weren’t the first thoughts that popped into my head as I found myself sprawled on the floor. My first thought was, “It’s been a long time since I have fallen….” (I know, very original.)
One of my favorite inspirational writers, SARK, writes about enjoying the new perspectives that falling brings. She humorously recommends staying on the ground and enjoying the view. I did no such thing. But I did realize the importance of a Good Fall. The timing is always perfect for a Good Fall. Unpredictable, unrelenting, and usually very public, Good Falls are inevitable. Like bad Christmas sweaters.
Oz believes in a similar phenomenon. Only his is a lot less rosy. He believes in a Bad Day Phenomenon. He truly believes that due to rotten luck, every good day must end badly. (He has some pretty strong evidence for it but I’m about to refute it, completely.) I believe that if I spent the entire rest of my day worrying about whether or not I would fall again then certainly I would. Because that is what I would be focusing on. If I fall again, I will get back up or enjoy the view from the ground. I can’t control gravity. Or the length of my legs. But I can control my focus. And laugh at what I am sure was a very over-due public wipeout. My focus isn’t on when it will happen next (hopefully not soon), but on the fact that I am still smiling (and that I didn’t spill my tea)! As one of my favorite bands Cloud Cult sings, “The moral of the story is it all looks terrible/depending on what you look through.”
It is important to have bad endings sometimes, and to fall. A Good Fall (physical or metaphorical, but I sincerely hope only metaphorical ones come your way!) has great meaning. It means you did something wrong: you are human, you are not powerful enough to single-handedly overcome gravity, and you cannot control everything…but don’t just accept that fact. Enjoy it! It also means you did something right: you were brave enough to try, reckless enough to learn, and fearless for surely you knew you weren’t fall proof. No one ever tells the story about that one time you sat around safely. Everyone tells the story about the time you tripped in the mall and slid ten feet forward and almost knocked over the sunglasses kiosk. The good news is that no one videotaped you. And you got a souvenir- the kiosk worker was so glad you didn’t knock everything over you got a free pair of sunglasses.
After all, isn’t love a Good Fall too?