Sunday, January 22, 2017


Yesterday morning, as I was driving home from doing a brisk, predawn walk on campus with my friend Captain Tara, a deer bounded from the left side of the road right into the driver's side of my car, just a few feet away from home. I slammed on the brakes, screamed DAMMIT WHAT THE FUCK, and then caught a glimpse of the deer looking straight at me with its pointy ears and big brown eyes, like EXCUSE ME MISS! He/she bounded away out of sight before I could catch my breath and continue driving the last few feet to my driveway.

When I got home, I opened my car door to major creaking and squeaking. The side of the door featured blood and a little bit of fur. I was a little traumatized for a second. There was also a dent near the wheel housing.

I went through a range of emotions: unnerved that a random deer decided that at that moment it would bound across the street; anger at myself for not seeing the deer in enough time to come to a complete stop; foreboding--did this mean my entire day of carefully planned events was doomed? Was this a sign of things to come?; and annoyance--now I would have to deal with a body repair that was certain to cost an arm and leg.

I examined the car and there appeared to be no major damage except the inconvenient dent that caused my door the inability to open fully. I looked at my cellphone clock and told myself, well I'm ok, the deer seems okay (it did run away, didn't it?), and I have got to get going. I've got a big day ahead of me and I MUST not let this ruin what is going to be awesome. After cleaning the blood and fur off the car with the garden hose I headed inside to prepare for a full day. I knew that I needed to be resilient, clean up what I could and get on with my life. I couldn't let myself mope about the deer or my car or the impeding doom that was apparently going to be happening. I got on with it.

This time of month, this third weekend in January happens to be around the time when everyone tells you that the novelty of your new years resolutions will wear off, and that you'll fall back into old habits. This is also the time of winter when people can become depressed and anxious and it's fairly
easy to dig yourself into an emotional hole if you haven't already reached all of your resolution goals.

So I have a challenge for you, particularly if you happen to be someone in this position.

Start again. The deer will be ok. You will be ok after a little crash or interruption in your grand plans. Start again. Got a little dent? Can you still drive your car? Sure it ain't pretty, but if you can still drive it, I say it's a win. Practice being resilient, especially now. You might think that starting over isn't worth it but I swear to you that it is. Your mental and physical health are worth it. You are worth it. Rejoice in your ability to do something, even if it's square one yet again.

Did you make a resolution to go to run couple of times a week? Start again. Only now, be realistic about how many times you'll actually run THIS WEEK. Once? Okay, start there. That's okay. We don't have to be rockstars all the time. Let's focus on being rockstars some of the time first.

Did you make a resolution or goal to eat more healthfully and without realizing it head right back into wherever you were? Ok. Don't hate yourself. Start again. Master one meal a day like the Plate Coach suggests by focusing your energy on that one time a day. Maybe it's lunch or dinner. Make sure it's a meal that you CAN be successful at most of the time and be flexible with yourself when time becomes scarce, when your energy becomes non-existent. Forgive yourself, start over, and move on.

Why not be like the deer? He or she was obviously hurt as there was a little blood and fur--but the deer managed to gallop off after initially being stunned and hurt. Sometimes we are stunned by life, our own perceived failures. Sometimes we leave a little dent,  blood and fur at the scene. Clean it off and go.

Also, if the deer can get up and gallop away from what must have been the biggest, most scary and painful disappointment ever, we can at least try.