Day 5: Rain and Rejection

Everyday will come good in the end. There will always be something to relish.

That was the lesson of yesterday. And today I had an epiphany. That is precisely where the power of this philosophy lies. When you realise that you will always be able to find good in the future, immediate or distant, you stop worrying about what lies ahead. And when you stop worrying, the present becomes much more enjoyable.

The events of this morning are the perfect illustration. It began with a typical scene. The alarm clock rings, early. Far too early. Its too cold outside the sheets, and my head is like a weight against the cushioned pillow. I went to bed so late, I must only have had a few hours sleep.

My mind is groaning. I don’t want to get up. I don’t want to face an appointment with my horrible doctor. She is such a bitch. She won’t listen. I don’t want to do today. But, as I lie there, a thought interjects. Everything turned out perfectly yesterday. Ergo – there is a good day ahead, my brain tells itself with glittery eyes. Or maybe they were just full of sleep. Nonetheless, somewhere very deep within, there is a flicker of energy. A sensation of optimism. It spreads. Eventually, it was strong enough to make me move.

I’ll be honest, when my feet hit the floor and ached, and bile stung at the back of my throat as I rose, and I showered with the black of night still pressing against the bathroom window – none of that was particularly pleasant. But it was over quickly. I was soon dressed and walking down the hill to what should have been ‘the dreaded doctor’s appointment’.

Without engaging in a long (for it really would be long, there is a lot of ground to cover) rant about the previous failing of my doctor, lets just say, I don’t usually look forward to visits to the surgery. Yet the memory of the day before, when the worst of appointments had turned into a perfect opportunity, stayed with me. And, sure enough, when I sat down with her in the consultation room, it all went fine. In fact, she was actually helpful. For once she confirmed what I had been telling her, and finally, after a year of suffering from an undiagnosed problem, it was sorted.

I began my hike back up the steepest of hills, a roaring A road lined with ancient woodland, in the most revolting weather. It was drizzling, but it was also horribly humid – both conditions in which the worst thing you can wear is jeans. I had. By the time I reached the pharmacy to pick up my new prescription, my unwashed hair was stuck in clumps of sweat and rain to my face. My upper lip was damp with perspiration.

I could not have cared less.

The formidable first half of the day was not only out of the way, it had been easy. I marched past the bus stop that I had sat in for so long the day before, and let myself back into a dry and blissfully empty house.

My parents had gone away for the weekend, and my brother was at work. So I pulled the checkered pajama bottoms, abandoned in a pile on the bedroom floor, back on, hitched my heavy laptop under my arm and headed for the lounge, flicking the kettle on on the way past. I dumped my stuff, closed the curtains on the world, and spent the rest of the day working from the corner armchair, the noise of the television rumbling gently in the background.

It was absolute heaven.


Later that afternoon, I received 5 emails within a couple of hours. The sight of the subject lines I had written weeks before briefly filled me with hope. ‘Application for position of…’, ‘Job Ref: 154…’. However, each and every one transpired to be an apologetic rejection. ‘Unfortunately, you have been unsuccessful on this occasion’. ‘We will not be continuing with your application at this time’.

These messages induced only the faintest sting of disappointment before they made me smile. In fact, I was slightly alarmed by just how happy I was.

Maybe I really had internalised the About Time philosophy. Perhaps it had already become an automatic reaction to relish everything, even rejection.

In the end, though, I think the explanation is quite rational. When you have applied for plenty of jobs, and heard nothing, it leaves you unsettled. Knowing either way gives you closure. You can officially cross that vacancy off the list and focus your efforts on the next one. It would be nice if more employees showed this courtesy. And indeed, this kindness. For hearing about the overwhelming response, and the high caliber of all candidates, gives an extra nudge of self-worth, much-needed by all seeking work.


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