I recently had a silly household accident that left me in incredible pain. David and I had an ancient mattress that needed to be replaced. Realizing that no mattress topper could fix its many sags and hollows, we finally decided to buy a memory foam mattress.
We were incredibly excited when the 100 pound box arrived. The mattress was compressed in the box, inside industrial strength plastic wrap, and when we tried to cut away the cardboard to free the massive foam burrito, the bed popped out hard - much like refrigerator biscuits after a rap on the edge of the counter. The sudden expansion sent me flying across the room and bouncing off a wardrobe. I ended up with a bad muscle sprain and a bloody knee (from the cardboard - which, as it turned out, also had big metal staples on a corner.)
The weeks that followed left me walking with a cane. Then there was that pesky acetaminophen overdose when I took one too many. Once I was finally on the mend, I was still angry at the bed. Although I used it and it was undeniably comfortable, I hated it.
Finally, I decided that kind of thinking would get me nowhere, and it had to stop. I began by being grateful for the bed. I was born in a country where too many people didn't have one at all. They would have gladly taken the bumps in exchange for a wonderful sleeping experience.
As my attitude changed, I began to see things in a new perspective. I remembered what I'd been taught. Setbacks, like getting attacked by a foam mattress, , were nothing more than bumps in the road, something meant to keep me from achieving a goal - in this case, enjoying the bed.
Roadblocks, of course, are everywhere. When I tried to get my first book published, (No I'm not telling you the title- it was barely adequate and you'll look it up) I took rejection after rejection. David was teaching at the time and loved his job. I had something to prove, and I took those rejections hard, but editor number 70 finally accepted it. (In those days, there were really that many publishers in NYC) Getting published was a LONG road filled with many potholes, but now, here we are.
In those days, rejections were my pot holes in the road, things that stood in the way of where I was going. I quickly learned that I had a choice to make. I could give up, or keep pushing forward. I'm pushy by nature, so my choice was clear, and the bottom line was that if you quit, you guarantee failure. A 'can do' attitude, on the other hand, can blaze a trail.
That's the heart of Homespun Christmas, a book about a community that must set aside its rivalries and come together if they're to survive. It's about pride in a label that says MADE IN THE USA. This is the greatest nation on earth, and Homespun Christmas honors the courage and the dedication that continues to make it so.