Bouncing With Style: Fail Forward

  • My mom who loved the beach as much as she loved to laugh.Who falls into their mom’s grave? Me.

    It was my crashing moment of glory to signify the end of a terrible year. I had suffered through a nasty divorce from a cheating, balding BurgerMeister-MeisterBurger while raising my two little boys three thousand miles from my family as I built my own Girl Power company. I went through a foreclosure, buried my mom from breast cancer, and my two little dogs died a month apart. At some point, I started to giggle. No one would believe this.

    Even writing this, I have to shake my head. I had truly become the Bad-luck Schlep-rock of Southern California. It never rains here, you say? Stand next to me. I could have stayed in my year-long funk drawing on my own face with an editing pen while falling asleep working from home. I could have eaten myself to Hindenburg proportions daring my broken heart to stop beating with the threat of another Hershey Bar. But I didn’t.

    What I did do was Fail Forward.

    My first date after a ten year marriage, I got my feet tangled in the straps of my purse on the floor of my escort’s car and lurched out of the car onto the blisteringly hot Los Angeles grime-filled sidewalk like a prisoner in ankle shackles. Thank God that “Orange is the new Pink” had passed or I truly would have been the Jail-Bait Date.

    I fell apart on a flight to Dallas, sobbing so profusely that the flight attendants who brought me tissues broke into tears.  Then later, on the same flight, I choked on a peanut.

    Most notably, I called the disenfranchised body trader… uh… affair partner of my then still legal husband… right in front of her family at their picnic… a “b$tch” and said though she might be driving my Lexus she would never be me. For months my kids would double over in laughter about mom’s use of the “b-word.” putting their hand on their tiny hips, wagging their finger just like me and doing their best imitation of my snotty upper East Coast accent.

    When I got my graduate degree in business from Northwestern, there were no classes teaching me about not hiring your husband’s mistress in your family business or disgracing yourself in public during emotional turmoil. I might have been highly educated, but I didn’t win any dating etiquette or travel awards that year. I surely didn’t win any parenting awards. But I did in my own mind get a big fat award with a sparkly sash, a glittering crown and a massive cardboard check for a $1 million because I got through it while keeping my sense of humor along the way.

    I know that the day they buried my mom, when I walked on the green carpet that covered the hole like I was walking on the red carpet in Hollywood and fell right into her grave up to my knees, that my mom was pulling my leg. She was telling me from the great beyond not to take life too seriously, to remind me that love transcends death, and to find the smile even in life’s most serious moments. She also told me it was okay to punch my little brother in the arm for posting a photo of that moment on Facebook.

    See, I might not have recovered as gracefully, thoughtfully, or kindly to myself and others as I wanted to. But I kept going, even if it meant failing forward. I share my foibles with you to make you laugh, and to help you see the bright side of dark times, not to feel sorry for me. I think my life is entertaining- like one big action-packed dramatic thriller where you sometimes get to write the script. I mean really, how many people can say they fell into their mom’s grave?

    Bouncing with Style is all about how you rebound. It’s about doing the best you can and not beating yourself up if you, say, fall into a grave. When we choose to see the good, the funny, the absurd and the downright freaky, we get a little lift, a little joy, a little tingle that washes away the gray!

    Sandra Beck

    Empowerment is the through-line in of all Sandra Beck’s work. Whether she is coaching a company owner to a million dollar commission goal, training a stay-at-home mom to perform SEO on web sites, or speaking to a group of women who are in recovery, Sandra's message is about what is possible and how to create the circumstances of your choosing.

    For more information, please visit

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    1. Irisheyesaresmiling
      Irisheyesaresmiling says:

      Loved this story. 🙂 🙂 Divorce is sooo hard, scary, and mostly UNFAIR (most times) for one of the partners. But you are right, there is nothing to do but continue….so I am….

      I pray that Karma is indeed real and I will never spend one minute feeling guilty about anticipating “justice.” Those who say they don’t at least think about it are liars… 🙂 🙂

      My justice is slowly becoming making the best life possible for MYSELF…….God’s justice may be a little different.

    2. Cyndi
      Cyndi says:

      I love reading your work. I too have recently gone through an ugly divorce after being married for 23 years. I have learned so many things about myself but, more importantly about him. His sugar mama can take care of him now.

      • sandrabeck
        sandrabeck says:

        Thank you so much. It helps a lot to write these and realize that we are not alone. I really appreciate the support and feedback. I like to think the Sugar Mama won the Booby Prize…I mean really…she can support him, put up with him and have all the wonderful things that go along with this jerk. You are free Cyndi…there is a price to pay for our freedom…we paid it heavily with our hearts and our wallets. There is light out there. I was with my ex almost twenty years total and I clearly have some baggage – a matched set that accompanies me in my current relationships… I will tell you that you will live again. You will love again. It will take a long time – at least it did for me. I am proud of you Cyndi Warrior Wife – you survived…you are going to thrive…and you will be happy once the storm has passed. Much love and keep bouncing!

        • Cyndi
          Cyndi says:

          No Sandra sadly we are not alone, there are so many of us that “got thrown away like yesterday’s trash.” At least that’s the way I felt. As for baggage I have been working on mine and have made awesome progress,he simply took his into the next relationship. After all, she’s a therapist she can fix him. Yes, I will survive and thrive, I no longer need to put the covers over my head. I might not live in that house on the pond and take all these fancy vacations but, I can see life through clear eyes and conscience. Much love to you my friend and keep bouncing. xxoo

    3. sandrabeck
      sandrabeck says:

      Im by no means a scholar but I found that there have been some helpful verses that have assisted me…even if i muttered them under my breath in rage!!! one is Vengeance is Mine says the Lord and This Too Shall Pass…those have certainly become my mantra. Hang in there Irish Eyes and keep smiling!


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