So there I am at work the other day, minding my own business, doing my thing…
When suddenly, a pair of work boots appear outside the window!
Then, a second pair.
Then, a line of rope swings into view.
What the…? Am I working at the summit of Everest? Did I suddenly fall into a Buster Keaton movie? (Or, rather, was a Buster Keaton movie falling into me?)
Before I knew it, the whole office was looking out the window.
Suddenly, the sound of a squeegee raked across our collective and curious ears. It was two window washers! Yes! Another on my top list of things I could never do for a living because it would just freak me out. Of course, just when I thought window washing was dangerous, one of my coworkers forwarded me this YouTube video of a dangerous job that I just really don’t think I can watch more than once! Click if you dare. It’s a guy with the incredibly dangerous job of free-climbing cell towers.
Anyway, back to those window washers. They had no platform under them. Nothing but line and clips. They were quick, efficient, and brave.
They hang in there every day.
Now, I’m nobody special. I don’t bring people back to life during the day or clean the windows on Shrek’s highest room in the tallest tower. Nope. I’m just a humble editor and writer, doing my part.
But when I saw those feet dangling, it got my Nobody antennae up and going. Hanging in there. Hanging in there.
That phrase usually means to be patient and wait. Or, for those window washers (or the guy in that unbelievable video), it means to do what you gotta do to survive no matter the risk to life and limb. Those are complimentary, don’t you think? Consider those you know who do that. Wait for the right opportunity. Make a tough decision. Do what they have to do to support themselves and others.
Think of Jeremy Lin, the creator of Linsanity (is that trademarked yet?). Lin waited patiently for his turn and when the opportunity came, he seized it. Climbed the to the highest point at the top of his game. I’m sure he had many nights lying awake thinking that he was gripping a career by his fingernails. But he hung in there for his chance, and now he hangs on the rim.
Think about yourself–facing every new day even when things aren’t going your way. Putting your arm around a shoulder for someone else whose day isn’t so great. Liking yourself when your popularity wanes. Being your own biggest fan when everyone else is a critic. It’s all part of our common experience.
Look, folks…hanging in there isn’t just a cute phrase ripe for a cat on a tree branch (seen that poster?). It’s a subtle reminder that life isn’t always about rose petals and sunshine. Sometimes it’s dangling from a 12 story building in your work boots to get that paycheck with nothing below you but pavement and faith.
And sometimes, it’s about rising to the occasion like Jeremy Lin, even when you thought the occasion would never come.
When your alarm goes off 10 minutes too early for your liking tomorrow, do yourself a favor. Resolve that no matter who is angry with you, no matter what comes your way, no matter how many projects they give you…you’ll hang in there.
Unlike those window washers, we don’t have a rope in life. We just have to free-fall and trust that life will give us a comfortable ledge whenever we need to just hang in.