Random Drops of Awesomeness

Derailment Recovery: The Movie

Recently I’ve felt derailed from my efforts, due in part to preparations for a move to a new home and other life changes. Things are settling down, but it’s definitely not easy to get back to what I was doing. It’s funny how we seem to think of ou…

Recently I’ve felt derailed from my efforts, due in part to preparations for a move to a new home and other life changes. Things are settling down, but it’s definitely not easy to get back to what I was doing. Right now, I’m just thankful to of found some discount full service moving company

It’s funny how we seem to think of ourselves, consciously or subconsciously, as trains. We “derail” or “go off track” when we’re not doing as well as we did. We need “to get back on track.”

I do remind myself that there’s a difference between a disastrous derailment, where your train has gone right off the rails and everything’s chaos, and just getting “a little side-tracked.”

This morning, thinking about this subject and what I’d want to say about it, I wondered what the actual train folks call it when they get a locomotive back on the tracks.

Apparently it’s called Derailment Recovery.

So, with a little lightness, I thought I’d come up with a plan for our own personal derailment recovery. When I write, it’s as much to motivate myself as it is for anyone else, whether I write with humor or not.

So let me project this plan into your heads right now, like a movie. Here, here’s some popcorn, soda, and candy. Be sure to turn your cell phones off. Be sure to work off the extra calories later, too.

1- In cases of a true derailment, you’re more than just side-tracked. You’re now nestled smack dab in the middle of the next track, facing the wrong direction, and the other train, The Train of Impending Failure, seems to be heading your way. You can see it right through the open doors, right through the cab, where the engineer is out cold. “Oh noes,” you say.

2- Before such a scenario scares the socks right off your weary feet, you remember that you’re superheroic. With a little motivation, you can move faster than an alien cheetah in zero gravity. TIME seems to stand still. Thankfully motivation is not an all-or-nothing deal. You can kindle motivation from the smallest spark.

3-  The first step to getting some motivation is deciding that you’re going to get some motivation. You mosey on over to the dining car on your derailed train, wait for the attendant to stand up and dust himself off, then you order a can of Mot-i-vata Cola. It is refreshingly colatastic with a hint of mint. The Train of Impending Failure looks to be even closer now, charging full speed, blasting its horn. The attendant quakes, but you just drank the cola. You’re ready.

4- You stare that train down, and guffaw. Somehow you’re all of a sudden dressed like an Old West Cowboy. Apparently you’re a superheroic cowboy. That runs like an alien cheetah.

5- It’s hurtling your way, that Train, but TIME has already begun to slow. You slam that empty can of Mot-i-vata Cola against your forehead, crushing it. “Ow,” you say, as you mosey on further to the front. You hop out of the train.

6- Right now, technically you’re pretty safe. You could walk away from where you were trying to go, abandoning your train. But, hey, that train’s yours. It’s served you as well as it could, depending on how you treated it. And you’re not a quitter anyway, you’re a superheroic cowboy cheetah. Suddenly you have whiskers, but let’s ignore this.

7- You’ve turned that four-calorie carbonated motivation soda into a blast of self-confidence and renewed motivation. You’ve decided that to get where you’re going, if you don’t want it to take the rest of your life, you need your vehicle. You’re going to get that train back on the track where it belongs. You stare the Failure train in the eye, your eyebrows saying in eyebrow language: “Oh, please,” with scorn. 

8- You blast the Train of Impending Failure with a bit of telekinetic coolness, making a squinty face at it. It lurches in its place, still moving forward from sheer momentum, but most definitely slowing down. It is beginning to derail as well, but no worries, you’re a multi-tasker.

9- With your superheroic cheetah paws, you lift up your own train, do a quick snap in the air to get the cars all straightened out and let it fall back onto the right track. You use your nifty mind powers to make sure it doesn’t crash; it lines up lightly as a feather. Unfortunately the earlier snapping you did with the cars has caused the engineer (who just woke up) and the attendant to have upset stomachs, but that’s okay. Mot-i-vata Cola’s good for that, too.

10-  Now your train’s back on track. You believed in yourself, you made it happen. After all, you’re a supercat, are you not? You step out of the way as the Train of Impending Failure screeches slowly past you on the track, a few cars flipping over your head. Your cowboy hat stays on, unperturbed, and you climb back onto your own train. 

11. You settle yourself into your Captain’s chair, and give your dizzy engineer the go-ahead to get moving, You’ve got places to go. “Engage,” you say. You admire the Starfleet uniform you’ve got on, all of a sudden, as the train begins to move forward.

How powerful the mind is, when it believes you can achieve. 

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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