Space X’s rocket exploded.
Excuse me, Space X’s rocket, while attempting to leave Earth’s orbit, experienced a “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.” That was the term the company used. It was, as the New York Times dryly noted, a description that contained “cosmic levels of euphemism.”
Still, after I giggled at the term, I have to admit that I admire the idea of our lives suddenly encountering moments of rapid unscheduled disassembly.
I mean, we’ve all experienced rapid unscheduled disassembly in our lives. We’ve had times where EVERYTHING fell apart.
Maybe our significant other broke up with us and then we lost our jobs and we suddenly wondered if we had anything really good in our lives at all.
Or maybe we didn’t pay attention to the road for two seconds and ended up with our only car being crushed and us being in the hospital with a broken leg?
Or maybe we found out that our mother had a heart attack and we need to take time off to visit her but our work has told us that any more time off and we’ll be fired?
Or we get evicted?
Or we get a bad scan from the doctor?
Or we just put down a 20K payment on a wedding only to have our fiance suddenly stop returning texts and disappear?
We’ve all had moments when our lives crumbled. We’ve all had things suddenly explode or fall apart beneath us. And we’re left in the rubble thinking that this is the end. We can’t possibly put it together again.
In those moments I think I prefer the term “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly” than explosion.
We tend to catastrophize bad situations when the nasty moments of life suddenly pop up out of the blue. Yes, a rocket exploded but it’s not the end of the world. It’s a rapid unscheduled disassembly, and what has been suddenly disassembled can be reassembled again.
You can look for a new job while paying rent with your last paycheck. You can set up a treatment plan with your doctor. You can talk to your boss about additional time off. You can get the down payment back for your wedding. You can fight the eviction. You can call an uber until you replace your car.
You can recover.
Disassembly can be rapid and reassembly can be slow, but reassembly is possible.
It’d be lovely if we took the sentiment behind Space X’s term for what happened to its rocket and applied that constructive feeling to our own lives.
Rockets may experience rapid unscheduled disassembly, but we will get to the moon eventually.